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Early Women Engineering Graduates from Scottish Universities

Baker, Nina (2005) Early Women Engineering Graduates from Scottish Universities. In: 4th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education, 2005-08-31 - 2005-09-03. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Although women were admitted to Scottish Universities at the end of the 19th Century, they did not start to take engineering courses until the early 20th Century. Data was sought from the older Scottish Universities (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen) for women graduating in engineering subjects. None of the universities' or engineering faculties' published histories mention women in engineering, whereas women medical and science students are generally better documented, so this synthesis of statistical data and case studies will be completely new. Pioneering women were taking engineering classes at the beginning of the 20th Century and the first woman to graduate from the University of Glasgow in an engineering subject did so in the very male-dominated field of Naval Architecture in 1926. The careers of some of the graduates are considered in terms of barriers and opportunities for women entering non-traditional work. All engineering faculties are experiencing falling student recruitment and claim to seek a more diverse entry. These data and case studies could be helpful in normalising the position of women in engineering.