EDUCATION FOR AND BY WOMEN ENGINEERS
As educational institutions, universities have a special responsibility to play a formative and exemplary role in shaping a society that enables women to pursue, as freely as men can, careers appropriate to their talents and inclinations. Universities must ensure that the principle of equal treatment for both men and women informs all levels of institutional decision-making(Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, 1986).
In this section, the education of women engineers is discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on encouraging women to advance to graduate studies and academic careers. We believe that both men and women, as well as the engineering profession itself will benefit from the changes proposed.
We examine the creation of comfortable environments for women faculty and students in the university community and in faculties of engineering in Chapter 7. Strategies to attract and retain women engineering students in undergraduate and graduate programs are proposed in Chapters 8 through 10. We address issues affecting women engineering faculty in Chapter 11 and propose changes to the engineering curriculum and program in Chapter 12.
At the CCWE public forums, we received more briefs concerning the education of engineers than any other issue. Deans, engineering faculty, male and female engineering students, and working women engineers recounted their experiences, described initiatives and recommended changes. Their progressive attitudes have resulted in several innovative programs (Appendix C).
Our recommendations have a primary goal: within five years, women will represent 25 to 35 percent of first-year engineering students, 20 percent of master's students, 10 percent of doctorate students and five percent of women faculty in engineering across Canada (Table 4).