More Girls to Choose Engineering as a Major: Perspectives from "Honey Bees are Becoming Engineers" Project


2nd International Conference on Lifelong Education and Leadership for All (ICLEL), Liepaja, Latvia, 21 - 23 July 2016, pp.779-788 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Liepaja
  • Country: Latvia
  • Page Numbers: pp.779-788
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The situation of women in fields related to natural sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is one of the significant research topics of the 2000s. The main argument behind this agenda is that some professions traditionally considered to be suitable for women and some for men, due to gender stereotypes. It is also argued that provided the necessary social and economic conditions, women can accomplish as well as men do in mentioned fields. Engineering is one of these professions which is traditionally attributed to men. On the basis of these, the purpose of this study is to determine the factors that influence the choices of female students in high school as they choose engineering as a profession. The data set of this research is collected through a series of high school visits within the course of a project called Honey Bees are Becoming Engineers. We conducted surveys with 420 tenth grade female students in six high schools from selected cities of Turkey. As a result, we argue that female students do not choose to study engineering because of gendered prejudices and gendered stereotypes regarding engineering education and when their perspective change with a positive encouragement, they might consider choosing to engineer as a profession.