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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimer: 1072-8325
ISSN En ligne: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v11.i1.50
pages 83-96

THEATER AS A COMMUNITY-BUILDING STRATEGY FOR WOMEN IN ENGINEERING: THEORY AND PRACTICE

Naomi C. Chesler
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1550 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
Mark A. Chesler
University of Michigan

RÉSUMÉ

Previously, the authors have suggested that peer mentoring through a caring community would improve the quality of life for female faculty members in engineering and could have a positive effect on retention and career advancement. Here, the authors present the background psychosocial literature for choosing participatory theater as a strategy to develop a caring community and report on a pilot study in which participatory theater activities were used within a workshop format for untenured female faculty members in engineering. The authors identify the key differences between participatory theater and other strategies for community building that may enhance participants' sense of commonality and the strength and utility of their community as a mentoring and support mechanism and discuss the ways in which these efforts could have a broader, longer term impact.