Clemencia Cosentino de Cohen, acting director of the Program for Evaluation and Equity Research (PEER) of the Urban Institute, completed her graduate studies at Princeton University.
Widening the Net: National Estimates of Gender Disparities in Engineering
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
2009 American Society for Engineering Education
Journal of Engineering Education
Volume 98, Issue 3, pages 211–226, July 2009
How to Cite
Cohen, C. C. d. and Deterding, N. (2009), Widening the Net: National Estimates of Gender Disparities in Engineering. Journal of Engineering Education, 98: 211–226. doi: 10.1002/j.2168-9830.2009.tb01020.x
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
- attrition in engineering;
- college student retention;
- women in engineering
This paper explores the causes behind the severe under-representation of women in engineering. Based on national data on undergraduate engineering programs, this study presents cross-sectional estimates of male and female student retention. Contrary to widespread beliefs, the study found that overall and in most disciplines there is no differential attrition by gender. Instead, results suggest that gender disparities in engineering are largely driven by inadequate enrollment (not inadequate retention) of women. The paper concludes that outreach—within institutions of higher education, across institutions (into two-year colleges, middle and high schools), and into K-12 curricular reform—are needed to address what is, at its very core, a recruitment problem.