Research indicates that low enrollment rates of college-bound young women choosing engineering as their major have led to dwindling numbers of females entering the profession, suggesting that women do not perceive engineering as relevant to their educational or professional goals.
Engineer Your Life (tm) is spearheaded by members of the engineering community and WGBH Boston, who teamed up in 2004 to find out why girls weren't participating in engineering in greater numbers. The initiative focuses on exposing and educating high school girls about different engineering fields -- from mechanical to chemical engineering. In the "Find Your Dream Job" section of the Web site, visitors can learn about specific engineering work -- a bioengineer's project to grow tissues that help repair damage caused by heart attacks and an electrical engineer's work on communication satellites.
"Engineer Your Life(tm) is unique in that it focuses on the rewards of an engineering career while many other initiatives concentrate on the challenges of pursuing engineering careers," said Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president of corporate responsibility for Northrop Grumman which is one of the Engineer Your Life (tm) sponsors. Through the profiles, visitors to the site get a glimpse of the women who make up the next generation of engineers and enjoy a day-in-the-life look at their dynamic professional lives. Engineer Your Life (tm) showcases 12 in-depth profiles of young female engineers whose choices embody the campaign's key messages and provides information on the paths they took to reach their professional goals. Their stories present engineering as a realistic option for young women who are interested in careers that make a difference in the world while being flexible, fun, and creative, and as a goal that is desirable and within their reach.
Engineer Your Life(tm) also advises counselors, parents and engineers on addressing stereotypes and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in engineering. The campaign plans to reach out to approximately 50,000 high school girls later this year and host informational tables at college fairs around the country that reach 800,000 people annually.
The program is built around three key messages which aim to change the perceptions high-school girls have about engineering and to encourage them to enroll in undergraduate engineering programs.
- Creativity has its rewards.
- Make a world of difference.
- Explore the possibilities.