The Society of Women Engineers (SWE)—a nonprofit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed in the field of engineering—will conduct a Congressional outreach event March 2-3 in Washington, DC. According to the organizers, the event, centered on the theme of “Diversity and Inclusion Drive Innovation in STEM,” is designed to increase Congressional awareness of the need for and importance of increased diversity and inclusion in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce.
Recent research presented at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention revealed close to 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either never enter the field or leave the profession within a few years. The research, conducted by Nadya A. Fouad of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, found that women’s departure from the engineering field stems from deep-rooted work climate issues and a lack of advancement opportunities. To fix the problem, Fouad says change needs to begin from the top down, recognizing this is not simply a “women’s issue,” but one that needs system-wide changes.
Open to other STEM-focused organizations, the March event will be held on Capitol Hill and at the Washington Court Hotel, which is located next to the Capitol. The activities will begin on 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 and will conclude by 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 3. During the two-day event, SWE members will have the chance to participate in pre-visit training and a reception, and meet with their representatives or Congressional staff.
For more information, contact SWE’s Washington representatives, Della Cronin and Russell Armstrong, at SWEHillVisits@swe.org, call 202-349-2304 or visit http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/.