February 14, 2013

Society of Women Engineers Receives $50,000 Alcoa Foundation Grant to Inspire Girls to Pursue Engineering Careers

Today, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) received a $50,000 grant from Alcoa Foundation in support of outreach programs on five U.S. college campuses. More than 750 K-12 students will benefit from the programming, which is designed to inspire girls to pursue careers in engineering.
“A diverse workforce is the key to economic competitiveness; however, women remain severely underrepresented in the engineering field,” said Betty Shanahan, SWE’s executive director and CEO. “By exposing more girls to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at a young age, we inspire the next generation to shape the future through careers in engineering. This grant will help us bring hands-on educational events to more girls throughout the country.”
SWE was selected for its community outreach programs with student chapters at the University of Michigan, North Carolina A&T State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University and the University of Tennessee. SWE collegiate members there will use a variety of programming to spark girls’ interest in engineering and technology. Through these events, girls will gain a better understanding of the diversity of working engineers, enhance their understanding of what an engineer does and heighten their interest in pursuing a career in engineering. Based on program surveys of girls who participated in similar SWE programs, 30 percent are more likely to pursue a career in engineering.
Alcoa Foundation, the charitable arm of Alcoa, distributed more than $21 million in 2012 to nonprofit organizations as part of its commitment to educating tomorrow’s leaders.
“There is a critical skills gap in U.S. manufacturing that is growing every day. SWE and Alcoa are rising to this challenge with an initiative that not only engages girls in STEM projects but, importantly, provides them with great female role models from Alcoa locations and the SWE students at Alcoa campus partner schools,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Through creative programming and the ongoing involvement of dynamic female leaders in engineering, we can feed the talent pipeline with capable women who might not have pursued STEM without that the additional education and encouragement.”
To learn more about Wow! That's Engineering!®, SWE collegiate sections or these events, please visit SWE.org.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000 people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and receive the recognition and credit for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders. For more information about the Society please visit www.swe.org or call (312) 596-5223.