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The evaluation and non-evaluation of recruitment initiatives
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This presentation takes its point of departure in the fact that most of the innumerable initiatives and projects aimed to recruit more girls into SET, both in different European countries and in the USA, normally are only evaluated regarding the immediate satisfaction of the participants. Little is known about which initiatives work towards the ultimate aim of increasing the percentage and number of women in SET in the long term perspective. This is due to several circumstances, for example non-measurable goals, the difficulty to measure long term effects, budgets which concentrate on activity rather than reflection, and the need to believe in the projects both from the part of the driving spirits and the financiers. However, the notion that initiatives seldom are evaluated in a robust way leads to two considerations, one practical and one provocative. The practical consideration concerns the feasibility of evaluating the long term effects of a single initiative. It calls for either more specific short term goals than participant satisfaction, goals which can be expected to be more predictive of long term effects, or the design of new evaluation methods when it comes to long term effects. The provocative consideration deals with the question whether and in that case to which degree the girls-into-SET initiatives actually may sustain the status quo when it comes to numbers of women in SET. If it, in fact, is SET and not women that need to change for SET to become more gender balanced, then the great number of initiatives, the long term effects of which we know very little about, may divert our focus from the much more difficult task of questioning more profoundly the SET values, perspectives and practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Gender Studies Educational Sciences
Research subject
Sociology of Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-182636OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-182636DiVA: diva2:560393
Gender and engineering
Available from: 2012-10-13 Created: 2012-10-13 Last updated: 2012-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Salminen-Karlsson, Minna
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