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10 Women In Engineering Share Their Experiences And Hopes For The Future
International Women in Engineering Day was here, and it was time to both celebrate progress and address the ongoing difficulties faced by women in STEM fields. While there have been strides made towards gender parity in STEM, women still make up less than a third of the global workforce in tech-related fields. This day, along with every day of the year, is an important reminder that uplifting women in STEM and cultivating inclusive environments requires a collective effort. 10 Women In Engineering share what the day means to them and their hopes for the future.
Posted on 08 Jul 2024
Why Aren’t More Women in STEM? Help Us Discover the Answer
Across the world, women remain underrepresented in STEM. For example, more than half of humanities professionals are women, but only one in three graduates in STEM are women. As part of the ongoing work to make an impact on this imbalance, SWE has been working with Global Contact since 2021 to understand gender equity in STEM on the global front and ensure that women are equally represented in STEM careers. Through its work on Gender Scan, a global survey of STEM students and professionals across more than 100 countries, Global Contact’s benchmark study continues to shed light on gender inequalities in STEM studies and career, analyzing the causes of the “leaky pipeline” phenomenon in these disciplines. You can help them beat the response rate from the last Gender Scan! In 2021, SWE members were part of the more than 30,000 respondents - helping double the response rate from the 2019 survey. This year, Global Contact is working with multiple international organizations, including SWE and UNESCO, to assess the impact of gender balance policies in the STEM workforce, as well as report trends of female participation along the STEM pipeline. You can be a part of this important research by taking the Gender Scan survey.
Posted on 08 Jul 2024
Rebuilding AWIS Palo Alto: A Revitalized Chapter Emerges
In the heart of Silicon Valley, where innovation thrives and ideas spark revolutions, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Palo Alto Chapter has stood as a beacon for women in STEM for almost four decades. Established in 1985, this chapter has weathered the tides of change, adapting and evolving to meet the needs of women navigating the often male-dominated landscapes of scientific and technological fields. Much like numerous businesses and organizations grappling with post-COVID recovery, AWIS Palo Alto faced a significant exodus, leading to a decline in its membership and influence. In recent months, the chapter has been quietly but diligently engaged in a process of rejuvenation and renewal. Guided by the visionary leadership of chapter president Anita Chu Li, PharmD, and fueled by a team of passionate leaders committed to fostering inclusivity and empowerment, the AWIS Palo Alto Chapter has embarked on a journey to rebuild and revitalize its presence in the community. Reflecting on decades of achievement and progress, the chapter remains steadfast in its mission to provide networking opportunities, foster career development, and raise public awareness of the scientific prowess of women. It is this unwavering dedication to its core values that has inspired the chapter’s rebuilding campaign slogan: “Inspired by Science, Driven by Passion”.
Posted on 08 Jul 2024
Girls in Tech Startup Challenge 2024
Are you a female founder with a groundbreaking idea ready to disrupt the market? The 10th Annual Girls in Tech Startup Challenge is your golden opportunity to transform your vision into reality. This premier competition invites you to join a global community of trailblazing women entrepreneurs, showcase your innovative product, and compete for seed funding to fuel your startup's growth. The journey culminates at Vanderbilt University's Wond'ry on October 17th, where the top 10 finalists will present their startups to a panel of esteemed judges and an audience of potential investors. This is your chance to shine, network with industry leaders, and secure the funding and support your startup deserves. Should you hopefully make it to the final round, you’ll need to make your way to Nashville, TN to attend and pitch at the live event. During this exciting hybrid startup competition, female founders will submit a video pitch for their early-stage startup and fill out a short application form. Pitches will be judged based on the innovativeness, framework, and market viability of the product.
Posted on 27 Jun 2024
Mental Health in the Scientific Community: The Importance of Self-Care and Support
Scientific research yields essential medication, technology, and data to improve our lives. Postdoctoral researchers and graduate students work excessively to provide the public with this information, but this effort takes a toll. In 2018, a survey of graduate students determined that the likelihood of graduate students having anxiety and depression is six times higher than the general population. It has been shown that 75% of graduate students report feeling stressed, 50% report feeling overwhelmed, and 40% of students report being exhausted. As a result, a recent survey showed that 51% considered leaving science due to work-related mental-health concerns. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are expected to supervise students, attend seminars and conferences, review and write scientific papers, assist with grant writing, conduct experiments, produce data for projects unrelated to their own projects, and aid with laboratory maintenance. The demand for higher productivity forces them to work extensive hours. One survey shows that 76% of graduate students worked more then 41 hours per week, where 25% of these students worked more than 61 hours per week. A 2016 Nature poll of early-career researchers also suggested that 38% worked more than 60 hours each week, in which 9% of those worked more than 80 hours a week. This poor work-life balance has been linked to an increased burnout risk in both graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Articles show that postdoctoral researchers are also struggling with low incomes and the rapidly rising living costs. Much of their income is based on “soft money” – meaning they rely on external funding sources and spend a lot of time writing grant proposals that oftentimes do not get approved. The lack of financial stability and security can exacerbate levels of stress and anxiety. A global survey of graduate students conducted by Nature in 2022 showed that 85% were concerned about not having the amount of money necessary to cover living expenses. This lack of career stability is causing researchers to walk away from postdoctoral positions, and principal investigators are struggling to find postdocs.
