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Due to the demographic change and the European discussion about a raising lack of experts the topic of “women in engineering” developed in a new dynamic way. It reached not only companies but education institutions as well.

The main aim of the working group on Gender and Diversity is to develop engineering education and engineering professions in a gender inclusive way, reflected by participation rates of women, retention rates of women, gender awareness among academic staff and satisfaction of women engineers in the workplace.

The Group focuses its work on identifying best practices to attract and retain female students in higher engineering education.

Actually the working group creates a session on Gender issues in Engineering Education for the SEFI conference 2009 and will continuously integrate questions of gender and diversity into the conferences and council meetings. The group is in contact with other working groups and works in synergy between the several topics up to a modern understanding of engineering education.

The working group identified four levels to be pursued in the upcoming years:

  • To contribute to a European network of female SEFI Members and systematically exchange on the before mentioned topics
  • Within the gender mainstreaming process including all working groups to find out about gender relevant cross-sectional topics. (e.g. with the working groups on ethics and engineering education research as well as with the editorial board of the European Journal of Engineering Education)
  • Within widening the diversity approach in engineering education concepts and especially in engineering education research regarding target oriented engineering education
  • And within appropriate cooperation with other European networks and public relations


Prof. Dr. Susanne Ihsen

Technical University of Munich
Munchen, Germany

Dr. Kacey Beddoes

UMass Lowell
Lowell, MA, United States

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