Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

Purdue University. Women in Engineering Program

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1969-

Historical Information

The Purdue Women in Engineering Program was established in 1969 in response to the perceived lack of women students enrolled in engineering in spite of the successes of women engineers in other countries. The program was the first of its kind in the U.S., and is credited with providing a model for similar programs nationwide. The program worked to actively recruit women skilled in math and science from Indiana high schools and, later, elementary schools. In its outreach efforts, the program also attempted to improve general public knowledge about the engineering discipline and available career paths for graduates. In addition to recruiting, a second focus of the Women in Engineering Program was to provide support for existing female students in an effort to improve retention and graduation rates. These efforts included mentoring programs, grouping of women in classes, financial and personal support, and partnerships with the Purdue Student Section of the Society of Women Engineers. These efforts ultimately helped to improve both retention and graduation rates among female students in engineering. According to the Women in Engineering Program website, all of these efforts have resulted in the increased enrollment of women from one percent in 1969 to the current nineteen percent.

Citation

UA 7, Purdue Women in Engineering Program records, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue Univeristy Libraries.

Citation

MSP 182, Purdue Society of Women Engineers records, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Priscilla Hendricks Machine Shop War photo

 Unprocessed — Box: Communal Accessions 10
Identifier: 20150225

Purdue Student Section of the Society of Women Engineers records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 182
Abstract This collection contains papers, photographs, programs, correspondence, and reports documenting the activities of Pi Omicron and its successor the Purdue Student Section of the Society of Women Engineers.  The records also document the difficulties that women in science have faced over the years.

Women in Engineering Program records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 7
Abstract This collection contains papers, publications, photographs, and electronic media documenting the inception of the Women in Engineering Program at Purdue, as well as its activities and successes.  Also included is information on Lillian Gilbreth, an important figure in engineering at Purdue, and Martha Dicks Stevens, the first woman graduate in engineering at Purdue.