Paving the way and passing the torch: mentors' motivation and experience of supporting women in optical engineering

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Title: Paving the way and passing the torch: mentors' motivation and experience of supporting women in optical engineering
Authors: Kodate, Naonori
Kodate, Kashiko
Kodate, Takako
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/5504
Date: 20-Mar-2014
Abstract: The phenomenon of women's underrepresentation in engineering is well known. However, the slow progress in achieving better gender equality here compared with other domains has accentuated the 'numbers' issue, while the quality aspects have been largely ignored. This study aims to shed light on both these aspects via the lens of mentors, who are at the coalface of guiding female engineers through their education and subsequent careers. Based on data collected from 25 mentors (8 men and 17 women from 8 countries), the paper explores their experiences of being mentors, as well as their views on recommended actions for nurturing female engineers. The findings reveal that the primary motivation for becoming a mentor was personal for men and women. Many mentors from countries with relatively lower female labour participation rates perceive their roles as guarantors of their mentees' successful future career paths, and a similar trend can be found in mentors in academia. The study underscores the need for invigorating mentors’ roles in order to secure a more equitable future for engineering education.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright (published version): 2014 Taylor & Francis
Keywords: Engineering education;Optical engineering;Cultures and institutions;Gender equality;Mentors;Leadership
DOI: 10.1080/03043797.2014.899323
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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