Women in Science and Engineering

photo of the first three women to matriculate at the University of Pennsylvania. Echo's Women in Science and Engineering project at George Mason University documents the career experiences of women in science and engineering in recent memory. Our online survey allows women to tell about their career's in their own words, recording the experiences of women scientists and engineers permanently.

The ascent of women in science and engineering has been dramatic during the past decades. More women than ever enter undergraduate and graduate programs and pursue careers in science and engineering. Women's career experiences are still distinct, however, characterized by obstacles and various ways of discrimination.

Our aim is to create a rich public database, serving as an educational resource for scientists, scholars, corporate managers and historians alike. In addition to the survey, our website will offer a selection of links to the rich online resources on women and science and engineering.

Featured Site: The Archives for Women in Science and Engineering at Iowa State University

The Archives for Women in Science and Engineering were inaugurated in 1994 from the need to document the history of women in science and engineering. In partnership with Iowa State's Program for Women in Science and Engineering, the Archives documents the lives and careers of women scientists and engineers, covering their social history as well as the story of their scientific achievements. The Archives collects widely in all fields of engineering and in the physical, earth, life, and computational sciences. Currently, the Archives are holding about 100 collections. Some of its most recent acquisitions include the papers of Suzanne Takken (a geoscientist) and Nina Roscher (professor of chemistry at American University).

Currently, the Archives conducts two oral history projects. In addition to a broader oral history project, focusing on women in science and engineering, the archives are working on the Women in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Oral History Project (with funding from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation). Nearly 30 interviews have been completed so far. The WISE Archives is planning to digitize portions of interviews from both projects, and is planning to make them available online.

The Archives has put together a virtual exhibition on women nutritionists: "Today's Seeds for Tomorrow's Harvests." It is currently working on another exhibit on Iowa State women, many of whom were scientists.

Last Updated: April 11, 2004