ATTRACTING TALENT IN ENGINEERING: THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER
Federal State Autonomous Educational Institution of Higher Professional Education «Ural Federal University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The purpose of the article is to study the influence of gender factor on attracting talented young people to engineering-related professions. For the target audience we chose students of the Master’s degree program, who have already received basic technical education and made a conscious choice for the further advancement in the field of engineering.
The issues related to engineering training have recently been discussed at the highest government level and are the subject of special attention for the top public officials. The demand for professionals in STEM (STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) today exceeds supply. The problem of women’s involvement in engineering-related professions becomes an up-to-date perspective, their intellectual contributions is important for national economies. According to gender-based statistics in Russia, almost half of highly qualified specialists in the employment structure of the economically active population are women. The practice indicates the presence of the social barriers that prevent women, having equal starting opportunities with men, from climbing up the career ladder as fast as men do.
Gender asymmetry in professional roles begins with preferences of young people in the work field, choice of subject-oriented instruction at school and later on in their professional education. Taking into account the increasing demand for engineers, we understand that it is impossible to do without women engineers. In order to ensure their potential it is not enough only to increase their numbers and refocus women on specialties previously dominated by men. Not only a quantitative increase in the proportion of women among STEM-specialists is of importance, but first of all the creation of conditions for increasing and realizing their potential, overcoming structural barriers on the way of women’s professional development and career promotion in engineering activities.
The authors made the analysis of the reasons that motivate students enrolled in technical faculties of the University, including graduates in master’s programs, to choose technical education. For the diagnoses, they used the secondary analysis of the social research materials and data obtained during the survey carried out by the STEM-education graduates of the Ural Federal University.
Keywords: Female engineer, gender stereotypes.