Exploring Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Engineering Undergraduate Experiences through Autoethnography

 

The following is the abstract and a link to download our paper which was presented at the 2019 American Society for Engineering Education CoNECD conference, April 15th 2019. CoNECD stands for The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity. The paper was written by myself, Ava Butler, Naya Pelzl, Michelle Bothwell, Devlin Montfort, and Qwo-Li Driskill. 

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Tips for Men on how to be Allies to Women in Engineering

This is a blog post myself and Rachel Tenney wrote for the Graduate Society of Women  Engineers blog. Check out the original post here.

Engineering is a male dominated field. There’s really no dispute about that. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 15.9% of employed engineering and architectural professionals are women. SWE and GradSWE are open to people of all genders – this includes men. Men, being in the majority, can play arguably an extremely important role in making engineering a discipline which is inclusive, welcoming, and celebrating of women and other underrepresented genders. Today, nearly 50% of women in engineering will experience sexual harassment by male peers – it will take male allies to bring this number to 0%.

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Towards a Gender Expansive Engineering – Part Two, Ideas and New Practices for Inclusion

The following is a blog post for the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) written by myself and Rachel Tenney. You can see it on the GradsWE blog here..

According to genderspectrum.org, “gender-expansive” has the following definition:

An umbrella term used for individuals that broaden their own culture’s commonly held definitions of gender, including expectations for its expression, identities, roles, and/or other perceived gender norms. Gender-expansive individuals include those with transgender and non-binary identities, as well as those whose gender in some way is seen to be stretching society’s notions of gender.

We offer a few ideas on how we can move forward in our work to be more gender expansive and gender inclusive.

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Towards a Gender Expansive Engineering – Part One, What’s the Gender Binary?

The following is a blog post for the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) written by myself and Rachel Tenney. You can see it on the GradsWE blog here..

Gender in engineering is an important and much-discussed topic. This might be why you are reading this blog. Organizations such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE) exist specifically due to the underrepresentation and marginalization of women in engineering. However, gender is much more broad than just a simple two-category dichotomy of men and women. We would like to be sure that in our efforts to increase gender inclusion and gender diversity in engineering that we are paying attention to those different from us – women with complicated relationships to gender and nonbinary (third-gender category or otherwise not men/women identified) engineers. This is why SWE is welcoming not only to those who identify as a woman, but to everyone on the gender spectrum – including male allies. This is why we find this to be an important topic to our inclusivity in GradSWE.

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The trouble of reinforcing gender difference for women in engineering

Raising up role models without addressing misogynist gender-in-engineering culture leaves the root causes of gender discrimination unchecked and off of the hook. Phipps believes that recruitment and role models alone will not challenge gender stereotypes and may actually increase the perceptions of gender based difference.

What is wrong with the mantra and identity of “women engineers” as opposed to “engineers”? Is there trouble in saying boldly and loudly – our gender matters? Yes, and no. It’s complicated. We should talk about it and look at the research!

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On Being Included (in Engineering)

Pulling from the work of Sara Ahmed, I reflect on what “diversity work” means in an institution and what I have learned from her 2012 book.

Readers and peers will know from the onset that I am a big fan of Sara Ahmed. Her books Queer Phenomenology and Living a Feminist Life are texts I return to again and again. My research, my role, my career has turned towards “diversity, equity, inclusion” as buzzwords that flutter around the spaces I engage in.

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