Voices on Women’s Participation and Retention was intended to address the chronic problem of low female participation and success in U.S. engineering undergraduate programs. The 40 workshop attendees (75% female) represented the academic sphere (administration, research and teaching), industry, funding agencies, the marketing sphere, professional organizations, community colleges, and high schools. The attendees participated in a two-day workshop in in June 2015 to develop and refine a set of recommendations and actions to reduce the gender gap in engineering, including changes to undergraduate curricula, pedagogy, and academic culture.
A central pillar of the proposed action plan is an online dashboard that shows the composition of engineering schools according to gender, race, and ethnicity. Data already collected by government agencies and ASEE would be expanded to include admissions and faculty demographics. Schools would be categorized depending on their success in diversifying the undergraduate student body, with those showing the most year-to-year progress gaining special recognition. This plan calls on university administrators to take the lead in identifying gender diversity as an institutional value that must be implemented in a variety of ways. Government agencies would reflect the same values in their grant policies, providing further incentive to comply. University-industry alignment would be strengthened under a shared understanding that “diversity equals value,” resulting in improved teamwork and better products. Professional societies would convene leaders and contribute data management and training. Download TUEE Phase III Report