News

Virginia Tech Trails Other Schools In Number Of Female Engineering Grads.

 November 07, 2016

The Roanoke (VA) Times (11/6) profiles Anna Ross, a Virginia Tech industrial and systems engineering student who never considered studying science or engineering until she discovered an unsuspected talent for higher math in high school. When she aced her AP calculus exam, “suddenly the notion that the subject wasn’t for girls just didn’t add up.” Ross is “outnumbered in her major — there are 222 females to 482 males” in her major program, though “her major is one of the more gender diverse in the college of engineering.” The piece reports that women earned 18% of Virginia Tech engineering bachelor’s degrees last year, compared with “schools like University of Virginia (33 percent), Georgia Tech (26 percent) and Virginia Commonwealth University (24 percent).”

Professor Discusses How to Get Women Into Engineering.

 October 18, 2016

In a more than 1,400-word U.S. News & World Report  (10/17) piece republished with permission from The Conversation, Carolyn Conner Seepersad, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, asks “how can we get more women into engineering fields, and help them stay for their whole careers?” According to experts, Seepersad says, “we need to encourage young girls to develop their spatial skills” and “find ways to help women feel less alone as they help us build a more inclusive engineering community.” She concludes that “when we begin to tell multifaceted stories...we find that a much larger and more diverse set of students identify” as engineers.

Girl Scouts CEO Wants Girls To Learn To Code.

 October 18, 2016

CNBC  (10/17) profiles Sylvia Acevedo, a Stanford university engineering graduate and White House commissioner on the Presidential Initiative for Hispanic Educational Excellence, who is also the interim CEO of Girl Scouts, “said she aims for Girl Scouts to not only instill the mission of leadership into girls, but to become more technology-focused and teach how to code.” The piece quotes her saying, “It is part of our culture to do technology, to learn how to code, to have hands on projects — whether it’s creating fashionable wearables, or creating robots.”

Better Storytelling Will Help Women Get Involved In Engineering.

 October 17, 2016

Carolyn Conner Seepersad, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, writes in The Conversation (UK) (10/17) that action is needed to encourage more women to enter engineering fields. In addition to building a “more inclusive engineering community” and “highlighting engineering role models who reflect the true diversity of our population,” Seepersad says one of “the simplest and most effective things we can do differently is something as simple as richer storyteller.” The National Academy of Engineering recommends instead of building interest in math and science, focus on “how engineers make an impact on the world and the need for creativity, communication and teamwork in the engineering profession.”

Data Show Wide Range Of Gender Equity In Engineering Degrees At Top Schools.

 September 22, 2016

The Washington Post (9/21, Anderson) reports that while on average, women earn around 20% of all engineering degrees nationwide, “reflecting generations of male dominance in the field.” Nevertheless, women “earned a majority of bachelor’s degrees in engineering in 2015 at two private schools with sizable programs,” the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and MIT. At several other top programs, that figure was in the 40 percent range. The article touches on the impact of the #LookLikeAnEngineer movement, and explores gender diversity efforts at engineering programs at major schools.

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