Is Engineering is “Beautiful” to Qatari Females? Dr Hend Al Muftah Qatar University Training & Development Liaison Committee Meeting Wednesday 9th June 2010 1
Presentation Overview Introduction Career choice prior to engineering education Driving Factors Restraining Factors Conclusion What can WE do? Q&A 2
When I first was introduced toEngineering at my high school, an image of a screwdriver is what comes in mymind! Actually, that’s what some peoplesays about the “engineering” profession!! Industrial & System Engineer 3
Introduction…Facts !!!Career facts…………………. In 200712% of total labor force were women Only 6% of total labor force are females @professional & technician position (Qatar Labor forcesample survey, 2007). 4
Introduction…. Facts!!!Education facts……….in 2009… QU, 58% are female students over one decade (1998-2008), enrolment increased by181% from 177 to 497 & graduates increased by 353% from 19 to 86 .... Texas A & M, 38% are female students However, in comparison to total increase in female students’ enrolment at QU, T A&M, CMU, female enrolment in engineering disciplines remains relatively low & does not meet the economy/LM needs 5
Females @ College of Engineering-QU Spring 2009 Chemical engineering 70 female (59 male) Architecture engineering 62 (female only) Computer engineering 108 (female only) Computer sciences 87 female (59 male) Industrial and system engineering 90 (female only) Electrical engineering 23 female (75 male) 6
Why??? Are Q females challenging retention problems or they are not being drawn to engineering in the first place! Available opportunities Self-choice or by-other-decision Pre-university academic preparation Retention factors @ education Retention factors @ career 7 Culture & society influence!
Three Important Issues: How can we attract more young women into engineering education? How can we retain more females in engineering majors? How can we retain more females in the engineering workforce? 8
The women-in-engineering pipeline Not enough Not enough inflow outflow of female of female students* students “Chilly” classroom climate Poor academic Uniformed choices Feelings of isolation engineering self-efficacy preparation How can we Poor math/science/ retain more How can we females in the attract more engineeringyoung women workforce? into engineering? How can we retain more females in engineering 9(Source: Adapted from Trenor J. M., 2007) majors?
Advancing the women in engineeringpipeline “the leaky pipe” Female student’ career choice prior to college and engineering program. Uninformed choices. Academic preparation. Female student’ retention/persistence during the engineering program. Feelings of isolation. “Chilly” classroom climate. Poor math/science/engineering abilities; engineering self-efficacy 10
Factors affecting female students’ career choice prior to enrol in engineering program* Having family members @ engineering (58%) Academic preparation- Level of math/science Adequate knowledge (60%) Ability to apply in real eng. Problems (60%) Problem-solving & critical thinking skills Decision to join engineering High school (45%) 11 Family /peers influence (65%)
RESULTS : CAREER CHOICE-FORCE FIELD ANALYSISIdeal state: Inspiring and retaining female students in the engineering programs at QU Factors affectingPrior to enrol into engineering program career choice prior to entry to engineering + Driving forces Bidirectional forces – Restraining forces program. Job opportunities Pre-college experiences Rigor of the curriculum 1) About 3/5 (58%)• extrinsic - highly paid job • received information • course difficulty have a family member• intrinsic - pride & achievement • performance of SME • thoroughness (heavy workload) who was an engineer. • profession’s image Contentment in engineering Family influences College’s program (dissatisfaction 2) >60% have adequate• personal interest in engineering • born in a family of with admission requirements and math /science• happiness with choice of engineers poor orientation – understanding preparation but < 60% felt the hand-on and engineering major • support & encouragement grading system and coping with problem-solving skills workload) in math/science at high Self-confidence Faculty/TA support Lack of academic preparation school were relevant to• early interest and abilities in • quality of teaching lack of ability to apply their current syllabus at QU science, math and engineering • availability for advising strong background of (4th year are more (SME) • support & encouragement math/science to the real world confidence due to• overall academic performance & engineering problems experience). abilities College engineering climate 3) >1/2 (57.4%) Encouragement to pursue an • support program Discouragement to pursue an decided to major in engineering degree • class room environment engineering degree engineering at high school and 45.2% get• parents as the most influential • interaction between student • teaching staff as the most interested for the first people & staff influential people time in engineering at • interaction between student year 12 of high school. & peers • sense of belonging 4) > 3/5 (67.2%)During the engineering program received encouragement to pursue an engineering Self-confidence Faculty/TA support Rigor of the curriculum degree; > 3/5 (64.7%) College engineering climate say parents as the most Availability of job opportunities Discourage by poor grades influential people. Personal interest in engineering Family influences Poor teaching quality
Driving forces affecting persistence rates of female engineering students at QU Informed choices Awareness Positive image Drivers for Availability of job opportunities enrolment Extrinsic & intrinsic motivation Self-confidence Adequate math/science Adequate academic advising Drivers for Teaching quality retention 13 “Caring climate” college
Driving forces affecting persistence rates of female engineering students at QU Personal interest in engineering Happiness with college’s program (internship, academic advising, TA, ,..) Happiness with future career (sponsor, pay scale, eng. Working environment, ...) Family encouragement Parental advice, family educational background, family support,... 14
