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Wepan Women In Engineering Programs And Advocates Network

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Women Faculty & the NSF ADVANCE Program

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1464.1 - 10.1464.7



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Paper Authors

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Linda Scherr

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Bevlee Watford

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


WEPAN The Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network

Bevlee A. Watford President, WEPAN Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity 215 Hancock Hall (0275), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 540-231-3244 FAX 540-231-1831,

Linda Scherr President-Elect, WEPAN

Abstract WEPAN, Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network, is a non-profit organization focused on strengthening the engineering workforce by strengthening the diversity within it. WEPAN was established to effect a positive change in the engineering infrastructure conducive to the academic and professional development of women and men. WEPAN’s mission is to be a catalyst for change that enhances the success of women in the engineering profession. Since 1990, WEPAN has worked to ensure that a full range of talent – including women from all demographic groups – choose to enter the engineering profession and will have the support necessary to succeed. With new technologies, global competitive pressures, and shifting employment patterns, that work has become even more critical. WEPAN has members from over 200 engineering schools, corporations including Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations, all who share WEPAN’s commitment to enhancing the diversity of the engineering workforce. In 2002, WEPAN unveiled a new strategic plan centered on three keystone statements. (1) To increase the visibility and inclusiveness of Engineering to engage all talent; (2) to catalyze change to create a critical mass; and (3) to make strategic choices that impact systemic change. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of WEPAN and its operations. This is followed by a discussion of how WEPAN can affect women faculty in engineering and areas in which both WEPAN and women faculty could benefit from increased interactions. Introduction Engineering education has long recognized the lack of diversity in their students. The numbers of students of color and of women who sought degrees in engineering in the 1970s were appallingly low. The retention of those few who started engineering programs was also of major concern. The National Academy of Engineering responded to what was deemed to be a national crisis by creating the National Action Committee for Minorities in Engineering – which now exists as NACME, Inc. This was indeed a message to the engineering community at large that the lack of diversity in engineering would not change unless proactive measures were taken.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Scherr, L., & Watford, B. (2005, June), Wepan Women In Engineering Programs And Advocates Network Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15125

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