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Effects of attainability and similarity of female role models on female university students : an experimental study in the fields of Natural science and Humanities

Harmsen, H. (2018) Effects of attainability and similarity of female role models on female university students : an experimental study in the fields of Natural science and Humanities.

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Abstract:Women are underrepresented in high positions, this is not any different in the academic world. Role models can be the key in supporting and motivating underrepresented women to pursue a career that, stereotypical, does not fit with being a woman. In this research, two fields of study play an important part namely: humanities and natural science. Each field of study has its own characteristics and culture. With this in mind, it is expected that effective role models will differ per field of study. In this experiment using an online questionnaire a 2 (PhD student, professor) x 2 (natural science/ humanities) design was used. In total, 210 students from natural science (n= 119) and humanities (n= 91) participated by reading a profile of a role model and filling in a questionnaire. Contradictory to the set hypotheses, the professor profile had a significant positive effect on the perceived identity compatibility and sense of belonging of the respondent compared to the PhD profile. The field of study of the profile did not show any significant differences. The findings indicate that professor role models from a wide variety of studies can be used to increase the factors perceived identity compatibility and sense of belonging.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/76974
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