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Special Issue:Gender and Intersectionality in Engineering
Published: 14-06-2019

Less of a minority in university education in engineering? An intersectional analysis of female and male students in Canada

University of Ottawa
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Ann Denis

School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, Professor Emerita
University of Ottawa
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Ruby Heap

Department of History Professor Emerita University of Ottawa
intersectionality university education gender Canada feminist

Abstract

While engineering remains a male dominated university program in the industrialized world, in Canada the proportion of women enrolled in undergraduate engineering education has risen in some universities. Furthermore, the percentage of undergraduate female students varies considerably among engineering sub-disciplines. Considering three selected Canadian universities, each with a relatively high proportion of women in undergraduate engineering programs, this interdisciplinary mixed methods study first explains the rationale for its methodology, namely, an intersectional gendered research design drawing on the perspectives of female and male students and faculty members in various engineering sub-disciplines, and of administrators in the engineering programs. We then provide a feminist intersectional overview of the students’ personal backgrounds and of student life. The article concludes by highlighting the contributions made by our feminist intersectional analysis toward gaining a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between gender and contextual variables such as university and type of program with various indicators of the background and experiences of students in selected Canadian undergraduate engineering programs. Questions for further research about women as a minority among university students are also identified.

How to Cite

Denis, A., & Heap, R. (2019). Less of a minority in university education in engineering? An intersectional analysis of female and male students in Canada. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 11(1), 41–54. Retrieved from https://genderandset.open.ac.uk/index.php/genderandset/article/view/586