DS 110: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2021), VIA Design, VIA University in Herning, Denmark. 9th -10th September 2021

Year: 2021
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Howell, Bryan F.; Westwood, Judith; Fuller, Becky; Jackson, Asa; Rawlings, Rebekah; Hill, Michaela
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Brigham Young University, United States of America
Section: Addressing Ethical and Social Issues in Design Education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.92
ISBN: 978-1-912254-14-9


Solitary women students participating in male majority design and development teams often experience inadvertent stereotype threat. This paper explores the educational experience of undergraduate women participating in both majority male and majority female teams and how stereotype threat influences their educational experience. A 23-question survey distributed to thirty-eight female undergraduate students explores their experiences in both majority male and female group work. The results indicate women have an increased learning experience when participating in female majority teams. They experience increased decision-making and management responsibilities, experience more effective communication and influence, and feel ownership of projects and technical tasks. Participation on a majority female team amplifies positive emotional attributes and self-perception and increases courage, confidence, subject knowledge, and disciplinary cultural fit. To improve the learning experiences for all students, Design and Engineering educators should understand how to identify stereotype behaviour. This paper provides stereotype questions and topics to talk about with students and promotes a 60/40 gender composition when educators form project teams, thus improving students overall learning experiences.

Keywords: Women Design Teams, Industrial Design Projects, Project Team Creation, Stereotype Threat in Education


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