It's not just for boys

Valerie Allen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


    Against an historical background of sexual inequality in the workplace engineering persists as a bastion of inequality in the 21st century. This research examines the perceptions of engineering of 86 students, who chose to study the new Level 2 Engineering Diploma at age 14. The students were based in the South West of Birmingham, close to the MG Rover Longbridge plant that closed in 2005. The results have been compared with the results of the EngineeringUK survey (EngineeringUK,2012) on perceptions of Engineering. The survey involved 5 schools - one all girls' school. Nearly a third of the students were girls. The study provides an insight into how these students acquired their perceptions of Engineering and provides clarity as to why they were attracted to join the programme at age 14. A key aspect of this study is to understand why these girls did choose and stay with the study of engineering, whilst most do not despite performing as well as boys in Maths and Science at GCSE level. Informed by the outcomes of this study the paper identifies key areas where work can be done to change teachers, parents and pupils perceptions and enable more females to recognise the possibility of both studying and working in an engineering field.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConference proceedings for EE2012
    Subtitle of host publicationinnovation, practice and research in engineering education
    PublisherHigher Education Academy
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)978-1-907632-16-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventInternational conference on innovation, practice and research in Engineering Education - Coventry, United Kingdom
    Duration: 18 Sept 201220 Sept 2012


    ConferenceInternational conference on innovation, practice and research in Engineering Education
    Abbreviated titleEE 2012
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © September 2012, authors as listed at the start of this paper. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No
    Derivs 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).


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