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Monday, September 08, 2014

Women in STEM: still bridging the gap

"With the national spotlight focused on encouraging women to pursue science, technology, engineering and math, Duke is examining its own policies." continues Duke Chronicle.

Approximately 18 percent of undergraduate engineers nationally are women—a figure President Barack Obama has said must increase if the United States is to remain a global leader in research and innovation. At Duke, the numbers are slightly higher, but administrators say there is still improvement to be made—women make up 30 percent of total undergraduates in Pratt School of Engineering and 33 percent of Pratt’s Class of 2018, said Dean of Pratt Thomas Katsouleas. 

Verizon Commercial 2014 | Inspire Her Mind - Extended | Verizon Wireless 


Katsouleas said he hopes to close the gender gap in coming years—in part by providing more female mentors for undergraduate women and by emphasizing the practical, problem-solving applications of engineering.

“Women, in general, seem more drawn to a major or career path where they can help people,” Katsouleas said. “The path to parity nationally lies in reframing engineering in human terms—making clear that it’s more than just playing with gadgets.” 

Behind the numbers
Katsouleas said the statistics—both nationally and at Duke—reveal a need for improvement.

“We’ve separated ourselves relative to the national standard, but we’re still not where we’d like to be,” Katsouleas said.

Senior Charlotte Lawrence, who studies mechanical engineering, said the gender gap is apparent in classes. It appears that the number of girls in her engineering classes has decreased since her freshman year, she added.

“At the start of every semester, I count the number of girls in my classes,” Lawrence said. “I definitely notice.”

Each year, approximately 30 to 40 percent of female Pratt students transfer into Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, The Chronicle previously reported. This rate is higher than the overall transfer rate which resides at 20 to 30 percent. 
Read more... 

Related links
Women in STEM fields (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Why We Need Women in STEM  
Where have all the girl scientists gone? 

Source: Duke Chronicle and Verizon Wireless Channel (YouTube).


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