The experience of women students in engineering and mathematics careers: A focus group study

Alicia Garcia-Holgado, Sonia Verdugo-Castro, Angeles Dominguez, Itzel Hernandez-Armenta, Francisco J. Garcia-Penalvo, Andrea Vazquez-Ingelmo, M. Cruz Sanchez-Gomez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The gender gap is a problem that occurs in different forms in regions and countries around the world. It is a goal of large international organisations, governments, companies and other entities. Although it is not a new issue, it is important to continue studying it and seek mechanisms and strategies to attract and maintain more women in these areas. In particular, in the field of education and employment, the STEM areas present large gender gaps whose reduction would not only impact the equality of men and women but would also have an impact on the economy of the countries and on improving the economic situation of women. In this context, there are initiatives in Latin America working on this issue, but it is necessary to look more deeply into the elements that influence the decision to study careers in these areas. In this context, two focus groups have been held as roundtables with STEM women from different Latin American and European countries, to answer a series of questions centred on their motivations and decisions before and during their university studies. The results obtained have provided some inputs for defining gender equality action plans in ten Higher Education Institutions from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico. Furthermore, the results show similarities with previous studies involving STEM women with different Latin American profiles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2021
EditorsThomas Klinger, Christian Kollmitzer, Andreas Pester
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728184784
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2021
Event2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2021 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 20 Apr 202122 Apr 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


Conference2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2021


  • Engineer
  • Gender gap
  • Mathematician
  • Qualitative analysis
  • STEM
  • Women students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Education
  • General Engineering


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