It’s a fact: persistent gender stereotypes lead more women than men to experience low self-efficacy in engineering and technology fields. Resulting socially-induced individual obstacles, such as imposter syndrome and stereotype threat, may affect how women perceive and respond to institutional barriers commonplace in engineering departments such as underrepresentation, biases, alienating cultures, and opaque grading policies. The evidence on this topic is both anecdotal and data-driven. The speakers will present both, and reveal how college engineering programs can improve retention by dismantling the institutional barriers that disproportionately discourage talented women. This talk will introduce recommendations for mitigating individual and institutional obstacles to empower all members of the engineering community seeking to promote the inclusion and success of diverse students and recent graduates.
Sylvie DeLaHunt, a guidance, navigation, and control engineer and supervisor in the Air and Missile Defense Sector at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), advocates for cultural and process improvements through diversity and inclusion teams at APL and in professional societies. She received a Johns Hopkins Diversity Recognition Award and was president, diversity and inclusion chair, and Women’s History Month committee lead for the APL Women in Technology affinity group. Sylvie earned her B.S. (2014) and M.S. (2016) in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.
Kerri Phillips, manager of the Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (ISR&T) program area in the Force Projection Sector at APL, previously instructed at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She holds dual bachelor degrees in aerospace and mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from West Virginia University, and a master’s degree in systems engineering from JHU. Kerri discussed overcoming adversity for a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Diverse Podcast episode and TEDx talk.