July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Women in Engineering
Gender diversity increases collaboration enables better and more creative problem solving leading to greater innovation and improved financial performance. Despite these and other well documented benefits of gender diversity, women continue to be underrepresented in engineering and computing. This paper describes how alumnae at a mid-sized Midwestern university worked with their alma mater to form an external Women’s Advisory Committee to the College of Engineering and Computing. The group chartered a mission to “provide leadership in a collaborative environment with faculty, staff, students, alumni and others to improve recruitment, retention and graduation support for women in engineering and computing…”. Members of the Committee engage with the College regularly and give both guidance and action to efforts related to student success for women students and faculty.
Recently, the Committee embarked on the development of a strategic plan to maximize the impact of the volunteers and to leverage their unique strengths to support the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of the College. The strategic planning process is detailed here, including the methodology, the time frame, the prioritization of activities, and the outcomes. Details are provided on the undertakings for the Committee including mentorship, mentorship training, promotion and marketing of women alumni from the College’s academic programs, and a collaborative retention plan with the College. Approaches are shared on best practices for organizing, focusing, and obtaining consensus on priorities. The work of the committee could be a model for other colleges and universities to develop on their own, especially in situations where school size and resource allocations may not allow the fullest range of women-focused offices and initiatives.
Buse, K., & McMillon-Brown, L., & Smith, L. N., & Kirkmeyer, B. P. (2021, July), A Collegiate External Women’s Advisory Committee: Origins and the Development of a Strategic Plan Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36560
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