Her-Story, Now: Empowering Women Students in Engineering: Mentornet | WAMC

Her-Story, Now: Empowering Women Students in Engineering: Mentornet

Albany, NY – MentorNet, is a national electronic mentoring network for undergraduate and graduate women students in engineering and science. Through its website, www.mentornet.net, the organization links students, via E-mail, with industry and research professionals. Nearly 11,000 matches have been made since 1998. This year, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, a founding member of MentorNet, far exceeded the national average for women enrolled in engineering schools. We set out to find out why? What we learned is that top-notch colleges and universities across the nation have a number of ways to attract women to their engineering programs. Like Cornell, these top schools have women undergraduate enrollment above the national average and want to ensure they do not lose gains they have made. Universities looking to swell the ranks of women engineers agree that emphasizing the social aspect of the field helps them succeed. We explore programs at Cornell, University of California, and MIT, which are ahead of the curve in their appeal to women, and also look at what has yet to be done. Allison Dunne reports.