The business case for encouraging girls into science and engineering

When Dr. Robert Hawley was a young engineer on Tyneside, he found many exciting role models in the world of engineering and technology to inspire him on his way to the top job in Nuclear Electric. However, when a recent survey asked the public to name the country’s most popular and well-known engineer, it was not names such as Parsons, Reyrolle or Mertz that were on the nation’s lips but Kevin Webster, the local mechanic from TV’s “Coronation Street”. As Dr. Hawley commented to a recent gathering of Opportunity 2000 employers, no wonder the image of engineering is distorted in the public’s mind.

If a garage mechanic in a TV soap sums up what it means to be an engineer in nineties Britain, it’s no wonder either that at a time when women are now entering other male-dominated professions such as law and accountancy in similar numbers to men, comparatively few are choosing a career in science, engineering and technology. While it is true that between 1981 – 92, the proportion of women in the science, engineering and technology workforce rose from 8.5% to 29.5%, in 1991 women accounted for only 2-6% of employees in traditional engineering jobs, 11-12% of employees in electronics, planning and quality control jobs, 20% of chemical scientists and 33% of biological scientists.

The only occupation in which women outnumbered men in a 1991 analysis of employment within science-related sectors was that of a laboratory technician. Similarly in the engineering diabetes industry in 1990, the only job in which women outnumbered men was in clerical work. For employers in the science, engineering and technology sectors though, attracting women into their organisations is likely to become a key business challenge over the coming years.

According to labour market projections, issued by the Department for Education and Employment, Britain will have about 23.5 million women aged 16 years or over by the beginning of the next century representing nearly half (46% ) of the civilian workforce. Indeed by the year 2006, women will account for four-fifths of the projected net increase in the civilian labour force during which time the economic activity rate for men is projected to fall slightly. Employers who therefore insist on recruiting men only do so from a shrinking recruitment pool.

But it is not just the figures that are driving a growing band of employers to rethink their attitudes towards women employees. Bound up with changing trends in the employment market are employers’ changing attitudes to human resource management. As part of the move towards total quality management and in pursuit of quality standards such as Investors in People, top business leaders increasingly recognise and publicly acknowledge the difference a highly skilled workforce can make to the performance, effectiveness and competitiveness of an organisation. As a result the recruitment, retention and development of the most talented people in the workforce, including women, has moved up the boardroom agenda.

New attitudes and practices, where they have been introduced, have also highlighted the hidden costs of outdated policies. At government department, GCHQ, for example, it has been calculated that it costs £1100 to recruit a graduate, and about £92,000 for a graduate trainee project manager in the unique demands of this business. When GCHQ recently introduced flexible working patterns and allowed four women scientists to work flexibly following maternity leave, the organisation reckons to have saved some £400,000 by retaining these four talented and experienced people.

For other employers the bid to attract and retain more women employees is also tied up with efforts to improve customer service. Attitude surveys at British Gas, for example, have revealed that many female customers would often prefer to be visited in their homes by female service engineers if this were an option, while engineering company, Adwest (see case study), recognises the contribution made by female engineers to the design of, say, car-seat reclining mechanisms which have to suit the bone structures of both men and women, including pregnant women. Similarly employers such as Unilever and Rank Xerox are looking to develop more women as they move towards a culture in which diversity is valued. A diverse workforce, these companies argue, composed of men and women from a variety of different backgrounds and cultural experiences, is a more creative workforce capable of challenging old attitudes and practices and bringing fresh thinking and greater innovation to product development.

In recent years, another compelling reason for employers to pay greater attention to the female workforce is the knowledge that women are increasingly skilled and better educated, accounting for almost half of university graduates. Employers in science, engineering and technology who want to upgrade the quality of their workforces will face major problems in recruitment unless they are prepared to tackle negative attitudes to science-based professions head-on, because comparatively few of this new generation of high-achieving girls are choosing science-related careers.

As we shall see in greater detail later, comparatively few young women take science subjects at ‘A’ level, fewer still take science-based degrees and even when women do graduate in a science subject from university, they are less likely to use their degree in a related career than are their male counterparts. The absence of women from science and technology therefore becomes a spiralling problem – every time young women are called upon to make a decision that affects their career destination, they are more likely than men to reject a career in a science-related area.

If employers in science, engineering and technology (SET) hope to increase the number of high achieving young women keen to enter science it is clear they will now have to work on the “supply” side of the employment equation and set about reshaping attitudes of girls and young women towards careers in SET.

