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

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN On-line: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v13.i2.30
pages 145-163

HAVING THE TALK: ENGAGING ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN DISCUSSIONS ON GENDER AND INEQUITY

June C. Han
University of California, Los Angeles
Linda J. Sax
Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1521, USA
Karen A. Kim
Center for Embedded Networked Sensing

RESUMO

The article examines the efforts of the Women@CENS program to engage both male and female engineering and computer science undergraduates in discussions on gender and disparities between the sexes in these fields. The program provided an intensive research internship for 48 undergraduate students from across the nation. A key component of the program was to encourage students to critically analyze their learning environments and experiences within them. Qualitative and quantitative program evaluation results reveal a range of reactions from men and women participants to these kinds of discussions. While some students were reluctant to have these conversations, others benefited by gathering useful information, developing networks for support, and having their experiences legitimized. Opportunities to solicit students' views on gender and engineering are often lacking in the undergraduate engineering experience; however, such talks may be necessary if real progress and change are to occur.