Women engineers host seminar

January 30, 2014


Ian Edwards
Staff Reporter


The Society of Women Engineers sponsored a brief seminar last Wednesday night on the dangers of gender bias and general stereotypes and how to overcome them.


Jenna Carpenter, associate dean of undergraduate studies and speaker for the night, said the aim was to educate the attendees.


“This is an event the Society of Women Engineers hosts once every year,” Carpenter said. “One of the reasons we do this workshop is to help people understand what’s going on, and subsequently, people who are educated about it tend to do less of it.”


In her speech, Carpenter said female students are prone to gauge their successes in “typically male” subjects such as math and science on how many A’s they make and have a higher likelihood of dropping a math or science class even if they have a B.


“To say ‘boys are better in math’ in front of a little girl for a prolonged period of time will have an effect similar to that of rival football teams who trash talk each other before a big game,” she said. “Eventually, their self-confidence will break down.”


Karly Hooper, a freshman biomedical engineering major said she had experienced the inequalities Carpenter addressed in the seminar.


“Ever since I can remember, I’ve been in various gifted programs,” Hooper said. “In high school, I was the only girl in the program, and when I tried to invite some of my friends, who are very smart, one specifically told me ‘No, I don’t think I’d be good enough.’”


Hooper said she learned many different tips about the professional world while attending the seminar.


“I’ve had involvement with different leadership positions in the past,” she said. “Back then, I sort of had this feeling like I did not fulfill my positions to the best of my abilities, but thanks to Dr. Carpenter informing me about the things that go on in the back of your co-worker’s minds, I feel a little better about the job I did.”


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