Globe and Mail Interviews Prof About Engineering and Gender

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Prof. Valerie Davidson was interviewed for a July 20 Globe and Mail story about new study findings that engineering program applicants sell themselves differently based on gender.

Analyzing more than 30,000 undergraduate applications over three years in the University of Waterloo’s engineering department, the study found that males were more likely to describe their technical skills and experience while women tended to talk about the future and a desire to find a career that would enable them to improve society.

Formerly holder of the Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, Davidson said more gender balance exists in biomedical and environmental engineering programs with more obvious connections to bettering health care or quality of life. She said the impact of overall engineering streams isn’t always properly communicated to the general public.

A professor in U of G’s Department of Engineering, Davidson studies food safety, computational intelligence and process control and decision support, and women in science and engineering.