Thursday, February 2, 2017

Five organizations to follow that support women in engineering.

The electrical engineering industry in Germany has the lowest rates of female participation in the country and so CST is keenly aware of the importance of supporting the education and retention of women in engineering. Currently, women engineers represent 10.9% of our engineering staff. The German average is only 7.2% and we hope to continue to grow our representation. CST has a strong record of providing flexibility to working mothers and so far all of our mothers have returned from maternity leave and not faced any kind of career interruption. These policies are critical for ongoing representation in our staff and in leadership roles.
We have had the honor of participating in Girl's Day, a fantastic initiative supported by the German government which brings young girls into professional science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) environments. That got us thinking about some of the other organizations which are doing important work supporting women in engineering. Engineering as a discipline will benefit from the inclusion of women and other minorities that have historically underrepresented. The data has shown that conclusively and we look forward to what the future has in store for engineering.

1. IEEE Women in Engineering

IEEE WIE provides a network for women in engineering and science.Their mission is to facilitate the recruitment and retention of women in technical fields.
 They give awards for outstanding achievements and facilitate programs that promote the entry and retention of women in Engineering programs. Maybe most importantly, they facilitate the creation of communities for women to network and support each other in a male dominated field. We recently interviewed prominent WIE member and supporter Helen Duncan.

How to support WIE: 

-Join- engineers of all genders are welcome to join.
-Attend and encourage your coworkers to attend the Women in Engineering leadership conference. 

Learn more about WIE here

 2. Girl's Day 
While there are organizations across the globe which bring girls into professional STEM environments, the German one is close to our hearts here at CST. We last participated in 2015- you can read all about that here. That year the organization facilitated visits for 10,000 girls to 3,000 companies across Germany. It is crucial to encourage girls to explore STEM fields while they are still young, before societal expectations shape their perception of what they can do. 

How to support Girls Day:
-Locate a Girls Day in your country. Here's a list of corresponding days across the globe.
Register your organization to be a host. Don't worry, Girls Day provides lots of guidance to help you put together a fun, educational program.
-Talk to your kids' school to ask if they participate and if they do, how you can help

3. Women of Color in STEM Conference
The WoC in STEM conference provides an opportunity for minority women to connect with each other, attend workshops and find mentors. Every year, awards are given for outstanding research and leadership contributions.

How you can support theWoC in STEM Conference:

-Follow their Facebook page and share their profiles of women who are leaders in STEM.
-Spread the word about the conference, particularly to university programs.

-Nominate outstanding minority women in your company for WoC Awards.

Learn more here

4.National Girl's Collaborative Project
The National Girls Collaborative Project is a large network of individuals, programs, and organizations sharing resources and collaborating to better engage girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). They also offer mini-grants to girl-serving STEM-focused programs. NGCP operates internationally as the Global Girls Collaborative Project.                                                                                                                               How to support NGCP:                                                                    - Get involved with your local collaborative organizations. These range from robotics teams, free after school programs to camps and conferences for girls from primary school to university.

5. International Women in Engineering Day
The idea behind National Women in Engineering Day is to encourage all groups (Governmental, educational, corporate, Professional Engineering Institutions, individuals and other organisations) to organise their own events in support of the day, and link them together for maximum impact.

How to support INWED:

-Attend or host an INWED event.
-Volunteer to become a mentor and pass on your experience to other women.
-Celebrate being an engineer - tweet about what you do and tell your friends using #INWED17

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