IMAGERY AND GENDER IN CANADIAN ENGINEERING RECRUITMENT DOCUMENTS

Agnes d’Entremont, Kerry Greer, Katherine Lyon, Diana Demmers, Kaitlyn Wamsteeker

Abstract


Gender imbalance is a persistent issue
across Canadian engineering programs. Efforts have
been made to increase the enrolment of undergraduate
women in engineering, but reaching gender parity in
engineering has been an elusive goal. This research
examines program recruitment images and videos from
18 Canadian engineering university websites. Using
content analysis and thematic coding of video
transcriptions, we coded 440 unique images and 37
recruitment videos. We find that women students are
overrepresented in images and in videos, at rates higher
than we expect given their proportion within programs.
We compare the presentation of women and men across
several dimensions and identify key differences in
women’s representation in relevant settings, attire, and
in the kinds of learning experiences they emphasize in
videos. We conclude with suggestions for ways programs
can present a more neutral portrayal of women in
recruitment materials.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24908/pceea.v0i0.6471