Posted on 27 Jun 2024
Women Engineers in Government Contractor Careers Affinity Group
The SWE Women Engineers in Government Contractor Careers Affinity Group (WEgcc AG) informally started in November 2022 as our leaders searched for ways to connect with other women in engineering at government-owned, contractor-operated facilities. This group is particularly unique in the opportunities, challenges, and growth paths that face employees, combining attributes seen in the industry and public sectors, and academia, as well as forming some aggregate of these traits that wasn’t well-represented by any singular group. Because government contractors and consultants work at these intersections between the federal government, academia, and industry, it’s not uncommon for this group to feel excluded on all sides. The mission of the WEgcc AG is to connect the community of women working in government contractor careers and provide support, engagement, and encouragement to all professionals working in engineering and technology at government-adjacent institutions. The WEgcc AG aims to provide support to all of its members in the form of networking, mentoring, and expanded access to SWE’s resources. Ultimately, the goal of the WEgcc AG is to build an integrated network of government-adjacent (contractors, consultants, and the like) engineering professionals committed to the growth and development of themselves, fellow members, and their broader communities. The WEgcc AG falls under the Business & Interests Affinity Group umbrella.
Posted on 07 Jun 2024
Social Science Survey Participation
Society of Women Engineers posted that Student seeks survey participants! Answer this short survey to share your experiences on the supports or barriers you’ve encountered when choosing engineering as your college major or profession. This survey is open to college students and professionals! Responses are completely anonymous.
Posted on 07 Jun 2024
Sitting to Take a Stand
Sit With Me invites everyone to validate and recognize the important role women play in creating future technology by taking a small but symbolic action: sit in a red chair and share your story. Sit With Me (SWM) is a fun, creative advocacy campaign for men and women, both technical and non-technical, to acknowledge and celebrate the critical need for women’s technical contributions. With its iconic red chair, SWM events allow everyone to participate in a meaningful conversation about the power of inclusion, which might otherwise be intimidating.
Posted on 27 May 2024
NCWITC4C at EdCon24
Join NCWIT Counselors for Computing (NCWITC4C) consultants at CYBER.ORG EdCon 24 in Orlando, Florida, on June 15th – 17th to discover how to effectively prepare students for cyber careers and expand access to cybersecurity education! This counselor-focused content track will share information about Cybersecurity CTE Courses, character education, and online safety in a series of sessions!
Posted on 27 May 2024
STEMM Opportunity Alliance Releases National Strategy at White House Summit
On the 1st of May, the STEMM Opportunity Alliance (SOA) announced STEMM Equity and Excellence 2050: A National Strategy for Progress and Prosperity at the 2024 White House Summit on STEMM Equity and Excellence, co-hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The overarching goal of the national strategy is to help 20 million people from historically excluded and marginalized communities enter, contribute to, and thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medical (STEMM) fields. SOA is a nationwide initiative committed to tapping America’s culturally rich, innovative, and diverse talent pool to expand the STEMM workforce. Along with unveiling the national strategy, SOA announced that its partners, which have more than doubled in size since the December 2022 launch (200+), have collectively committed more than $2 billion to realize the vision of the national strategy. “America’s diversity of thought, derived from our diversity of geography, background and identity, is one of our nation’s strongest assets,” said Sudip Parikh, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. “Growing the STEMM workforce to its greatest potential enables us to create a world where every child, regardless of their background, sees participation in STEMM as their birthright.” Each SOA partner has aligned new or existing commitments and projects under the metrics laid out in the national strategy, all committing to multi-lateral, cross-sector collaboration to achieve systems-level change. Additionally, SOA announced 10 organizations to serve as anchor partners, each of whom will facilitate working groups within the strategy’s foundations, five pillars, and capstone. The anchor partners will build strong networks, drive toward ambitious, measurable goals, and realign SOA partners’ support, systems and accountability measures.
Posted on 08 May 2024

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