CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractPrevious studies argued that gender bias has an effect on the retention of female students in male-dominated academic programs. This study examined the prevalence of gender bias in construction education programs from different sources and the impact on students’ self-concept. Participants responded to a quantitative survey measuring gender bias, construction education self-concept, supportiveness of peers, and group identity. Results indicated that 87% of female students experienced gender bias in the previous year, which emanated significantly more often from male peers than from female peers, mentors or advisors, or professors. Gender bias had a direct impact on students’ self-concept, as did group identity. These findings suggest that interventions attempting to curtail gender bias in construction education programs should focus on male peers as their primary target and professors as a secondary target. Strategies to build group identity likely will improve students’ self-concept. This study contributes to the body of knowledge by exploring gender bias in construction degree programs and the impact of these experiences on student’s self-concept, and by providing evidence-based recommendations for fostering the inclusion of women in construction-related academic programs.



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