Women in Engineering
Women are a growing force in engineering and computer science. According to the most recent data from the Society of Women Engineers, a national professional and advocacy organization, there was a 54-percent increase nationwide in the number of bachelor's degrees in engineering and computer science earned by women.
Still, there is work to be done. The SWE data show that only 13 percent of engineers and only 26 percent of computer scientists are female, a phenomenon that also plays out at the college level, where only about a fifth of the students earning bachelor's degrees in engineering and computer science are women.
UIC Engineering has developed a strong Women in Engineering Program to help create greater balance in academia and the engineering workforce. This page provides a broad summary of our programming; visit the Women in Engineering Programs website for full details.
Supporting women in engineering
Our Women in Engineering Program helps women to succeed in engineering education. In addition to programs for current UIC students, WIEP offers K-12 opportunities—including Girls Who Code and the Women in Engineering Summer Program—and helps the Society of Women Engineers with its Shadow Days, in which girls who plan to apply to UIC can meet students and faculty.
Supporting women in computer science
UIC’s computer science department is home to Break Through Tech Chicago, part of a national initiative to prepare more women for careers in computing and technology. Funded by a group of organizations led by Melinda Gates, Break Through Tech Chicago offers no-cost introductory courses, customized career support, and a strong community of people who seek to diversify the tech world.
Women in Engineering Programs
Programming for women in engineering at UIC is continually growing and changing to meet the needs of our current—and future—female students. Services currently include:
- Scholarship support, including merit scholarships that are awarded to high-achieving first-year female students in engineering and computer science. Our women in engineering office also advises students on places where they can seek additional external scholarships.
- Leadership opportunities through the Society of Women Engineers and other activities. UIC Engineering students inspire the next generation of girls to pursue computer science and engineering by leading events such as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, participating in the Girls Who Code program, and working with high school juniors and seniors in the Women in Engineering Summer Program, sponsored by Knowles Corporation, a champion for the advancement of women and girls in engineering and STEM fields.
- Community development through student organizations as well as outside-of-class personal and professional development programs and events that help current female UIC students to meet successful UIC alumni.