What's the gender demographic of your team leadership?

If there’s anywhere you’re gonna get the data, I think it would be here. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to end up a bit skewed due to what types of teams are on Chief Delphi. I would also be really interested in such demographics and I’d be happy to pass it along to other Minnesota teams that may not see it here.

Right now with 22 students, 4 female, we have a 50/50 split on leadership roles.

In 2010, with 14 females and 14 males, we had 75% male leadership.

In 2013, with 19 students, 4 female, we had a 100% female leadership team.

At least for 1551, there doesn’t appear to be any kind of correlation. But then, this is the least cliquish and most peer-group mobile place I’ve ever even heard of.

I’d like to propose one other hypothesis as to why so many females end up in leadership positions on teams:

Females tend to see the bigger picture rather than focus on the details.

One of my previous teams which was co-ed tended to have females in leadership roles every year.

My other previous team was all-female, so it doesn’t count.

My current team is looking at having 2 of three positions be female (actually named by current students and outgoing seniors) based on the leadership qualities the team came up with at the last meeting.

Interestingly, subsystems have been a mixed bag of being led by females and males. Some years we had some really strong, knowledgeable females, others it was heavily male dominated. But it truly was based on knowledge and wanting to lead it.

Finally, to address the mentors:
First team: 1 female (myself), 4 males, 1 male teacher (typical year)
All-girls team: 1 female (myself), 3 males, 1 female teacher (non-technical)
Current team: 1 female (myself), 1 male, and 1 female teacher (currently teaching robotics and programming at the HS, but learning FRC)

One thing that NONE of my teams has ever done has said, “You can or can’t do that based on your gender.” It has always been, “You can do this, let me show you how,” or “You can’t do that because it isn’t safe,” or “You should do this because it’s a better way.”

I was lucky to grow up with a mother that encouraged my to follow my own preferences. She wanted a girl that she could dress up, instead she got a tomboy. There’s a great picture of me at age 2 or 3 in a dress standing on a piece of wood climbing a brick wall in the yard. She always bought me Tonka trucks. She never said, “You can’t be (blank) because you’re a girl.” Instead, she knew I wanted to learn to use my dad’s table saw and scroll saw, so she asked another teacher at her school to come over and show me how to use them safely. Because of the environment that I grew up in, I have a hard time understanding females that say they are discouraged or told they can’t do something.

And, for the record, she still tries to get me to dress up and wear make-up and jewelry. I’m better about dressing up for holidays, but make-up and jewelry are still arguments. LOL

Our team is approximately 35% female, and I’d say leadership and drive team are roughly the same. If you sum up our 3 top leadership positions, our CTO, CEO, and CCOO, and the drive team, 2/6 are female: the CCOO and the primary driver.


If anyone is interested, this is the link for a form about team demographics. If you could share this form with other teams who may not be on Chief Delphi, that would be great!!

Team 2052 this year is 35% female counting all students. 80% of our captains this year were female. For next year 40% of our captains are female.

Suggestions: 1) Change the wording to allow teasm to fill it out multiple times in order to provide data for different years. 2) Separate STEM and non-STEM leadership positions. Not because one is worse than the other, but because this is often a topic of discussion and would provide useful data.

The number of girls on my team has definitely increased with the growth of the team over the past four years. We have had a female presidents in charge of the team for the last three years. Even though our team is only around 20%-25% female, we have always had a more equal number of girls in leadership. This year, we have girls in the roles of President, Director of Business, and Directory of Outreach, and Secretary. We also have girls co-leading in all but one of our five tracks.

Can do!


Here is an updated link!

Quite similar to many of the posts I’ve seen above - last year, all of our veteran female team members were in leadership positions, including team captain, drive coach, and head of programming. Our team is recently about 25% female, but that fraction moves towards 50% at the leadership levels.

Despite a few attempts at targeted recruitment, all of our female mentors to date have been non-technical.

Edit (hopefully obviously):

We do recruit mentors with skills we need, regardless of gender. We get all three of your points above with male recruits as well; we have a mechanical PhD and a pneumatics tech/former electrician (both male) who are doing mostly non-technical functions the last year.

Hopefully not derailing the thread here:

Some reasons I see things like this happening to females who are completely capable of mentoring in technical roles:

  1. Someone believes that they are not as qualified to do/mentor X as someone else - this could be the lady in question or someone else on the team
  2. They don’t have the energy/don’t care enough to “prove” that they can mentor X
  3. The team needs mentors in the non-technical roles that the person either is pushed into or settles into (see 1 and 2)

and possibly relevant to your specific problem: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1571749&postcount=14

For the 2016 season, the CyberCards had four male mentors (three technical, one nontechnical) and five female mentors (three technical, two nontechnical).

We have not met another team with >50% female mentors - even the “all girls teams”. I would love for somebody to prove me wrong!

We would love to find out similar data for other FRC teams. I’m not sure if HQ tracks mentor demographics or not; does anybody know who to contact for data?

We don’t have student leadership on our team, really, so I don’t have anything to contribute to that conversation.

With respect to our mentors, however, there are 7 women and 11 men. Two of the women are technical mentors. All 11 of the men are technical mentors. Our lead advisor is a woman.

Maybe we should get a way to get more fair of a sampling throughout the community. Most people that see that link are those that go through this thread. I bet a lot of people are women and/or leaders on their respective teams, and so to get a less biased data we figure out how to distribute this link even outside of CD.

I really want to get an accurate representation to have an idea and think the survey is a wonderful idea! In fact, I was looking for these statistics somewhere just to get an idea about the topic myself.

For the distribution I’ll send it to some teams I know in my area (that aren’t that active on CD), and I hope others can do the same!

Can’t wait for the data!

I suggest betaing the questions first. Maybe give it a few days of submissions to ensure questions are worded well and cover everything worth asking. For instance, the thread has now brought up a similar question for mentors. Should the survey ask for this data as well?

You don’t have student leadership? That seems like a really big lost opportunity to teach new leaders.

Student leaders naturally emerge. We recognize that and will often give those students additional responsibilities and privileges, but the process for doing that isn’t formalized.

Why not? A student leadership title is very helpful come college applications.

What’s more important than students developing leadership skills for their college applications is simply the fact that they are developing leadership skills.