Presentation Title

Identity Balance of Female and Male Engineering Students

Faculty Mentor

Anna Woodcock, Wesley Schultz

Start Date

23-11-2019 1:00 PM

End Date

23-11-2019 1:15 PM

Location

Markstein 303

Session

oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Women are regularly reminded of the prevalent stereotype that men perform better in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This may contribute to the underrepresentation of women in STEM, as women’s gender identity may be stereotypically incompatible with their STEM identity. A strong STEM identity (e.g., me = science) is predictive of persistence in a STEM-related pathway (Woodcock et al., 2012). The current study measured and classified the identity balance of 533 male and female first-year engineering students utilizing Greenwald's (2002) framework of identity balance. Three implicit association tests (IATs) measured engineering identity (Me = Engineering), gender identity (Me = Female), and stereotypic associations (Engineering ≠ Female). We hypothesized that men would hold more balanced identities than women. Participants completed measures of mechanical aptitude and the IATs during their university orientation. We found that 77.63% of male students held balanced identities, while only 47.10% of female students held balanced identities, X2(1) = 34.99, p = .000. Results suggest that first year students from groups underrepresented in STEM may be struggling with identity imbalance. Addressing this imbalance may ultimately contribute to more women staying on a STEM-related career pathway, lessening the gender gap between men and women in the field.

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Nov 23rd, 1:00 PM Nov 23rd, 1:15 PM

Identity Balance of Female and Male Engineering Students

Markstein 303

Women are regularly reminded of the prevalent stereotype that men perform better in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This may contribute to the underrepresentation of women in STEM, as women’s gender identity may be stereotypically incompatible with their STEM identity. A strong STEM identity (e.g., me = science) is predictive of persistence in a STEM-related pathway (Woodcock et al., 2012). The current study measured and classified the identity balance of 533 male and female first-year engineering students utilizing Greenwald's (2002) framework of identity balance. Three implicit association tests (IATs) measured engineering identity (Me = Engineering), gender identity (Me = Female), and stereotypic associations (Engineering ≠ Female). We hypothesized that men would hold more balanced identities than women. Participants completed measures of mechanical aptitude and the IATs during their university orientation. We found that 77.63% of male students held balanced identities, while only 47.10% of female students held balanced identities, X2(1) = 34.99, p = .000. Results suggest that first year students from groups underrepresented in STEM may be struggling with identity imbalance. Addressing this imbalance may ultimately contribute to more women staying on a STEM-related career pathway, lessening the gender gap between men and women in the field.