Engineering is the backbone of the technology that drives our world, fromtelevision to transportation, from automobiles to architecture. Why is it then,when so much of our world depends on engineering for its advancement andsustainability, society doesn’t encourage young women to become engineers?

On Feb. 21 — during Engineers Week — the Extraordinary Women EngineersProject Coalition (EWEP) launched Changing Our World: True Stories of WomenEngineers, by Sybil Hatch and published by the American Society of CivilEngineers, during a reception at the National Press Club.

The first product of the coalition’s long-term project, the book is a256-page celebration of the contributions of women engineers to every aspect ofmodern life. Through its real-life stories, the book will serve as a freshperspective on engineering for young women and their parents. It will also serveas the basis for the educational outreach resources developed during the nextphase of the Coalition’s project.

“So many young women believe that engineering is just a career for boys wholove math and science. As a creative person, an engineer and a woman, I findthat very discouraging,” said Susan Skemp, EWEP Advisory Committee chairperson.“Our daily lives depend too much on engineering for us to just ignore thisproblem. If more young women don’t start choosing engineering as a career, whatwill the future hold for us? It is our responsibility as professionals to opentheir eyes to the possibilities, and then to support them in every way.”

The long-standing under-representation of women in the engineeringprofessions served as the catalyst for the formation of the EWEP—whichrepresents nearly 60 engineering organizations, including government agencies,corporations, professional societies and universities—and is dedicated toencouraging more young women to pursue careers in the engineering fields. TheCoalition has successfully forged partnerships with educational organizationsand program partners who can help engineers reach girls and parents witheffective messages.

“Through our collective efforts, the coalition has made outstanding progresstoward our goal of encouraging more academically-prepared young women to chooseengineering careers,” said Patricia D. Galloway, Ph.D., P.E., EWEP SteeringCommittee chair. “We have identified the top five career motivators for girlsand learned who most influences their career choices, as well as documentedinspirational stories of hundreds of diverse women engineers who can serve asrole models.”

For more information on the Extraordinary Women Engineers Project, visitwww.engineeringwomen.org, or contact Laura Humphrey at Ph: (703) 295-6407 orE-mail: lhumphrey@asce.org.

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