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Wepan's Digital Women In Engineering Knowledge Center

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1396.1 - 13.1396.7



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Paper Authors

author page

Jenna Carpenter Louisiana Tech University

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C. Diane Matt WEPAN Inc.

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

WEPAN’s Digital Women in Engineering Knowledge Center


The mission of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network, (WEPAN) is to be a catalyst, advocate, and leading resource for institutional and national change that enables the success of all women in engineering. In support of this mission, WEPAN is leading an effort to create a digital Knowledge Center focused on women in engineering. Many resources about women in engineering exist, but they are scattered, and often not easily accessible by stakeholders and practioners who need information to develop and assess policies, intervention activities and research programs. Supported by a National Science Foundation Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) grant (#0648210), the WEPAN Knowledge Center (WKC) will be designed to serve as a central repository by collecting and offering ready access to research; best practices and lessons learned; data and information. Moreover, the WKC will create knowledge and provide leadership in key policy areas in the form of white papers, as well as provide tools for capacity building, including webinars and blogs. It will be designed to serve a wide audience, including engineering deans, department chairs, and faculty interested in recruiting faculty and students, as well as decision support systems. Corporate diversity officers, human resource specialists and university relations officers will benefit from information on recruitment, outreach, and trends; foundations, corporations, and associations interested in collaborating on solutions to the issues associated with the success of women in engineering, as well as directors of engineering education programs interested in improving programs and performance. Collaborating with WEPAN on this project are a variety of other national organizations, including the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Center for Advancing Science and Engineering Capacity /AAAS Capacity Center.


It’s no secret that the U.S. engineering workforce has a shortage of female engineers—only 9% of today’s engineers are women. The picture is not much better among university professors— only 6% are women. And among undergraduate students, only 17% of the aspiring engineers are female, even though 56% of the U.S. college students are women. This picture will not help the U.S. meet projected high demand for engineers in the knowledge based economy of the future. Clearly one solution to this problem is to increase the number of women who choose engineering as their major in college.

There are a number of efforts at national and local levels that address this issue. However, one missing component is a nationwide vehicle to share what works, how much progress we are making, and gaps in knowledge and information. WEPAN, Women in Engineering ProActive Network, is leading an effort to develop a resource to meet the need for readily accessible information and communication about women in engineering. Funded in 2007 by a National Science Foundation Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) grant (#0648210) WEPAN is building a digital Women in Engineering Knowledge Center (WKC) focused on informing research, practice and institutional change related to women in engineering. The WKC will be a

Carpenter, J., & Matt, C. D. (2008, June), Wepan's Digital Women In Engineering Knowledge Center Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3982

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