Increasing Gender Diversity in STEM
Date du début: 1 sept. 2016,
Date de fin: 30 juin 2019
Lack of gender diversity in STEM studies and careers remains a persistent problem in most western countries, for example most western countries have 20% or less of graduating engineers as female, and often less than 10% of the engineering workforce.Much research has been done on the reasons for this imbalance, with a general consensus that a resolution is highly challenging, requiring multifaceted action from a very wide range of stakeholders. The scale of the problem and the complex and interacting factors involved, provide significant challenges in the design, implementation and assessment of remedial initiatives.A key difficulty to be addressed is the disparity between the potential female students’ perception of STEM careers and roles (in society) and ability to personally envisage themselves in these roles/careers. Among the reasons for this are imposter syndrome, doubts about personal capabilities, lack of role models and concerns about social inclusion in a male dominated environment.This project will specifically address this challenge by constructing a multi-dimensional profiling tool, which allows potential students to match their perceived skills, abilities and interests to those of existing STEM students and successful graduates in the field. The consortium is composed by 6 leading European Universities and Faculties in the field of Science and Technologies representing a subset of the members of the CLUSTER network (www.cluster.org) and already partners in a previous European project focusing on the recruitment of students to STEM Programmes and strategies for their retention (www.attractproject.org). Five Schools from five different countries have also included in the partnership in order to better address the interface between the two educational sectors.The project has been structured in 5 phases each of them leading to a specific intellectual output:The principal activities within this project are: •IO 1 Definition of key inputs for profiling tool•O1/A1 Assessment methods•O1/A2 Identification of gender specific issues and strategies•O1/A3 Definition of data collection process•01/A4 Localization of the contents•IO 2 Development of resources•O2/A1 Design of input interfaces•O2/A2 Development of model•O2/A3 Visualisation tools•IO 3 Pilot Testing•O3/A1 Definition of test protocols•O3/A2 Pilot testing with students and teachers•O3/A3 Analysis of test results•IO 4 Development of the final tool•O4/A1 Specifications for final tool•O4/A2 Final tool support materials•O4/A3 Delivering the final tool•IO5 Dissemination and implementation•O5/A1 Identification of extended user test base•O5/A2 Train the trainers at a global event•O5/A3 Minor updating of material•O5/A3 Local trainingThe anticipated results of this project are a multi-dimensional mapping tool to allow students to map their skills, abilities and interests to specific fields within the STEM area, and to access individual profiles of practitioners in these fields. Short Term Impact will be demonstrated through the number of users and self-reported satisfaction with the output of the matching tool. Longer Term Impacts could be facilitated by longitudinal study of users of the tool and happiness/ success as users/ practitioners. The key long term benefit envisaged is better matching of individuals with suitable careers areas, increased diversity within STEM and creation of a centralised resource that could be used by stakeholders.
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