Last year, my team of 45 that is only 25% female had 80% of leadership positions (mechanical lead, team captain, business lead, etc) covered by young women. This next year we are looking at nearly 100%, which I find interesting. I’m curious as to what other teams’ leadership looks like.
I might add that selection for leadership positions on our team is both election and merit based, so we don’t have any girls in leadership positions simply because they are girls, but because of their expertise and abilities. Thanks!
We have a pretty low demographic of girls. I was one of three girls on the team this season (around 25/30 members) and all three of us were leads (co-captain, photography lead, and mechanical (specifically drive train lead).
Next year (discounting incoming freshman), I will probably be the only girl on the team. Since freshmen aren’t allowed to be leads their first year in FRC (team rules), looks like I will continue my co-captain duties, and only female leader.
Our club (more specifically our mentor) is super welcoming to any girls interested in joining the club - and trying to get some of his female students to join things like FRC and The Society of Women Engineers. Lack of females on our team is probably because of the current lack of female interest in the club. Even I initially was super intimidated before completely joining and as one of the only females on the team and I am working on changing that.
I took upon myself the responsibility of outreach, and am now working on developing Female in STEM programs where we go around and do activities normally associated with “female” interests (like making jewelry), and revolve it around STEM! This could involve learning how to cut, strip, and crimp wire, and then make wire bracelets (using anderson powerpoles to connect them). This is still in the making but hopefully by doing things like this in the community we can inspire girls to pursue STEM in high school, resulting in a higher yield of female leaders.
In 2015 our leadership was 100% female. Mostly because we only had one leader and she was the one who really got the club going. This year it was all male since the majority of our team is male. Next year is all up in the air but it looks like it will be our first coed leadership team.
For the past two years, I’ve been the captain and drive coach of my primarily male FRC team. I’m a graduating senior, and our coming leadership is male (with the exception of our programming captain).
My all female FTC team has girls in all of our leadership positions, and we are heavily student run.
I suspect that high rates of female leadership in mostly-male teams, especially when those positions are decided on skill and merit has to do with the level of commitment, dedication, and passion it takes to stick out a male heavy environment in order to participate in something you love doing.
I’m also curious about female representation within drive teams. During the Einstein finals, of the 8 teams that made it (4 drivers apiece), only one (1405’s human player, IIRC), was female. 1/32. This stunned me. Thoughts?
I agree with your hypothesis on why we find more female leaders on male dominated teams.
I am also this years drive coach (student drive coaches have been female as far as I know - again of pure merit) and even just attending and being on drive team for one regional the lack of females on drive team was obvious. I don’t think it has anything to do with teams intentionally putting males on drive team but more so a thing of intimidation by the current abundance of males on drive team. Like I said even before I became a leader on the team I was hesitant because I thought it was super intimidating. Had I seen more girls doing the same things it may have felt a bit more inviting to me.
This might apply to drive team as well - and I think its completely subconscious.
I now have come to love being on drive team and meeting and competiting with all the new people regardless of gender.
Total Team Members: 42
Total Female Team Members: 10
Notes: As with any team, there are varying levels of commitment on an FRC team. We have seen fewer girls take on that less committed level than we do guys. I suspect that is because, in the male dominated environment, girls are more likely to just quit than to stick around on the outskirts. However, it does mean that the vast majority, if not all, of our female members are highly committed to the team.
Total Number of Leadership Positions: 11
Total Number of Females in Leadership Positions: 4
Leadership Position Breakdown:
Business Captains: both female
Engineering Captains: both male
Awards Lead: female
Outreach Lead: female
Marketing Lead: male
CAD Lead: male
Programming Lead: male
Design and Fabrication Lead: male
Strategy/Scouting Lead: male
Notes: I was honestly disappointed by the breakdown of our business leadership vs. our engineering leadership this year. There was a huge gender disparity with no engineering captain or lead positions being taken on by females. We did, however, increase our gender ratio in general team members this year, and I think that will reflect in our 2016/2017 leadership. Tomorrow we will find out for sure, but I am hoping that we will have one female and one male engineering captain. There are also several girls who were rookies this year who have told me they will be applying for engineering lead positions that will likely get them.
On Texas Torque, a team of approximately 40-50 active members, we have a nearly 50/50 gender ratio, something that we have worked hard towards and continue to recruit both guys and girls to the team constantly.
