Title: Improving Practice in Engineering Education: An Exploration of Female Engineering Students’ Perceptions of Their Resilience
Stream: Higher Education
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Kathryn Lyndon, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
This research focuses on how external resilience factors may affect female engineering students and suggest ways in which we can continue to support females in their career path. I have been exploring engineering students’ resilience in relation to their experiences and identifying whether additional support at university could help to encourage women to stay in the engineering career. Initial results have found that women who feel more supported are more likely to have developed more resilience techniques. Identifying ways of improving resilience at this stage may help future engineering students. This paper will report on a research project comprising of a survey on resilience, and semi-structured interviews with male and female engineering students. The interviews involve exploring their views on resilience and support networks, while the survey measures resilience. The purpose of this combination is to identify reasons for higher or lower levels of resilience, how we can help support the development of resilience, and potential barriers. Initial data collection from the pilot indicates that students who have more external support have developed higher resilience and express a desire to continue in an engineering career. It also reveals that females with low external resilience do not feel prepared to move into an engineering career. This will then inform recommendations; I will develop a plan detailing what measures could help all students, with a focus on women, to feel able to continue in the engineering sector after university, and suggestions for support. This paper will present initial findings and recommendations.
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