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Career Goals and Decisions: An Intersectionality Appproach

Abstract: This project explores the career paths to date of seven graduates of the University of Waterloo’s Mechanical Engineering program, and examines the influences that led them to choose their university program. I particularly considered the participants’ status as members of underrepresented or overrepresented groups, using the contexts of the history of the profession of Mechanical Engineering and prior research on underrepresentation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. I used semi-structured interviews and an intersectionality framework to investigate aspects of identity, interests, and career influences. I found three key themes among the participants: human influences, including information sources, role models, and mentors; influences of educational and outreach activities; and personal interests and aptitudes. I use the uncovered themes to recommend a combination of future studies and outreach programs.

Author: Emma Bardon

Source: University of Toronto - TSpace

Size: 793.26 KB
Last Updated: August 4, 2015