This project applies an intersectionality framework to identify why tenure-track women of color (WOC) across academic ranks, disciplines, and diverse institution types persist as engineering faculty. Project goals will be achieved through the compilation and analysis of longitudinal data of faculty WOC in engineering using the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) database; the development of a national survey investigating the perspectives of all women engineering faculty at U.S. engineering institutions on issues of race, class, and gender; and the exploration of similarities and differences in horizontal and vertical intersectionality across WOC groups via the collection and analyses of narratives of approximately engineering WOC tenure-track faculty.
To date, database and institutional analyses and scale development have occurred. ASEE, National Science Foundation, and university data have been analyzed and cleaned to develop a national database of engineering faculty and institutional leaders (e.g., president, provost, diversity officers) across ABET-accredited universities. ABET data reports that 619 institutions are ABET accredited with 3,245 programs. All of these programs will be included in the analysis. For the scale development, the team generated initial question item pools exploring how intersectionality relates to women engineering faculty’s persistence and resilience from individual, symbolic, and institutional perspectives.
Initial findings note that the concentration of WOC differs across institution types. Predominately White Institutions (PWIs), in general, report lower proportions of WOC than non-PWI’s (e.g., minority-serving institutions). Asian American female faculty constituted the biggest proportion of WOC among all different groups of institutions. African Americans constituted 45% of the female engineering faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), compared to about 3% of the female engineering faculty at PWIs. However, when compared to the total engineering faculty African American female faculty represent only 6.7% and 0.4% in each of these groups of institutions, respectively. Latina faculty were outnumbered by Asian American female faculty at Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs).
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