At least for the time that I’ve been on the team, the leadership genders are split fairly evenly. We’ve had both male and female team captains, along with build being fairly split as well as the business side of the team having both male and female leadership. This, I believe, stems from the team being based out of a science and technology high school, so both genders are evenly and fairly represented within the school and both have a passion for STEM.
This year, the president and vice-president are both female, and while the vice-president also precedes over build, the rest of build leadership is male. We are also looking at a fairly heavily female dominated business side of the team, but that stems from the strengths that people show versus them being pushed towards those roles.
While I would say that our team is extremely well rounded in both genders being fairly represented on leadership (based purely off of skill, talent, and dedication rather than “filling a quota”) one interesting split that we have is in drive team. This past year, I was the first girl on drive team since 2013, and I’m curious as to the genders of the drivers before even then.
Overall I believe that 1477 is very well rounded and every student on the team is just as passionate about the program as the next. I hope to continue to push and lead my fellow students to the positions of leadership that fit them the best, so that they succeed in whichever field they work best in, and that their gender has no bearing on that.
It varies year to year. Last year, we saw 63% of the leadership female, out of a 37% female team. I don’t know the percentages for the whole team, but it looks like we have 38% female leadership for this coming season. This drop is in part due to a graduating leadership class of all women.
I think by recognizing that there is a disparity between genders in leadership positions will help us move forward and address those issues by their root causes.
As a woman in STEM, and one that loves engineering, I don’t find the lack of women in STEM due to how people are treating us per say. I don’t think that kind of oppression exists, especially in the FRC community.
I just think it’s the lack of women currently in the community, due to girls traditionally not thinking of it as their place. Now by showing the world how females can be such great STEM leaders, it helps to show girls what they can do. I don’t think it really has to do with putting us in such a public eye, but more with inspiring younger generations.
I think by recognizing females in the community as the leaders they are will help boost long term female enrollment, closing that gap.
I agree, the issue here is root causes and future efforts, and what we need are hypotheses and more complete data.
For instance, 1640 is another team in which women are traditionally equally or over-represented in merit-based STEM leadership positions. I’m drawn to the hypothesis that this has to do with the baseline difficulty of joining and staying in a male-heavy environment and discipline. I thus wonder how common the over-representation phenomenon is, and I’d be interested in studies that scientifically test hypotheses like it.
If this hypothesis has merit, there are major actionable recruitment implications. On its face the ability to encourage representative STEM leadership in young women would seem indicative of a team’s success in that area–but in fact it could point to extreme gender differences in attrition and recruitment. We could be losing countless girls on the margins that might have joined if they were male. There many stones like this that we cannot afford to leave unturned, and we cannot properly assess our ability to foster STEM involvement and leadership across both genders without accounting for variables like these.
There are 78,000 students in FRC this year and 3.4 billion women on Earth. Please don’t make such sweeping generalizations. I personally had an older mentor discourage me from STEM as an FRC student, not to mention a few male students. I’ve handled many cases like this from other FRC girls. And treatment outside FRC? Whoa. I hate to say this, but give it time as you grow up. (You’re a full decade younger than me.)
Our team membership consists of ~25% girls this year, which is way down from last year. Most of last year’s outgoing seniors were female, which brought down the percentage quite a bit for this year. Also, we did major recruitment last year, and our team is larger than it’s ever been, but most of the new recruits were male (some females, but many stopped coming due to involvement in other activities).
That said, our leadership is predominantly female.
Team Captain: female
Mechanical Lead: female
Programming Lead: female, male
Media Lead: male
Strategy Lead: female
Social Media Lead: female
Safety Lead: female
Communications Lead: female
7/8 of our leadership positions were female. Our leads are chosen by nominations, elections, and confirmation by our lead mentor, so girls don’t have positions just because they’re girls.
I would attribute this partly to the higher maturity levels of girls in high school, at least on our team. Many of the boys who sought positions, and weren’t elected remain bitter and upset about it…nearly a year later. Overall, I would say on our team, girls bring a higher level of maturity and dedication to the team, and therefore win lead positions.
Human Player: male
Drive Coach: male
Last year’s leadership:
Team Captain: female, male
Mechanical Lead: female
Programming Lead: male
Media Lead: female
Safety Lead: female
Communications Lead: male
A little more balanced, 4/7 were female. The drive team makeup last year was demographically identical to this year (including respective positions).
Reading through these posts gives me some ideas. Would anyone be willing to take a survey on their team demographics? I’m interested in seeing some relationships, and looking at some of the theories proposed here.