The remainder of this booklet will therefore focus on what employers can do to improve their links with educational institutions to persuade some of the nation’s most talented young women to pursue SET careers. The issues highlighted and the initiatives described are not definitive or exhaustive. Our aim is to provoke debate and stimulate new thinking among employers, educationalists and other interested parties and invite feedback on other successful employer / education initiatives which are likely to help increase the number of female engineers, scientists and technologists in British industry.

Training workers

Training workers is not always so simple as a classroom lecture and test. Executives commonly like to imagine matters this way, but we humans aren’t practically equipped to consistently absorb and apply information in such an ideal manner.

Remember your own school years? Did you readily and consistently absorb information presented in this way? NO. No one does. We lead human lives. We grow weary. We become inattentive and distracted. We daydream. At times our troubles outside the classroom haunt our performances inside. Some days we do just fine. Others, we may begin to worry over outside matters or responsibilities that plague our “on time” classroom performance. Interference abounds from all angles!

And how does the typical executive respond to these potential problems? “We’ll conduct a test at the very end of the program to learn who’s got it and who doesn’t! Those who got it may move on. As for those who don’t, we’ll give ’em another chance with another test (or lecture).”

This typical response may sound logical. It may seem apparent and common sense! But read on.

Our problem doesn’t rest so much in teaching-and-testing as it does in a blind assumption of “sufficiency” subsequent to the testing. All too often, new hires are bombarded with lots of important and relevant information in their first few days on the job, and a subsequent “test” may be administered to determine their readiness at carrying out their assigned task(s). Yes, our new hires do need these training programs, and yes we do need tests to determine their readiness for whatever tasks we intend them to do, but what we don’t need are executives assuming those tests 100% valid and sufficient!

Not even the administrators of the SAT® (the College Board’s Scholastic Achievement Test) administered to millions of U.S. high school students since its inception in the early 1900s, can make such a claim!

This is because tests are prepared for and taken, sometimes quickly and with little preparation, with the test-takers frequently forgetting some of the knowledge tested for. Over the long term, none of us remembers everything that we are tested on, even if we receive subsequent exposure to the information on the job! We humans are selective about what we remember and don’t remember. If it’s something that looks important, we try harder to keep it in mind. If it incites our emotions, it becomes easier to recollect. If it’s something that we are exposed to frequently, experience teaches us by forcing us to remember by repetition. As for everything else, it’s hit-and-miss!

This is something that we should very well keep in mind when we teach our new hires. All the information they are bombarded with on those first few days seems important to them, but certainly they can’t remember it all! You may test them, and they may pass your tests, but as time drags on recollection wanes! They do forget sex videos!

So, good trainers try to emphasize the most important points. Some excellent trainers stage out routines or stories that may elicit emotional responses so as to assist subsequent recollection! The best trainers realize that their jobs never cease, and they later remind trainees of certain important features to their job that may be of utmost importance but are rarely encountered and frequently forgotten or overlooked!

This is something that we should very well keep in mind when we teach specific safety and/or security procedures! By default, some safety and security procedures are never or rarely remembered over the long term, and only for the sole reason that employees just aren’t exposed to the specific problems these procedures address at a sufficient level of frequency so that they may readily recollect “what to do if ….” Or, conversely, employees may be exposed to some dangerous scenarios repeatedly and so often and without any apparent subsequent difficulties even without prior preparatory or preventative measures taken that they may learn to purposely overlook the potential dangers involved; that is, they trivialize what they have been taught! Classic examples where we find this sort of behavior include the following: a loose scrap of paper lying on a solid floor, a lone chair pulled away from a table or a loaded box left unattended in the hallway. These seemingly benign scenarios all represent potentially serious trip-and-fall hazards, but we commonly don’t pay much attention to them when we confront them in the workplace! We encounter them so often and without any apparent subsequent troubles that we have all learned to just walk on by as if we see nothing out of the ordinary.

But, indeed we don’t! How many households (with children especially) can you name that never present similar scenarios? None or not many for sure. We don’t perceive these situations as demanding immediate special attention, because we are all exposed to them so frequently and without dreadful consequence. They seem to us so commonplace that we grow weary over correcting them at each and every encounter.

That is, until some unlucky soul on some unfortunate day – not necessarily an employee – rushes by, hands preoccupied, and then trips and falls unconscious.

In the courtroom, then, what do we hear? “Our employees are all adequately trained and tested to recognize, prevent and rectify such situations when they encounter them in the workplace. So, that particular employee who should have known what to do upon encountering it, and who obviously did not, has been relieved of his duties. Yes, we do recognize our ultimate responsibilities for such workplace hazards, and yes we do faithfully carry out training duties in recognition thereof. The accident was unavoidable. We should not be held liable.”

