Fostering development of women faculty in geotechnical engineering

Debra Laefer, Sarah Gassman, Barbara Luke

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A one-day workshop was convened to address obstacles to success of American women faculty in Geotechnical Engineering. The workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), was held in October 2003, in conjunction with another workshop for the United States Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER). At that time, the 17 participants represented 40% of all tenure-track women faculty in Geotechnical Engineering at American universities. The workshop provided an opportunity to discuss academic career issues, including diversity, research, teaching and service. Concerns voiced by the participants spanned all of these topics. The leading need that emerged was for childcare during professional activities away from home. For most major concerns, specific action items resulted, and these are presented. The NSF, USUCGER, professional organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, university governance, and the women faculty themselves were seen as potential catalysts for problem-solving. Some concerns such as service loads and recognition for diversity-based contributions still defied the envisioning of specific action items. Copyright ASCE 2007.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5
Number of pages1
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue number166
StatePublished - 2007
EventGeo-Denver 2007: New Peaks in Geotechnics - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Feb 18 2007Feb 21 2007


  • Education
  • Gender
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Promotion
  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Tenure
  • Universities
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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