RESEARCH LIBRARY

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While women have made progress in recent years, only 20 percent of engineering students are female, and the proportion of women receiving degrees in the sciences and engineering in the United States lags that of other industrialized countries (National Center for Education Statistics, 1995). This underrepresentation of women may have serious implications for women’s returns to education and may relate to occupational segregation and earnings inequality by gender (Linda Loury, 1997). As the economy shifts to favor these more male-dominated fields, there is concern that women will not be prepared to succeed. Does the presence of faculty members of the same gender impact student interest in a subject? This paper answers this question by estimating how having a female faculty member in an initial course affects the likelihood that a female student will take additional credit hours or major in a particular subject.