Mind the Gender Gap – Reflections on addressing gender diversity in Computing and Engineering

Members of the school are to present a paper at the Learning Global Conference, Northampton 11th May 2011 on the work done within the school on addressing the gender gap in engineering and computer-engineering.

Presenter: Tricia Goodchild, Rashmi Dravid and Scott Turner


Worldwide, many studies have shown that numbers of women choosing to study and work in the respective industries is low in  both Computing  (for example Wilson, 2003; Tillberg and McGrath 2005) and Engineering (only 9% of UK engineering professionals are women (IET 2010)). Figures from EngineeringUK (2010) show the UK lags behind the rest of Europe for the percentage of females students obtaining first degrees in Mathematics/Computer Science (UK [27%] compared with Europe [32%],and Engineering (UK[15%], compared with Europe [20%]). 

This presentation is a reflective account of the range of activities (including some which are award winning (see http://www.stemnet.org.uk/news/view/1232149)), which the School of Science and Technology  has put in places to raise the aspirations of potential future women engineers and computer scientists in  both primary and secondary education.  The work reported has been heavily supported by contributions from our own UK and overseas students.

EngineeringUK (2010) Women in Engineering and Technology [online]. Available from: URL:http://www.engineeringuk.com/_db/_documents/Women_in_Engineering_and_Technology_FINAL.pdf [7/2/2011].
IET (2010) Mind the Gender Gap IET Member News 14th June 2010.
Tillberg,HK, McGrath CJ (2005). Attaching Women to the CS Major Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies - Volume 26, Number 1, 2005, pp. 126-140
Wilson F (2003) New Technology, Work and Employment 18:2 ISSN 0268-107