New Book Profiles Women Engineers Shaping Today’s World and Inspiring a New Generation
Reston, Va.–Engineering is the backbone of the technology that drives our world, from television to transportation, from automobiles to architecture. Why is it then, when so much of our world depends on engineering for its advancement and sustainability, society doesn’t encourage young women to become engineers?
On Tuesday, February 21, 2006–during Engineers Week–the Extraordinary Women Engineers Project Coalition (EWEP) will launch Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers (by Sybil Hatch; published by the American Society of Civil Engineers), during a reception at the National Press Club from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. The first product of the coalition’s long-term project, Changing Our World is a colorful, 256-page celebration of the contributions of women engineers to every aspect of modern life. Through its real-life stories, the book will serve as a fresh perspective on engineering for young women and their parents. It will also serve as the basis for the educational outreach resources developed during the next phase of the Coalition’s project.
"So many young women believe that engineering is just a career for boys who love math and science. As a creative person, an engineer and a woman, I find that very discouraging," said Susan Skemp, EWEP Advisory Committee chair.
"Our daily lives depend too much on engineering for us to just ignore this problem. If more young women don’t start choosing engineering as a career, what will the future hold for us? It is our responsibility as professionals to open their eyes to the possibilities, and then to support them in every way."
The long-standing under-representation of women in the engineering professions served as the catalyst for the formation of the EWEP–which represents nearly 60 engineering organizations, including government agencies, corporations, professional societies and universities–and which is dedicated to encouraging more young women to pursue careers in the engineering fields. The Coalition has successfully forged partnerships with educational organizations and program partners who can help engineers reach girls and parents with effective messages.
"Through our collective efforts, the coalition has made outstanding progress toward our goal of encouraging more academically-prepared young women to choose engineering careers," said Patricia D. Galloway, Ph.D., P.E., EWEP Steering Committee chair. "We have identified the top five career motivators for girls and learned who most influences their career choices, as well as documented inspirational stories of hundreds of diverse women engineers who can serve as role models."
The educational resources included in the EWEP’s long-range plan will be developed jointly by educators and engineers to inspire young women to enter the engineering field and to develop a new generation of role models for those in the field. The program components will provide both inspiring personal stories and a girl-friendly collection of hands-on activities that inspire young women to explore engineering as a career choice. In addition, the program will provide resources to those individuals with the capacity to influence and advise girls at the stage when they make decisions about college and careers. Other EWEP products and initiatives will include a television documentary, corresponding educational resources and training, and national outreach programs.
For more information on the Extraordinary Women Engineers Project, visit www.engineeringwomen.org