Society needs women like you to develop ideas that will shape our future. Women who understand how the world works will make intelligent, responsible contributions as they help shape the future and use technology to make the world a better place.
WPI ensures that you have the skills and resources you need to succeed by helping you build a well-rounded foundation in the humanities and the sciences. Graduating with a technological degree opens many doors, enabling you to make significant contributions to the world around you, and providing the foundation for a rich and satisfying life.
Recently ranked #15 in the nation in the study "Colleges Worth Your Investment" by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, WPI students get a great return on their investment for their education. In addition, WPI was names one of "Ten Engineering Schools That Should Be On Your Radar" by The Fiske Guide to College.
Employers welcome women with a strong set of transferable skills, such as problem-solving, team-building, and technological literacy. And a technological degree can be a springboard to advanced degrees in a variety of fields.
Smart women have always contributed to emerging technologies. Inventions by women range from the windshield wiper (Mary Anderson) to Kevlar (Stephanie Kwolek) to the computer compiler (Grace Hopper.) Patricia Bath, an African-American doctor, developed laser surgery for cataracts; Ann Tsukamoto found out how to isolate human stem cells. Since everyone is touched by technology, it is vital that women add their voices to the scientific conversation.
Women have made significant inroads into fields which were formerly male-dominated, yet there is still a significant shortage of women in technological careers. While about half of all psychologists and sociologists are female, women still make up only 26 percent of computer scientists and 9 percent of engineers working today. Prestigious organizations such as The National Science Foundation are encouraging bright young women to consider careers in science, engineering and technology. In addition a new national campaign called "Engineer Your Life" is hoping to increase those low enrollment numbers in the coming years.
At WPI, as at most technological universities, women comprise a little over 31 percent of our undergraduate population. Still, that's a community of over 1,185 women – and we are always encouraging the younger generations of women to help increase that number (our Class of 2016 is 33 percent female).
Lots of ways to get involved
There are many ways to meet other women on campus and to get involved. There are several women's student organizations, including: the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), which sponsors events such as "Shadow an Engineer at GE Day;" and Women in Electrical & Computer Engineering (WECE), and Women in Computer Science (WICS), among others. There are also five sororities, the The Panhellenic Council, 13 women's varsity and club sports teams, and two all-women music ensembles.
The Women's Industry Network (WIN) is a cluster mentoring program which brings together female WPI students and professional women scientists, engineers and managers for networking opportunities. Each year the group gathers four times for dinner meetings, encouraging discussions and continuous contact throughout the year
The Athena Project is the name for the collection of programs and services for women. The Athena Project offers programs such as WIN and "Girls' Night Out" (GNO), a series of women-only social events. In addition, the Office of Women's Programs also hosts a number of seminars and lectures on women's issues, as well as professional development seminars for women.
Help encourage the next generation of women engineers and scientists
Though statistics show that the gap is shrinking between girls and boys being prepared to pursue technological degrees, the number of women who ultimately choose that path still falls short. Our students realize that young women need role models.
What were the experiences which led to your interests in science and engineering, and who were the people who nurtured those interests? Perhaps you are interested in being a role model to girls interested in math, science, technology, and the humanities.
WPI is working to help spark the same curiosity and excitement among girls early, so more will eventually pursue careers in these areas. We have several programs for middle- and high school girls, including summer camps called WUNDERS and Camp Reach and Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day The best part is, as a WPI student, you can help. Learn more about programs for girls at WPI's Office of Women's Programs.