A Wealth of Information

Penny Wirsing and Karen Horting share their closing thoughts on SWE's State of Women in Engineering issue.
Podcast: SWE Magazine's Annual Literature Review

Written by Penny Wirsing, F.SWE, FY19 SWE President and Karen Horting, CAE, Executive Director & CEO


SWE has once again taken on the enormous task of summarizing a year’s worth of broad-ranging, compelling, and timely research about women in engineering, presented in this issue of SWE Magazine. Now in its 17th installment, the literature review offers a summary and discussion of the most significant scientific research on women in engineering and STEM published in the past year, from almost 200 articles, conference papers, and books covering a variety of disciplines. Our literature review team looked at the most rigorous studies using the best scientific methods, as well as studies that offered new and important insights. The literature review authors also draw attention to areas of disagreement that future research needs to resolve, to neglected areas of inquiry where more research is needed, and to areas that have been the subject of research over time and where consensus has emerged.

Among the focus areas in this year’s State of Women in Engineering issue are the factors that lead men to become allies in gender diversity. The feature article “What Motivates Men to Champion Gender Diversity?” is followed by a review of the available literature on male allies promoting gender equality in the university and across various industries. This is certain to offer valuable insights and information.

We also take a careful look at diversity training, including a meta-analysis of more than 40 years of diversity training (yes, 40 years!) in the article “What Research Tells Us About Diversity Training.” A useful infographic is provided with key points gleaned from the wealth of information reviewed, as well as interviews with experts, including the lead author of the meta-analysis.

Additionally, we look at SWE’s gender bias in India study, which has been reported on in the Indian media and shared at the State of Women in Engineering presentation at WE18 in Minneapolis last fall.

Finally, we take a look at recent guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education and some of the concerns raised about the Title IX update.

We encourage you to become familiar with the wealth of information provided here. Our State of Women in Engineering issue is an important tool on the path of fulfilling the SWE mission and achieving a diverse engineering workforce. Thank you for your help in this endeavor.