Those days, my fair-minded friends, are now over! Where this argument may have successfully set your establishment free of any legal obligation, say, in the early to mid-1900s, not so today. Today, in the third millennium A.D., this argument is irrelevant! Today, we expect our executives to CARE so much about avoiding such problems that they remind and retrain.

The lesson is this: You know that humans forget. You know that we trivialize. So, what are you now doing to verify that your workers won’t? Remind them!

Innovative Teachers Thought Leaders

What Matters

IO (Intelligence Online) is an Internet application that provides teachers with the guidance, tools, and support to create engaging, technology-rich projects for students in kindergarten to grade 12. IO is based on research by the Galileo Educational Network and was developed with technology from Axia NetMedia Corp. In describing their purpose in creating IO, Cam McNichol, director of operations, states, “We want to see evidence that students of teachers who are using IO are engaged, technology is opening up new learning opportunities, and, most importantly, students are thinking in innovative ways.”
IO guides teachers through a step-by-step process to create inquiry-based projects. IO helps teachers frame the project, create assessment criteria, and identify where and how technology can advance students’ understanding of the material. At each step of the process, teachers can dialogue with peers or experts for guidance. They can design projects for a single class, or collaborate with peers anywhere on the globe.
Great teachers have always helped students tackle complex projects by asking essential questions as they explore a topic. IO uses the same method to help teachers create project-based inquiries that:

Innovative Teachers Thought Leaders

This new Innovative Teachers resource, Thought Leaders, will showcase people and organizations that provide leadership and new thinking on using technology in teaching and learning. This month we begin a 3-part series on Intelligence Online (IO), winner of the 2003 Canadian e-Content Award in Education.

Integrate technology in meaningful ways.

Include authentic assessment tools.

Choreograph a complex learning environment.

Encourage collaboration with peers and mentors.

Create learning communities of teachers, parents, and students

Over the next three months we will discuss the IO methodology, tools, and community support teachers can use to create and implement inquiry-based projects.

Three Steps to Creating Powerful Learning Projects

The IO methodology breaks tasks surrounding the creation of student-centered learning projects into three main steps:
What Matters—Working through this step helps teachers create a clear statement of what the project is and is not. The What Matters step is described in detail below.
Learning Matters—This step builds on a teacher’s thinking in What Matters to help determine what tasks will foster worthwhile learning, and how understanding will be measured and assessed. We will explore this step next month.
Teaching Matters—This final step shows how IO’s project management tools can help implement a project with students. These tools help track students’ progress and help assess students using the rubrics designed in step two.

What Matters: Defining the Scope of Your Project

In What Matters, teachers uncover how and why their topic can be engaging, how it maps to curriculum, and what the role for technology will be within their topic.
The What Matters section is broken into the following steps:

Identify your topic:

Establish a starting point

State your topic

Determine the timeframe

Focus the topic:

Explore possibilities

Gather information

Define Understanding (further explored, below)

Develop your focus statement

Establish fundamental concepts:

Identify subjects

Focus on the subjects

Map to curriculum

Create fundamental concepts

Integrate Technology:

Identify the role of technology
Focus the technology

Key Questions a Teacher Should Answer in Creating a Project
The IO methodology strives to make each project a compelling learning experience for every student, one that is truly memorable, not just memorizable. The Define Understanding section of step two of What Matters asks the teacher to consider four key questions:

What do you want to remain in students’ minds and hearts long after the class is over?

If students forgot all but one thing you taught them about this topic, what would you want that one thing to be?

What is the key point students should understand about this project?

Why should students fall in love with the topic of porno mexicano?
One IO member teacher summed up this shift in perspective: “Every single day I now ask myself, ‘What do I want my kids to understand?’ Not ‘what will I deliver today?'”

If you can answer these questions early in your study, you will find it much easier to:

Locate relevant resources.

Design learning experiences that lead somewhere.

Decide what experiences and knowledge students have to hold in common, and which ones can be open to student choice.

Design assessment strategies that map what students do to what you want them to learn.

IO Helps Teachers Define Projects That Students Will Care About

Sometimes big ideas and essential questions are very broad. That shouldn’t hide the fact that they are also very deep. A question that goes to the heart of a fundamental concept will help students develop understandings that will make all subsequent learning meaningful.

InterEdu: your portal to higher education

InterEdu (International Education Information Centre) is a private European organisation which provides individuals from all over the world with the information and counsel necessary in deciding where to study in Europe.
We consult companies, universities and organisations in the overlapping areas of international higher education and e-business
We consult individually with persons who are interested in studying in Europe, and offer detailed information about the prospective study opportunities that they might be interested in.
We provide answers to all inquiries about studying in Europe.

