BACKGROUND AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This project grew from discussions between the National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) and several of its sponsoring organizations concerning the absence of a national directory of female engineering faculty. Further review with staff of the National Academy of Engineering revealed additional interest in acquiring more specific information about female engineering faculty.

With the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Engineering, CWSE engaged in a multi-year project to create a data profile of female faculty members from U.S. engineering schools and departments. Deans and department chairs submitted lists of faculty members to form the directory. It is available in searchable format at http://www4.nationalacademies.org/osep/fefhome.nsf .

The data profile was created through a directory and a survey of 1,303 women engineering faculty at 321 institutions conducted in 1996. The survey response rate was 71 percent (n= 775). The data profile includes information on faculty members’ educational background and employment status, along with their own assessment of factors related to career success.

Because of difficulties in data collection and staff turnover, publication of the survey results was delayed. Thus, the survey responses and the directory of faculty members with their institutional locations are now several years old. However, the information on faculty members’ educational experiences, career influences, and job satisfaction raise questions that are still relevant.

Much of the information obtained from the survey is organized by the “field of highest degree” of the faculty members. While this information is not a surrogate for participants’ current “engineering field” or “department,” it does provide a method of categorizing individuals that is relatively consistent. Since postsecondary institutions organize their engineering research and instruction very differently across the country, a taxonomy based on departmental affiliation or field of employment contains greater ambiguities. As many of the fields contain a small number of individuals, they have been grouped for purposes of analysis into 10 discipline areas, with an 11th group of “other fields” (see Table 2-2 ). This somewhat arbitrary aggregation was necessary to report the survey results in groups large enough to protect the identity of individual respondents.

This document is a data profile. It provides a snapshot of the education and careers of female engineering faculty members. It does not provide comparisons with male engineering faculty, or with female faculty in other fields, since those groups were not surveyed. Nevertheless, the responses of the faculty members to the survey questions do provide insight into the career paths of women faculty in engineering.

We thank the NAE and NSF staff who aided in this report, and the many NRC staff who worked on the project. The Committee gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors who



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FEMALE ENGINEERING FACULTY AT U.S. INSTITUTIONS: A DATA PROFILE BACKGROUND AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This project grew from discussions between the National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) and several of its sponsoring organizations concerning the absence of a national directory of female engineering faculty. Further review with staff of the National Academy of Engineering revealed additional interest in acquiring more specific information about female engineering faculty. With the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Engineering, CWSE engaged in a multi-year project to create a data profile of female faculty members from U.S. engineering schools and departments. Deans and department chairs submitted lists of faculty members to form the directory. It is available in searchable format at http://www4.nationalacademies.org/osep/fefhome.nsf . The data profile was created through a directory and a survey of 1,303 women engineering faculty at 321 institutions conducted in 1996. The survey response rate was 71 percent (n= 775). The data profile includes information on faculty members’ educational background and employment status, along with their own assessment of factors related to career success. Because of difficulties in data collection and staff turnover, publication of the survey results was delayed. Thus, the survey responses and the directory of faculty members with their institutional locations are now several years old. However, the information on faculty members’ educational experiences, career influences, and job satisfaction raise questions that are still relevant. Much of the information obtained from the survey is organized by the “field of highest degree” of the faculty members. While this information is not a surrogate for participants’ current “engineering field” or “department,” it does provide a method of categorizing individuals that is relatively consistent. Since postsecondary institutions organize their engineering research and instruction very differently across the country, a taxonomy based on departmental affiliation or field of employment contains greater ambiguities. As many of the fields contain a small number of individuals, they have been grouped for purposes of analysis into 10 discipline areas, with an 11th group of “other fields” (see Table 2-2 ). This somewhat arbitrary aggregation was necessary to report the survey results in groups large enough to protect the identity of individual respondents. This document is a data profile. It provides a snapshot of the education and careers of female engineering faculty members. It does not provide comparisons with male engineering faculty, or with female faculty in other fields, since those groups were not surveyed. Nevertheless, the responses of the faculty members to the survey questions do provide insight into the career paths of women faculty in engineering. We thank the NAE and NSF staff who aided in this report, and the many NRC staff who worked on the project. The Committee gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors who

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FEMALE ENGINEERING FACULTY AT U.S. INSTITUTIONS: A DATA PROFILE provided support to CWSE during the project: the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Energy, United States Department of the Interior, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and Xerox Corporation. We would also like to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Stephen Lukasik (Review Coordinator), Independent Consultant; Eleanor Baum, The Cooper Union; Sheila Humphreys, University of California, Berkeley; and Julia Weertman, Northwestern University. The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.