Leadership in engineering education from K-12 to university: key to improving diversity in the engineering profession
AbstractThe engineering profession within Australia has failed to attract young women for the last decade despite all the effort that have gone into promoting engineering as a preferred career choice for girls. It is a missed opportunity for the profession to flourish as a heterogeneous team. Many traditional initiatives and programs have failed to make much impact or at best incremental improvement into attracting and retaining more women. Why is this? Is it because we are treating the symptoms rather than the cause? Should we look to prevention strategies rather than the current intervention strategies? The reasons why girls and young women in most parts of the world show little interest in engineering haven't changed, despite all the efforts to address them. This paper examines the proposition that leadership in engineering education may be the elixir for enriching the motivation of many young women to pursue an engineering career. Leadership in the interaction between teacher-student relationships, leadership in educational pedagogies, leadership in curriculum development, leadership in professional development for teachers and academics, and so on. Leadership, stripped of its various definitions, is basically the perceived ability to influence outcomes via people. In this case, the outcome is a sustained and exciting career in engineering. Hence, developing leadership at these coal-face activities in engineering education in encouraging diversity will influence young women to pursue such an outcome. In conclusion, we need to develop leadership in engineering education to improve diversity in the engineering profession.
TypeConference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E)
Goh, Steven (2011) Leadership in engineering education from K-12 to university: key to improving diversity in the engineering profession. In: ICWES 15: 15th International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists , 19-22 Jul 2011, Adelaide, South Australia .