Conference: Track 1: The 2022 Big Ten Womens Workshop

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Big Ten Women’s Workshop (BTWW) aims to build professional skills and support networks of women engineering faculty, who are underrepresented in engineering colleges. The workshop will bring together early-career women faculty from engineering colleges in the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and provide them with opportunities to learn professional skills critical to early success in their tenure track positions and long-term careers. Important elements of the workshop will focus on networking, fostering self- and peer-mentoring relationships, and connecting with senior women faculty who may serve as role models. The overall percentage of women faculty in engineering remains low in top-ranked programs (typically around 20%, compared to 51% of the general population). For this reason, this workshop will broaden participation in engineering by supporting the sense of belonging for women faculty at top-ranked academic programs and providing professional interactions that can encourage them to persist and succeed in the tenure-track path. The participating schools account for more than 15% of the engineering PhD degrees and more than 12% of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering awarded annually in the United States. Eight of the top 20 schools for BS degrees awarded and six of the top 20 schools for PhD degrees awarded are in the BTAA. Therefore, the faculty members who attend this workshop will return to their home institutions with skills that they can use to be successful and to inspire a large number of students, both men and women.Women engineering faculty in their first three years of a tenure-track academic appointment at institutions in the BTAA will be invited to participate in the BTWW. The workshop will afford these early-career women faculty unique access to accomplished senior women role models and a panel of Deans from participating schools. Senior women faculty will serve as mentors and also will develop their mentoring skills and learn about pathways into academic leadership. Other activities include a keynote presentation from a successful female academic leader, skills sessions to prepare women faculty for early career success, peer-mentoring discussion groups, facilitated networking sessions to grow networks at their own institutions and within their technical areas of expertise, and a presentation from the program director of NSF’s newest directorate: the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. Two optional workshops on understanding one’s own communication style and learning improvisation skills to become a better science communicator will also be offered. The workshop activities will advance the knowledge and skill sets of women engineering faculty. Participants are then expected to apply this knowledge regarding professional development, networking, and mentoring as they mentor their own students or more junior faculty in the future. The 2022 BTWW builds on the successes and feedback from previous BTWW offerings, which have occurred every three years since 2010. For the second time, the offering of the workshop will include senior women participants from previous junior faculty cohorts. Activities and a panel aimed at these associate professors to enable expansion of their professional networks, their research and teaching activities, career planning, and leadership will be planned. This will help to establish a cycle of networking and community building across the BTAA engineering colleges that will contribute to the hiring, retention, and success of women faculty, and the growth in numbers of women engineers, well into the future.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date7/1/226/30/23


  • National Science Foundation: $47,420.00


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