Women in Construction Engineering: Improving the Students' Experience throughout their Careers

Marcela Alejandra Silva, Angeles Dominguez

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent retention studies identify factors that exist beyond the academic environment as critical to student dropout. In particular, in the Construction Engineering career, women's participation is similar to that reported in professional life, less than 10%. These figures are alarming. This work seeks to improve female students' accompaniment to complete their degree on time and continue their professional development. This diagnostic study aims to know the perception of female students of the Construction Engineering at Universidad Andres Bello undergraduate course about their interests and academic needs to improve their university careers. The objective is to propose improvements to the students' university experience to increase female students who complete their studies. This qualitative study will have four sequential phases: session of students with an expert, a survey of perceptions, a survey of female students in the degree, and interviews. The session with the expert seeks to bring closer and broaden female students' vision about the professional environment by knowing her trajectory, uncertainties, experiences, and current work. The survey collects data on the perception and level of satisfaction female students who are active in the career to help them complete their studies successfully. Finally, the researchers conducted three semi-structured interviews with female students of 1st, 3rd, and 5th year delve into the program to better understand female students' expectations from the program. Experts were also be interviewed to find out what motivated them to finish their studies. The talk with an expert offers the students to identify themselves and broaden their vision about the profession. Surveys reveal student interests, needs, and expectations about their academic career. The interviews offer an overview of perceptions about career's different stages: beginning, in the middle, at the end, and as a professional about the perceptions, interests, and expectations, regarding admission, scholarships, academic management, and support The authors concluded that this study reveals the interests, expectations, and needs of female Construction Engineering students so that the program can visualize initiatives that improve the student career. For example, increasing the inclusion of problematic contexts identified, with social and environmental considerations in a sustained way, allows identifying and broadening the students' vision throughout their career.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 26 Jul 202129 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Educational innovation
  • Gender issues
  • Higher education
  • Students' perceptions
  • Women in engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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