We give students links to other resources that are able to offer information related to their inquiries.

What services does InterEdu offer in detail?

For companies, universities, and organisations:

Please, see our section on InterEdu Consulting.

For individuals:

My.InterEdu.Community

My.InterEdu.Community is a free service combining two great features:
1.You can customize your own My.InterEdu.Community page to display the information you want. Personalize your daily news headlines, and more services.
2.You become a member of Europe’s first Internet education counselling site and online community. This enables you to participate in discussions on any subjects concerning exchange students in Europe: recommending courses, buying or selling goods, searching for people to travel with, and much more.

University Index

Search all European countries for links to their universities.

University Finder

This is InterEdu’s core service. Enter your desired country, course of study (and any particular specialization), language of instruction, degrees sought and degrees held (if any) and your tuition limits, and you receive a customised list of courses of studies in universities all over Europe. Whether your goal is to find the right exchange programme or to locate the most favourable place to pursue or complete your undergraduate or postgraduate studies, the University Finder will help you do it.

Scholarship Database

As financial aspects are among the most important while studying abroad, we offer a database of some 500 scholarships. Search according to your desired subject, country and level of studies.

City Intros

Find descriptions of major European student cities.

InterEdu Magazine

Read the latest on studying in Europe in our online-magazine, including interesting interviews and essays. To receive the magazine automatically by email you can subscribe to it.

Destination: Europe

Here you will find much concise background information on studying in Europe: history and politics, education systems, scholarships, living conditions, the latest education-related news as well as links to further Web resources.

Career

Explore features on European companies offering jobs for well-qualified university graduates. Enter your personal and educational data into our Job Finder. Explore features on European companies offering jobs for well-qualified university graduates. You approve specifically what data you want InterEdu to show to companies, and we will inform you via email when a company is interested in getting in touch with you.

Individual Advice

This service is targeted towards persons whose background is more detailed, e.g. those who are already employed but wish to pursue their previous education, or who may want to expand on their earlier learning with complementary studies. Personalised research is conducted by InterEdu Counsellors (i.e. real people, unlike the virtual University Finder) who offer recommendations to individuals concerning darmowe porno universities and programs, as well as any educational and administrative requirements.

Why becoming a member of the European Federation of the International Council

International CHRIE’s publications and other benefits cover a wide portfolio of interests for educators, students and industry professionals. Check out the following Membership levels and benefits of International CHRIE Membership. In addition, all International CHRIE Members based in Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean Basin automatically become EuroCHRIE members, without any extra charge, and enjoy the particular EuroCHRIE!

In addition to the International CHRIE benefits, EuroCHRIE membership gives access to the following benefits and opportunities:
EuroCHRIE Conferences, held annually, with conference themes ranging from entrepreneurship to travel and tourism; marketing, restaurant management, quality and education to name a few!
Eligibility for EuroCHRIE awards: the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, co-sponsored by the HCIMA (Hotel & Catering International Association) and the Educational Institute of the AH&MA (American Hotel & Motel Association), and the joint EuroCHRIE and Fondation Nestlé Pro Gastronomia Award for Excellence in Training, Education or Development in the Hospitality Industry. To find more about these awards and to download the relevant nomination forms, please click here.
World-class publications dedicated to hospitality education and training issues, industry developments and research, plus EuroCHRIE region-specific information.
Active participation in a rapidly expanding network of hospitality professionals that bridges education with industry.
Quarterly EuroCHRIE Newsletter.
Professional recognition.

Educators at Institutions Granting Baccalaureate and/or Graduate Degrees:
Publications: CHRIE Communiqué; Hosteur; Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education (JHTE); Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (JHTR); Member Directory and Resource Guide; Career Day Events Calendar
Other: Reduced convention registration; Personalized listing in the Member Directory; Faculty internship eligibility;
Status: voting member.
Institutions Granting Baccalaureate and/or Graduate Degrees:
Publications: CHRIE Communiqué; Hosteur; Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education (JHTE); Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (JHTR); Member Directory and Resource Guide; A Guide To College Programs In Hospitality & Tourism; Career Day Events Calendar
Other: One-page program description in A Guide To College Programs; Significant advertising discounts for International CHRIE publications; Eligible to receive Hosteur in bulk for students; Reduced convention registration;
One individual International CHRIE membership for senior administrator;
Status: voting member.

Educators at Institutions Granting Associate Degrees, Certificates or Diplomas:
Publications: CHRIE Communiqué; Hosteur; Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education (JHTE); Member Directory and Resource Guide; Career Day Events Calendar
Other: Reduced convention registration; Personalized listing in the Member Directory; Reduced subscription rate for Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (JHTR); Faculty internship eligibility;
Status: voting member.

