June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Women in Engineering
12.1604.1 - 12.1604.9
WEPAN HISTORY AND CURRENT UPDATE
INTRODUCTION Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network (WEPAN), the Women in Engineering Division of the American Society of Engineering Educators (WIED ASEE), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and all focus their work on women in engineering, and each offers different programs and activities to specific constituent groups. In addition, there is tangency, some overlap and resulting opportunities for collaboration, and cooperation between the members of the three organizations, and the larger engineering and engineering diversity community. This paper provides a brief history of WEPAN accomplishments and a summary of its plans for the coming three-to-five year period. It is intended to provide information about WEPAN to ASEE WIED members and further to enhance and support dialog and collaboration between WEPAN and ASEE.
WEPAN HISTORY 1990-2002 In 1990 there were fewer than 10 formally organized Women in Engineering programs in the United States. While future projections for the employment of engineers was strong there were markedly fewer graduates in engineering, primarily white males, than there had been a decade before. This prompted industry and engineering programs to reconsider the demographics of engineering programs nationwide. Thus those Women in Engineering programs which were already in place were inundated with requests for assistance for developing new programs. Women in Engineering Program directors from Purdue University, Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Washington joined together to address these needs in a national conference held in Washington, D.C. in 1990. This conference, sponsored by the Directorate of Engineering and the Directorate of Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation marked the inception of the Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network (WEPAN) organization.
Since it was founded, WEPAN’s purpose has been to be a catalyst for change that enhances the success of women in the engineering professions. Key strategies to accomplish this mission include education, training, research, collaboration, leadership, diversity, advocacy, networking, sustainability, accountability and volunteerism. While the mission of WEPAN has expanded its scope over the years, increasing the participation of women in engineering by sharing successful program ideas among institutions and providing training and mentoring for women in engineering program directors is a primary component for the success of the organization. Many of the achievements of WEPAN are based on the collaborative efforts of its members partnering to effect both national and institutional change. Major grants from NSF, FIPSE, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, the Alcoa Foundation and corporations have enabled WEPAN to mentor hundreds of faculty and staff from engineering schools throughout the US and abroad as they initiated or expanded Women in Engineering Programs. The results of the efforts by WEPAN over its first 12 years are measurable as there are now more than 85 Women in Engineering Programs in colleges and universities in the United States working to increase the representation of women of all ethnicities in engineering. Through the extended WEPAN network of mentoring and training activities, institutional change has taken place with thousands of women students benefiting.
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Matt, C. D. (2007, June), Wepan History And Current Update Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2125
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