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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v11.i3.60
pages 295-310

MENTORNET: E-MENTORING FOR WOMEN STUDENTS IN ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE

Peg Boyle Single
University of Vermont, Department of Education, Mann Hall, Room 204b, Burlington, VT 05405-1757
Carol Muller
Stanford University
Christine M. Cunningham
Museum of Science, Boston
Richard M. Single
St. Olaf College; and University of Vermont
William S. Carlsen
Pennsylvania State University

ABSTRACT

MentorNet (www. MentorNet. net), the E-Mentoring Network for Diversity in Engineering and Science, addresses the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). MentorNet offers a multiinstitutional, structured, electronic mentoring (e-mentoring) program that pairs undergraduate and graduate students, primarily women, with professionals and supports them through e-mentoring relationships of specified lengths. The program evaluations established that over 90% of the participants would recommend MentorNet to a friend or colleague. The e-mentoring program allowed participants to establish satisfactory and beneficial e-mentoring relationships based on investments of approximately 20 minutes per week; in between more serious exchanges, email exchanges that included light-hearted social interactions and jokes were an important aspect of sustaining e-mentoring relationships. Participation in MentorNet increased the students' self-confidence in their f elds; desire to obtain work in industry, national laboratories, or national agencies; and intent to pursue careers in their fields. Three years of evaluation results support the need for and efficacy of the program.


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