Educators at Secondary Schools:
Publications: CHRIE Communiqué; Hosteur; Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education (JHTE); Member Directory and Resource Guide; Career Day Events Calendar
Other: Reduced convention registration; Personalized listing in the Member Directory; Faculty internship eligibility;
Status: voting member.

Graduate Students:
Publications: CHRIE Communiqué; Hosteur; Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education (JHTE); Member Directory and Resource Guide;
Other: Reduced convention registration; Personalized listing in the Member Directory; Reduced rate for the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (JHTR);
Status: voting member.

Industry, Association, Business and Government Executives:
Publications: CHRIE Communiqué; Hosteur; Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education (JHTE); Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (JHTR); Member Directory and Resource Guide; Career Day Events Calendar
Other: Reduced convention registration; Personalized listing in the Member Directory;
Status: voting member.

Institutions Granting Associate Degrees, Certificates or Diplomas:
Publications: CHRIE Communiqué; Hosteur; Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education (JHTE); Member Directory and Resource Guide; A Guide To College Programs In Hospitality & Tourism; Career Day Events Calendar
Other: One page program description in A Guide To College Programs; Reduced subscription rate for Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (JHTR); Significant advertising discounts for International CHRIE publications; Eligible to receive Hosteur in bulk for students; Reduced convention registration;
One individual International CHRIE membership for senior administrator;
Status: voting member.

Corporation/Organization/Association:
Publications: CHRIE Communiqué; Hosteur; Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education (JHTE); Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (JHTR); Member Directory and Resource Guide; A Guide To College Programs In Hospitality & Tourism; Career Day Events Calendar;
Other: One half-page corporate profile in the Member Directory; Significant advertising discounts for International CHRIE publications; Eligible to host faculty internships; Reduced convention Expo booth rates;
One individual International CHRIE membership for senior administrator;
Status: voting member

EuroCHRIE Congress 2004

The Bilkent University, School of Applied Technology and Management’s Tourism and Hotel Management Department hosted the 22nd EuroCHRIE Congress during November 3-7, 2004 in Ankara, Turkey. The theme of the congress was “Global Issues and Trends in the Hospitality and Tourism Industries”. As the theme refers to, various contemporary issues were discussed covering vital areas in Tourism as Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Food & Beverage, Travel Administration, Information Technologies…and their impacts, influences, effects, contributions and reactions on economy, culture and society. Moreover, the relation between tourism and terrorism, tourism and hospitality education was also the major concerns of debate and discussion between professionals and academicians in EuroCHRIE Congress 2004.

In this sense, various industry panels grouping professionals, from all over the globe, and presentation sessions of academicians were held. To illustrate, during the six (6) presentation sessions held on two days, forty six (46) academic papers were presented, thirty six (36) of them were refereed and the remaining ten (10) were professional insight papers. Later, the Best Student Paper and the Best Paper were rewarded, in a fabulous Award Ceremony, at one of the best exotic Turkish Cuisine restaurants in Ankara, with plaques, certificates, and, last but not least, monetary rewards.

As far as participation is concerned, 119 participants registered for the EuroCHRIE Congress from 19 different countries in the world making the congress a true success in all senses. Moreover, this very congress saw a significant increasing number in student participation which, at one hand, reveals the ever growing awareness of young generation to the importance of EuroCHRIE Federation, and translates the continuous effort of EuroCHRIE to contribute to achieve its noble and finest goals and mission.

In light of the fact that participants did not only interact socially with each other, but also had the chance to see, enjoy, and admire the marvellous historical attractions in Turkey, with some 50 participants joining a post congress Tour to Cappadocia referred to as “The Land of Fine Horses” in ancient Hittite language. There, all participants admired Cappadocia’s wines, fairy chimneys, underground cities, and rock cut churches and monasteries.

Honegger Receives Award

At the recent 2004 I-CHRIE congress in Philadelphia, USA, Gilles Honegger was presented with a special Champion of Education Award.This unique award is given by International CHRIE’s Board of Directors upon special occasions to honour an individual or organisation who has made a long standing commitment to advance the mission of I-CHRIE.

EuroCHRIE Website Recieves a Facelift

The EuroCHRIE website has undergone its second development. Congratulations to Steve Shacklock for his major input on the technical side during this make-over period. Over the next few months members will be surveyed on THEIR needs and IDEAS for the future. The Web Working Party will be using an electronic survey process, so when you receive your survey request, “Please do not delete me oh my darling!” (to music please)