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Mentoring East Asian Women Scientists and Engineers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting  152162792.(doi:10.13031/aim.20152162792)
Authors:   Karen M. Mancl, Katrina June Lee
Keywords:   Minority, model, planning, work-life.


East Asian women are an important minority in Agricultural Engineering and similarly named engineering departments in the US where they are only 3% of the tenure track faculty. Mentoring is an important service senior faculty members contribute to ensure success of new and probationary faculty. Cross-gender and cross-race mentoring present special challenges in engineering departments. The goal of this study was to identify the mentoring preferences of East Asian women science and engineering faculty and to evaluate the mentoring program at The Ohio State University (OSU), Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) with respect to East Asian women. The mentoring literature was reviewed and provided context to a qualitative study that included 6 women scientists and engineers conducted at OSU. East Asian women have unique mentoring preferences requiring public administrative support. Mentors should be assigned, as East Asian women will not typically seek out mentors. Mentors with training in work/life balance and personal strategic planning are effective in mentoring East Asian women. Senior women faculty are needed to mentor East Asian women, even if they are in other departments. The mentoring program in OSU’s Department of FABE assigns mentors to all probationary faculty to work with them on annual report and dossier preparation. This program sets up the opportunity for mentoring success.

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