Dear 100 Hour Board,
Dr. Cuddy visited this week for the forum, and as I was looking at her research, I read a little about the gender grade gap.
As I was reading about these gaps I thought about programs like mechanical engineering that are stereotypically male fields and I wondered about how the percentage of women who applied and were actually accepted into the ME program compared to the percentage of the guys who applied and were admitted.
Also I wondered about how the average grades of women compared to the mens once they were both actually in the major. I don’t know if they would actually share that information, but do you think that’s something they even care to record and look at?
I have contacted the mechanical engineering department and have yet to hear back from them. I will let you know if I hear back from them, but in the mean time, I would like to address as much of your question as I can.
I don't know what the acceptance percentages are, but I do know that the acceptance criteria is strictly based on GPA in prerequisite classes so I would imagine that it's pretty even across the board.
I don't know if the ME department keeps statistics based on gender for students after acceptance into the program, but I'm pretty sure they won't share that information with us because of FERPA. I would imagine that they do some sort of statistical analysis because:
1. That's what engineers do
2. I know many of the professors in the department and in the department leadership and they care so much about the students in the program. I'm sure that much can be done to improve the culture in the Mechanical Engineering program, but I know that the department tries hard to make sure the women in the department feel welcome and have all the tools to succeed.
Based on my experience in the program, I would expect that the women in the ME program do as well or better than the men. Some of my study partners are women and they are amazing, intelligent, and on top of things. They've helped me out so much in my classes and I think its a shame that we don't have more women in the program.
Anyways, I think I deviated from the question for a bit so here's the tldr version. Maybe they keep track of that info, and if they share it with me i'll let you know, but I imagined that they do as well as the name. I hope this helps.