Below are some of the most commonly-asked questions of the Mizzou Women in Engineering Center. Click any question to find the answer.
Why is there a Women in Engineering Center?
Our world continues to face more and more complicated technological and societal problems, and women in engineering are needed to build a better, brighter future. Women bring diverse perspectives that expand the engineering process and benefit us all. Unfortunately, women often face more barriers to careers in engineering than men. Women are often exposed less to science, technology, engineering and math fields in their early education, and STEM fields are not often presented to young women as career options. Women studying engineering also often have lower confidence levels than men, according to a study from the American Sociological Association. The study found that engineering’s association with men and masculinity can lead to differential treatment of men and women during engineering education. These and other factors lead to lower retention and recruitment numbers for women engineers.
The Women in Engineering Center exists to address existing barriers to women in engineering and ensure that any woman interested in pursuing a STEM field succeeds. Women engineers are changing the world and helping people each and every day. Their contributions have revolutionized every industry in engineering. We need women engineers, and the Women in Engineering Center works to support women in their STEM careers.
How can you blend passion for math and science with social justice?
The Women in Engineering Center offers students many outlets to engage in social justice issues while they pursue a career in the STEM fields. Our events and programs allow students to find a community of like-minded women and allies in engineering. Students can also pursue leadership positions with our Student Board and other affiliated organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers, Alpha Omega Epsilon and oSTEM if they wish to become more involved. Students can blend their interest in these topics by becoming a leader both in and out of the classroom. An active involvement in academic studies and organizations with a social justice focus allows a student to advocate for diversity and equity in their future careers. Knowledge of leadership and diversity is highly valued in the workplace, and students who blend these interests with their academics stand out as leaders to future employers. We highly encourage students to pursue all of their interests to become more well-rounded and engaged engineers.
How can you file discrimination or Title IX complaints?
The University of Missouri’s Title IX Office supports students, faculty, staff and visitors who experience sex-based discrimination including: sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, intimate partner/relationship violence, sexual exploitation, unequal opportunities, pregnancy discrimination and gender identity discrimination. If you wish to report an incident, please visit the MU Title IX Office website (http://titleix.missouri.edu/reporting/). Reports can be made through the online reporting form, email, phone or in person. All reports can be made anonymously.
How can I find a mentor?
The Women in Engineering Center’s Mizzou Women Mentoring Women program is a great way for first and second year engineering students to find an upperclasswoman mentor. Mentees apply online and are paired with a mentor for the duration of the year. Mentees attend social, professional and educational events with their mentors. Third and fourth year students and graduate students can find an industry mentor through our alumni/industry database. Industry mentors help mentees with career advice and can answer questions about the transition to post-graduation life. Contact WIE Center Director Kate Trauth or GA Joel Dalton for more information.
How can I get involved with outreach?
The Women in Engineering Center has a number of outreach involvement opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the larger community. Students are encouraged to volunteer for outreach events including Mother & Daughter Engineering Day and Women in STEM Night. Students can also join affiliated organizations that work with area K-12 students including the Society of Women Engineering and Alpha Omega Epsilon. Faculty, staff and alumni are invited to participate in events such as the Diversity in Engineering Speaker Series, the Student Services Seminar Series and the 1907 Celebration of Women in Engineering. The larger community including parents, teachers and companies can also participate in outreach through our Center’s various resources listed online. If you have additional questions related to outreach, contact WIE Center Director Kate Trauth or GA Joel Dalton for more information.
What will my experience at Mizzou be like?
Everyone’s time at the University of Missouri is different, but we hope that your experience will be a positive one with support from the Women in Engineering Center and the broader College of Engineering. Engineering is a challenging field, and engineering is not for everyone. However, engineering IS for anyone who is enjoys science, technology, engineering and math and has a genuine interest in pursuing engineering. All engineers are challenged at some point in their academic careers, but struggling in a class does not mean you aren’t fit to be an engineer. In fact, being able to persevere despite a difficult problem is a sign of any great engineer. The Women in Engineering Center helps students build a support network that can encourage them during a tough assignment or project. Having this community does not ensure with 100 percent certainty that your time at the University will be without trial, however, this network is a great way to help you find your place and build skills in the College of Engineering.