Study Finds Academic Engineering Remains Largely the Domain of White Men

A new study from Harris Search Associates, based in Dublin, Ohio, finds that despite many years of diversity efforts at the nation’s colleges and universities, academic engineering remains largely the domain of White men.

The study found that 82 percent of the deans at the nation’s 300 or more accredited engineering schools are men. The data shows that the percentage of engineering deanships held by women is almost identical to the gender ratio found at U.S. medical schools. However, the study found that from 2001 to 2015, the number of women faculty members at U.S. medical schools increased by 34 percent. But the number of women faculty members in schools of engineering increased by only 4 percent from 2006 to 2014.

The study’s author, Richard A. Skinner, former president of Royal Roads University in British Columbia and Clayton State University in Georgia, who now serves as senior consultant with Harris Search Associates, says “professional advancement for women in general and African American women in particular has been slow in academic engineering, notwithstanding the good-faith efforts of individuals and organizations to improve that condition.”

Dr. Skinner suggests that those seeking to attract more women and minorities to academic engineering will need to target children in even earlier stages of the K-12 continuum.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/StudySTEM Fields

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