RESULTS : DRIVER-FORCE FIELD ANALYSISIdeal state: Inspiring and retaining female students in the engineering programs at QU Driving forces thatPrior to enrol into engineering program inspire/encourage female engineering + Driving forces Bidirectional forces – Restraining forces students to enroll and to retain at 1. Job opportunities Pre-college experiences Rigor of the curriculum engineering program• extrinsic - highly paid job • received information • course difficulty• intrinsic - pride & achievement • performance of SME • thoroughness (heavy workload) 1) The main driving • profession’s image forces that 2. Contentment in engineering 4. Family influences College’s program (dissatisfaction inspire/encourage• personal interest in engineering • born in a family of with admission requirements and female students to• happiness with choice of engineers poor orientation – understanding enroll and to retain engineering major • support & encouragement grading system and coping with them at engineering workload) program were self- 3. Self-confidence 5. Faculty/TA support Lack of academic preparation confidence,• early interest and abilities in • quality of teaching lack of ability to apply their availability of job science, math and engineering • availability for advising strong background of opportunities, and (SME) • support & encouragement math/science to the real world personal interest in• overall academic performance & engineering problems engineering. abilities 6. College engineering climate 2) Self-confidence and Encouragement to pursue an • support program Discouragement to pursue an contentment increases engineering degree • class room environment engineering degree as enrichment of• parents as the most influential • interaction between student • teaching staff as the most perception and people & staff influential people participation increases. • interaction between student & peers • sense of belongingDuring the engineering program 1. Self-confidence 4. Faculty/TA support 1. Rigor of the curriculum 2. Availability of job opportunities 5. College engineering climate 2. Discourage by poor grades 3. Personal interest in engineering 6. Family influences 3. Poor teaching quality
Restraining forces discouraging female students toenrol & retain at engineering program Rigor of the Curriculum Course difficulty Thoroughness (heavy workload) Work-life conflict Poor grades Lack of academic preparation Loosing interest Dissatisfaction with engineering choice Dissatisfaction with college’s program 16
RESULTS : BARIER-FORCE FIELD ANALYSISIdeal state: Inspiring and retaining female students in the engineering programs at QU Restraining forcesPrior to enrol into engineering program that inspire or encourage female + Driving forces Bidirectional forces – Restraining forces engineering students to enroll and to retain Job opportunities Pre-college experiences 1. Rigor of the curriculum at engineering• extrinsic - highly paid job • received information • course difficulty program• intrinsic - pride & achievement • performance of SME • thoroughness (heavy workload) • profession’s image 1) The main restraining Contentment in engineering 2. Faculty/TA support College’s program (dissatisfaction forces that discourage• personal interest in engineering • discouragement & lack of with admission requirements and female students to enroll• happiness with choice of support poor orientation – understanding and to retain them at engineering major • poor teaching quality grading system and coping with engineering program • lack of advising workload) were rigor of the Self-confidence 3. Family influences Lack of academic preparation curriculum (course difficulty &• early interest and abilities in science, • discouragement & lack of lack of ability to apply their thoroughness), teaching math and engineering (SME) support strong background of staff and discourage by• overall academic performance & • future work-life conflict math/science to the real world parents/family. abilities engineering problems. Lack academic performance & 2) 2nd year students have abilities (poor grades). more restraining factors 4. College climate than the other groups Encouragement to pursue an • support program Discouragement to pursue an because of low engineering degree • individualist class room engineering degree enrichment of perception• parents as the most influential environment • teaching staff as the most and participation due to people • lack of interaction between influential people less experience in college which affect their student & staff “resistant” to face many • competition between peers challenges. • isolationDuring the engineering program 3) Rigor of curriculum & 1. Rigor of the curriculum poor teaching quality Self-confidence 3. Faculty/TA support affects self-confidence 4. College climate when students were Availability of job opportunities 2. Discourage by poor grades discourage by their poor Personal interest in engineering 5. Family influences 3. Poor teaching quality grades.
Conclusion Driving forces were dominantQatari Females students enjoys good retention climate @ Engineering education Low enrolment NOT low retentionWas the reason behind the under-representation of female engineering students at QU, and hence I&E Sector 18
Positive comments…. “To me, Engineering as education means application of science, while education as career means adding technical value to Qatar, it really means to make my country proud of me” 19
What can WE do to increase retention among female students? Parents, high school & counselors teachers Help students make informed decisions, know what to expect Connect them with mentors and support systems before entering college Market the "Engineering" profession in more attractive manner. Corporate and government constituents Serve as a mentor to female students studying engineering Managers & executives: provide reward system for 20 mentoring & outreach activities
What can WE do to increase retention among female students? University faculty, staff Encourage students to get involved on campus, particularly women-in-engineering support systems Role model for female students Develop and implement curricula with focus on collaborative, demonstrate societal relevance of engineering Support students in obtaining research positions, internships, extracurricular activities that may increase their self-efficacy Serve as mentors to female students Provide funding for women-in-engineering programs, other female student support systems 21
Thank you for all what you do in supporting Qatari Female Engineers firstname.lastname@example.org Q&A 22