Wednesday, August 21

Student organizations reconstruct systems of support for women in engineering


news.gradissue.womeninstem.v3 (2)-02.png


Some professors and student groups at UCLA said they think the university has made progress in increasing the number of women in engineering, but more work still needs to be done.

A $5 million endowment was awarded to the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science to provide funding for Women in Engineering at UCLA, according to a university press release in April. The gift was made by Stacey Nicholas, who completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UCLA.

The endowment will allow for the expansion of the program to pre-college students, graduate students and alumnae.

The program was started in May 2017 to increase the number of women in engineering majors at UCLA, said Audrey Pool O’Neal, the director of [email protected] and a lecturer in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

“Our mission is to enable the full participation, success and advancement of women in engineering and computer science,” O’Neal said. “However, [email protected] is open to all school of engineering students who support this mission.”

Jayathi Murthy, the Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean at the school of engineering, said when she started in this field, the percentage of women in engineering was in the single digits. Increased involvement of women in engineering has always been one of her concerns, she said.

“I was the first woman to get a Ph.D. out of my department,” Murthy said. “It’s been like that all along, and so I’ve been keenly aware of how difficult it can be. … It’s been a passion of mine.”

The idea behind [email protected] is to address the entire pipeline for women, whether through working with high schools to attract more women in engineering or holding programs that address the happiness and retention of women in engineering, Murthy said.

Before [email protected], women made up 26% of the freshman class in the school of engineering. In 2017, the first year of the program, the percentage of women went up to 30%. By 2018, the percentage of women increased to 33%, O’Neal said.

“That’s the largest percentage of women in a freshman class that we’ve had in the school of engineering ever, and so we’re very pleased by those numbers,” O’Neal said.

UCLA was listed as one of the best online colleges supporting women in STEM with a score of 78.18 out of 100 according to a list created by the Guide to Online Schools. The list features schools which have high percentages of female students in STEM fields, degrees in STEM offered and extensive online support for female students in STEM. Other schools on the list include Columbia University, Stanford University and the University of Southern California.

[email protected] runs two academies – the [email protected] Leadership Academy and the [email protected] Aerospace Academy – which enable small groups of undergraduates to work on career skills, make connections and learn more about their field of interest from professionals and alumnae.

The leadership academy focuses on professional development and empowerment of women, while the aerospace academy was created to introduce opportunities and careers available in the aerospace industry, she added.

O’Neal said she plans to use the endowment to implement more academies for cybersecurity, environmental health and safety, equality and reliability, and engineering in fashion.

“We know that these cohort-based academies really give women a sense of community and a sense of support and belonging, … but we’re also also adding future academies, and that’s where this gift will help us to do those kinds of things,” O’Neal said.

There are also other organizations on campus which work to encourage more women in engineering. The Society of Women Engineers focuses on outreach, advocacy and mentorship while combating the lack of diversity in STEM fields.

Ikaasa Suri, incoming president of SWE and a third-year computational and systems biology student, said she has felt the contrast in learning styles between men and women in her engineering classes.

“Oftentimes, guys (were) asking questions either related to the subject or a tangential question and it was a little bit intimidating to see how people were digesting the material so quickly, … whereas I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that,” Suri said.

Suri said she thinks the endowment is an incredible step in the right direction because it not only encourages women to join STEM, but to stay in STEM. However, she said she thinks work still needs to be done to actively decrease the gender gap.

“While at UCLA it might not be something that’s incredibly noticeable, it’s definitely noticeable outside the bubble of UCLA, and that’s what I feel like these professional development and advocacy programs are trying to prepare students for,” Suri said.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.

  • kristen

    Only one yr past I made a decision to leave my prior job and I am extremely happy right now…. I started off doing the job on the web, for a provider I discovered on-line, for just a few hr regularly, and I make even more than I actually did on my office workplace job… My pay-check for past month was $9k… The most important thing about this is the extra leisure time I managed to get for my kids…and that the single requirement for this job is basic typing and also having access to internet… I am also able to devote quality time with my family members and friends and take care of my little kids and also going on a family vacation with them very frequently. Don’t avoid this chance and make sure to take action quick. Try it out, what it’s about… unisonplot.klammert.de

  • renee

    1 year earlier I chose to leave my past work and I am very glad right now…. I started out doing the job online, for business entity I found on the internet, for just a few hr each day, and I gain even more than I actually did on my office workplace job… My pay-check for last month was 9,000 dollars… The most advantageous thing regarding it is the extra leisure time I managed to get for my kids…and that the only requirement for this job is simple typing as well as access to internet… I am able to devote quality time with my loved ones and good friends and also look after my little kids and also going on a family vacation with them really frequently. Don’t avoid this opportunity and make sure to act fast. Try it out, what it is about… xnarecipe.and-you.de

  • chanda

    Affiliate job opportunities have become a trend in all over world now. Latest study shows even more than 78% of people are doing work in internet jobs at their home without the difficulty. Everyone desires to spend more time his/her members of the family by going any specific wonderful place in the world. So web-based earning enables you to complete the work at any time you want and enjoy your life. Although finding the best strategy and also setting up the right destination is our ambition in the direction of financial success. Already most people are being paid such a decent earnings of $28000 per week through suggested and powerful ways of generating massive income online. You can start to get paid from the first day after you look at our web site. RUSH TODAY >>>>> blizzard.web.pe

  • effie

    I generally gain about $6,000-$8,000 every month on the internet. It is absolutely ideal to surely substitute my earlier work net income, precisely considering I simply just do the work around 20 hours every week from a home office.I lost my job after operating for the same corporation for a long time, I needed very trusted source of income. I was not interested in programs that promises to make you rich in just few days you see online. Those all of them are type of ponzi multi level marketing programs in which you have to initially create prospective buyers thereafter sell a product to friends and family members or any individual so that they will be in your team. The most exciting part of working on-line is that I am always home with the little ones and also enjoy lots of free time with my family members in various beautiful beaches of the world. Honestly,it is actually easier than you would believe, all you need to do is submit a very simple form to get front line access to the Home Profit System. The guidelines are incredibly simple, you do not have to be a computer expert, but you must understand how to use the net. It is as easy as being on Instagram. Here’s the most effective way to start ==> undernation.club-area.de