A Data-driven Approach To Understanding Gender Disparities In Nuclear Engineering

Katherine M. Bachner - Brookhaven National Laboratory
Steve Amundson - Brookhaven National Laboratory
Odera Dim - Brookhaven National Laboratory
Payton Bartz - Brookhaven National Laboratory
Leon Ratz - Nuclear Threat Initiative
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Nuclear engineering is an important educational and professional component of many key initiatives of the U.S., including energy and environmental security, and nuclear non-proliferation. While the gender and diversity gaps may appear to be lessening somewhat in the general nuclear policy sphere, the data on degrees conferred in recent years from major technical nuclear engineering programs shows that there is still a major gap. This puts many initiatives at a disadvantage, as cognitive diversity, plentiful where gender and ethnic diversity thrive, can help teams get to better solutions, with less interference from ‘group think’. Many of the same gender gap issues seem to also exist in related STEM areas (electrical engineering, nuclear physics, applied mathematics, etc.) This project uses quantitative survey results to analyze potential contributing factors to this ongoing disparity.