This talk presented Laura's research on ‘Robots vs Animals’; a science communication project aimed at broadening the appeal of engineering for girls, which is a highly male-dominated profession (93% male in the UK). Drawing on social cognitive theory, the project aimed to enhance culture change by developing communication skillsets of early career engineers; particularly supporting women engineers as role models for girls. Engineers experienced mastery through practicing storytelling techniques; alongside social persuasion and vicarious modelling through peer group support, which has been shown to be important for women in male-dominated professions. Evaluation showed engineers’ self-efficacy levels significantly increased. Qualitative data highlighted a developing culture of engagement but purposive selection of women proved controversial.
Fogg Rogers, L., & Boushel, C. (2017, July). Are women part of mankind? Vicarious experience and self-efficacy. Presented at Science in Public: How do science and technology affect what it means to be human?, Sheffield, England