The Women of Color in Engineering Collaborative (WCEC) was created in 2021 as a partnership network of professional engineering societies and STEM-based companies. The WCEC is working to address systemic barriers that prohibit equitable work environments for women engineers of color.
Since its inception, the WCEC has grown to 29 organizations, created a shared vision and mission, and developed a strategic plan that will guide our efforts over the next few years. In our inaugural newsletter, we want to thank you for your interest and support of our work. We hope that you will engage with the WCEC as we begin implementing the strategies aimed at tackling the following five major challenges facing women of color (WOC) in the engineering workplace:
Improve pathways to internships, scholarships, and jobs in engineering
Reduce microaggressions, racism, and sexism in the workplace
Retain and amplify women of color in the workplace
Increase network inclusivity and sponsorships for women of color
Raise openness and reduce backlash to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices
In our upcoming newsletters, we will explore each of these challenges and highlight the goals and strategies under each.
Want to Get Involved?
Are you interested in having your organization become a member of the WCEC? Read our membership guidelines and fill out an application. Learn more.
While we don’t offer membership to individuals, we do want to grow the WCEC community! Soon we will begin collecting profiles of amazing WOC engineers for our Inspiring Leaders database. We are also collecting resources from our member organizations to place in our online Resource Center. We will be using this newsletter to get the word out as these activities get underway. Please share the WCEC with your network and invite others to sign up for our newsletter through the Contact Us form on the WCEC website.
Barrier #1: Improve Pathways to Internships, Scholarships, and Jobs in Engineering
WOC enter the engineering workforce through a variety of avenues. Some are graduating from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) that may not be on the typical recruitment list for many employers. Other WOC seek to reenter the workforce after taking a career break. The goals and strategies under Barrier #1 consider some of these pathways that are often overlooked when employers are recruiting talent.
Strategies to address this barrier include:
Elevate the profiles of minority-serving institutions with employers. As organizations try to diversify the engineering workforce, the WCEC will advocate for increased recruitment of graduates from HBCUs, HSIs, and TCUs.
Identify the features of existing reentry programs that professional societies can replicate. STEM reentry programs exist but are not widely offered. The WCEC will identify elements of successful reentry programs and encourage other organizations to offer programs that incorporate these features.
Increase awareness and visibility to engineering careers through a systemic mapping of career pathways. It can be hard for WOC to know the pathway to reach their career goals. The WCEC will work with professional societies to outline and classify career pathways.
The WCEC shares the numerous professional activities offered by our member organizations. Member organizations are committed to creating a supportive, encouraging, and inclusive environment for WOC in engineering. Find out more about their events and register to attend!
LatinaVIDA Fireside Chat with Criss Cuervo Virtual webinar, December 27, 2022, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST
Join us for a conversation with Criss Cuervo, Partnerships Manager and Consultant. Criss will chat about The Latina EQ: Culturally Relevant Mindfulness. Learn more & register.
ASCE DiscoverE Engineers Week February 19-25, 2023
ASCE partners with DiscoverE (formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation) to shine a spotlight on engineering. Engineers Week is a time to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers, and bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents. Learn more and access materials.
ASEE CoNECD Conference New Orleans, LA, February 25-28, 2023
The vision of the CoNECD (pronounced, “connected”) Conference is to provide a forum for exploring current research and practices to enhance diversity and inclusion of all underrepresented populations in the engineering and computing professions including gender identity and expression, race and ethnicity, disability, veterans, LGBTQ+, 1st generation and socio-economic status. Learn more & register.
TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition San Diego, CA, March 19-23, 2023
The TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition brings together more than 4,000 engineers, scientists, business leaders, and other professionals in the minerals, metals, and materials fields for a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary exchange of technical knowledge. Learn more & register.
AWWA ACE23 National Conference Toronto, ONT, June 11-14, 2023
ACE, where the water community comes together to learn, connect, and be inspired to solve global water challenges. Be a part of the water revolution that addresses critical issues about the world’s most important resource. Regardless of where you are in your career, there is something for everyone at ACE. Learn more & register.
Subscribe to newsletter
Subscribe to receive the latest updates and new to your inbox every month.
Funded by the National Science Foundation Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science Program, Awards 2040634 and 2310386, the Women of Color in Engineering Collaborative (WCEC) is a partnership network of professional engineering associations, STEM-based companies, and higher education institutions dedicated to addressing systemic barriers that prohibit equitable work environments for women engineers of color. Through the WCEC, partner organizations will better leverage their resources to promote systemic change while working collectively to decrease the barriers that lead to the attrition of women engineers of color.