Since the inception of career technical education in community colleges and the building trades, women have been severely underrepresented in male-dominated training programs and careers. Many initiatives have been introduced over the last 45 years to remedy this disparity and include women in high paying careers in the building trades and other industries represented by career technical education. In spite of the outreach, recruitment programs, and laws intended to improve female participation in these occupations, the industries have not been successful in increasing the number of women in the building trades.
This qualitative case study was guided by a conceptual framework that synthesized two theoretical constructs: liberal feminist theory and the chilly classroom climate. Utilizing interviews, observations, and a review of documents, the research focused on the members of a building trades organization in the southwestern United States. The participants consisted of 16 women in various phases of their building trades career. The interviews were conducted in both a focus group and one-on-one format.
The study’s results revealed that women in high school are not exposed to potential careers in the building trades or other options outside of attending college. Further, the patriarchy and cultural resistance to women in the building trades (from the literature review), was validated from the interviews. The research concluded that three corrective approaches should be considered: Students should be exposed to alternative career options from an early age (junior high school), career guidance counselors should be educated and trained in offering students alternative career options, and school districts and building trades organizations should collaborate in the creation of a short-term training program for junior high and high school students to introduce them to various disciplines of the building trades and other career technical education related careers.
|Commitee:||Olson, Avery, Jepson, Jane|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Vocational education, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Gender disparity, Male-dominated, Women in nontraditional careers|
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