GENDER ANALYSIS OF PROFESSIONAL POTENTIAL OF FUTURE ENGINEERS

  • The authors:
    Lyudmila N. Bannikova
    Elena V. Kemmet
  • Issue: July 24-26th, 2019
  • Pages: 172-178
  • Section: SOCIAL CAPITAL AND PRESTIGE OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
  • URL: http://conference-ifl.rudn.ru/172-178/
  • DOI:
    10.22363/09669-2019-172-178

Abstract. The article is relevant as it raisesthe issue of the importance of
attracting women to science, technology, engineering and mathematics
(STEM).
The main goal of the research is to identify the gender asymmetry in
professional socialization of future engineers in the educational field.
Gender asymmetry in professional roles starts with choosing a training
program for preschoolers, a learning profile at school, and later a
professional training program. The success of professional socialization
among women engineers is less connected with the specific character of the
professional field of engineering, than with the preservation of gender-role
stereotypes.
The resource approach used in the sociology of young adults became the
methodological basis of the study. The authors conducted a comparative
analysis of the professional potential of future engineers, as the volume of
various personal opportunities, in three aspects: they evaluated the
motivation of the realized choice of the educational institution, revealed the
perception of the status of the profession they are trained in and evaluated
the students’ plans for the near future. Along with the temporal direction of
the analysis, a comparative analysis of the professional potential of girls
studying at different levels of STEM-programs (bachelors and masters) was
conducted. Such a “vertical” aspect of the analysis allowed us to fix the
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DOI: 10.22363/09669-2019-172-178
increase in “gender resilience” and girls’ confidence in their choice of
engineering career.
To identify the gender features of the process of professional socialization
among students of engineering programs, the research group conducted a
number of field studies in the period of 2014-2018:
1) the semi-formalized interviews with applicants who had chosen
engineering training programs;
2) the survey among the students of Bachelor and Master’s degree programs
in the STEM areas of training after their entering the university;
3) the secondary analysis of materials of the seventh stage of sociological
monitoring among the students of the Ural region.
The analysis of the interview materials showed that women’s choice of an
engineering profession begins at the stage of choosing a specific physical
and mathematical direction of schooling. Training in such specialized
classes increases the confidence of girls in their ability to master a laborious
engineering program. Moreover, the successful completion of the STEM
educational program adjusts the professional plans of graduates. The
confidence in their own abilities and opportunity to master complex
engineering educational programs grows; the decision to self-develop in
engineering field strengthens.
Our analysis showed that the influence of gender stereotypes is the most
pronounced at “entrance” to the educational field and on “exit” from this
professional field, when students assess the prospects and problems of their
future employment, professional plans and expectations.
Keywords: engineering education, professional socialization, gender,
women, professional potential

Lyudmila N. Bannikova1, Elena V. Kemmet2
1
The Institute of Public Administration and Entrepreneurship,
Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia,
e-mail: l.n.bannikova@urfu.ru
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-5199-678X
2
Senior Lecturer, The Institute of Public Administration and
Entrepreneurship, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia,
e-mail: Elena.Kemmet@gmail.com

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