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Promoting Women As Leaders For Engineering: The Role Of Individuals, Organizations And Professional Societies

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Women Faculty Issues and NSF's ADVANCE program

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1050.1 - 11.1050.8



Permanent URL

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Paper Authors


Lisa Aultman-Hall University of Connecticut

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Associate Professor

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Britt Holmen University of Connecticut

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Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Promoting Women as Leaders for Engineering: The Role of Individuals, Organizations and Professional Societies


This paper summarizes the activities and outcomes of a conference held in May 2004 at the University of Connecticut. As part of a series of conferences hosted by members of the Women in Engineering Leadership Institute (WELI), the Summit conference invited engineering stakeholders from academia, industry and professional societies to work collaboratively to develop action plans to increase the number of women leaders in engineering. The Summit produced ten blueprints for actions that can be undertaken by different groups and these are described in detail in the reference. The focus of this paper is dissemination of the different roles that (i) individuals, (ii) industry and academic organizations, and (iii) professional engineering societies can play to create a more gender equitable engineering profession, particularly realizing more women leaders in engineering academia.


Greater integration of women into the higher echelons of engineering leadership – as managers, executives and deans – will result in benefits to society and industry, a more female-friendly culture in undergraduate engineering programs, and greater success at the high school levels in encouraging and retaining female students in science and math. Although many organizations have women in engineering programs, female engineering managers and female university faculty are missing among the target groups for these programs. A recent Summit hosted at the University of Connecticut by the Women in Engineering Leadership Institute (WELI) ( had the following underlying motivations:

(1) A network of diverse leaders is essential to the future of the engineering profession. The solutions for advancing all areas of engineering will be better if based on a diversity of ideas and experience from people of different backgrounds and groups within society.

(2) The leaders of organizations and institutions are critical elements in defining the organizational culture that is essential to attracting and maintaining diversity in engineering. Leaders are vital to setting future direction and should reflect the full diversity of our communities. Unfortunately, engineering leadership does not reflect the full extent of diversity in society today.

Aultman-Hall, L., & Holmen, B. (2006, June), Promoting Women As Leaders For Engineering: The Role Of Individuals, Organizations And Professional Societies Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1009

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