International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, Vol 2, No 1 (2010)

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Commitment to Graduate Studies and Careers in Science and Engineering: Examining Women's and Men’s Experiences

Tanya Darisi, Valerie J Davidson, Karen Korabik, Serge Desmarais


A comprehensive survey was conducted to assess departmental, interpersonal and attitudinal variables related to Canadian student experiences in science and engineering graduate programs. The present study uses a subset of the survey variables to examine the experiences of women and men graduate students and to identify relationships between contextual factors and four specific outcomes: intention to leave current program, intention to pursue a career in field of study, science/engineering self-efficacy and confidence in establishing a career in one’s field. Quantitative and qualitative results show that departmental climate and advisor support predicted student intentions, confidence and self-efficacy. Gender differences in self-efficacy and confidence were also found. 

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