Last month, the National Science Foundation awarded nearly $5 million to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to support the Women of Color in Engineering Collaborative. Roberta Rincon, Ph.D., is the principal investigator for the NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) grant (Award #2310386) and will work with a strong project team to lead the effort. The project team includes the National Society of Black Engineers (co-principal investigator Rochelle Williams, Ph.D.), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (co-PI Dayna Martínez, Ph.D.), American Indian Science and Engineering Society (co-PI Tiffany Smith, Ph.D.), and Women in Engineering ProActive Network (co-PI Stephani Page, Ph.D.).
This award acknowledges the hard work that the representatives from 29 WCEC member organizations performed over the course of 18 months to develop a strategic plan to lead the WCEC’s activities. The implementation of the strategies outlined in the plan will require collaboration across industries, higher education, government agencies, and professional societies to address the systemic challenges women of color face in the engineering workforce. We look forward to working with all of you to create a more inclusive and welcoming engineering culture!
Know anyone who would be interested in working with the WCEC project team to implement the WCEC strategic plan? The Society of Women Engineers is hiring a Project Director to help manage the day-to-day operations of the WCEC. The Project Director will work closely with the PI, co-PIs, staff, and other stakeholders to support WCEC activities including, but not limited to, community outreach, engagement, and onboarding, advisory boards and committees, meetings and events, evaluation and reporting, and budget reconciliation.
Read the job description and how to be considered for this position here.
Advancing WOC: LinkedIn Course Offering by Deepa Purushothaman
In May 2022, the WCEC hosted a Literature Circle to discuss a book by Deepa Purushothaman entitled The First, The Few, The Only. Deepa graciously donated copies of her book for the event. During the literature circle discussion, Dora Renaud, Ed.D., a member of our founding WCEC project team, walked participants through key concepts from the book. Topics included the impact of microaggressions, power moves, and being a corporate change agent.
Deepa now has a LinkedIn course called Advancing WOC: Go From the First and Few to the Many. While her work focuses on helping “more women of color arrive, but also taking seats in full power and full voice,” she also offers many ideas for allies, managers, and leaders to support and advance Black, Latina, Asian, Indigenous, and other WOC.
What is the Women of Color in Engineering Collaborative?
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. 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 major challenges facing women of color (WOC) in the engineering workplace.
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.
Upcoming WCEC Member Events
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!
ASCE 2023 Convention
Chicago, IL, October 18-21, 202
ASCE 2023 Convention will feature a variety of meaningful programming experiences whether you are a first-time attendee or a veteran convention goer: the annual ASCE members meeting, keynote presentations, invited panels, case histories, and research papers. Learn more & register.
2023 AISES National Conference
Spokane, WA, October 19-21, 2023
The Annual AISES National Conference is a unique, three-day event focusing on educational, professional, and workforce development for Indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers. Learn more & register.
WE23: SWE Annual Conference
Los Angeles, CA, October 26-28, 2023
WE23 is the Society of Women Engineers’ premier event for women in engineering and technology. The three-day event provides an opportunity to network with collegians and professionals, gain insight into career paths, and explore the latest advances. Attendees will have access to distinguished speakers from various industries leading conversations on innovation and development, as well as interactive workshops focusing on leadership skills and other engineering and technology topics. Learn more & register.
2023 SACNAS NDISTEM Conference
Portland, OR, October 26-28, 2023
SACNAS is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM. At the 2023 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM (NDiSTEM) Conference, our community can learn and grow together through two types of sessions: STEM Symposia and Professional Development. Learn more & register.
CAMX: The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo
Atlanta, GA, October 30-November 2, 2023
CAMX brings all aspects of the world's composites and advanced materials communities together for one all-encompassing event. CAMX is where the industry meets to do business and discover the latest in products, solutions, and advanced industry technology. Learn more & register.
2023 SHPE National Convention
Salt Lake City, UT, November 1-5, 2023
SHPE National Convention serves as the country’s largest, annual gathering of Hispanic STEM students and professionals. Registration will open on August 2nd. Make sure to register early because this event sold out in 2022! Learn more & register.
WEPAN Women of Color Summit
Virtual, November 15, 2023
The Women of Color Summit (WOCS) brings together Women of Color in STEM with individuals and organizations who authentically support WOC in thriving and advancing in their chosen fields. The WOCS continues to raise awareness of both the common and the unique experiences of WOC as they navigate STEM careers while emphasizing the need to disaggregate WOC identities in order to develop effective practices. Learn more & register.
ASCE INSPIRE 2023
Arlington, VA, November 16-18, 2023
As our world expands through innovation, technology, and in population, civil engineers have a renewed call to action: Ensure that the built environment is safe, dynamically resilient, sustainable, future-ready, and adaptive to changing climate conditions. Join conversations on the most pressing issues in infrastructure and BE INSPIRED! Learn more & register.
2024 AAAS Annual Meeting
Denver, CO, February 15-17, 2024
Science and technology would proceed faster and better in an ecosystem free of barriers that currently separate us by discipline, approach, institution, nation, access, wealth, seniority, race, and gender; we shall explore problems, consider solutions, and envision science without walls. Theme of the 2024 AAAS Annual Meeting is Toward Science Without Walls. Learn more & register.
ASEE CoNECD 2024
Crystal City, VA, February 25-27, 2024
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.
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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.