Exploring and conducting research and engaging with public policy, as we do in the State of Women in Engineering issue, are key to fulfilling SWE’s mission, and we encourage readers to join us in these efforts.
Just as COVID-19 was a defining issue in 2020, it is a central theme in this year’s State of Women in Engineering issue of SWE Magazine. Our cover story, “Examining the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Engineering Pipeline,” looks at the multitude of ways the global pandemic has affected women in the workforce in general, and women in STEM specifically. The latest findings from the National Academies on the situation facing women in academic science and engineering, as well as various other studies, are discussed along with commentary and insight from thought leaders.
Entry points to the pipeline are addressed in a companion article, “Don’t Stop Me Now: Even the COVID Pandemic Couldn’t Halt STEM K-12 Outreach.” Absent a coordinated national response in the United States, engineering and scientific societies, students, youth-serving organizations, and dedicated volunteers stepped in to support STEM education through a variety of virtual events and activities.
The mainstay of the State of Women in Engineering issue is our annual literature review, now in its 20th year. In keeping with the past two decades, the authors apply comprehensive and thoughtful analysis to the previous year’s research addressing the persistent underrepresentation of women in engineering and certain STEM professions. A compendium of all our literature reviews to date can be found at: https://research.swe.org/literature-reviews/.
We also share the insights from SWE’s research on COVID’s effects on women engineers both in the United States and India. Responses provide a clear picture to the challenges that women engineers and engineering students in the U.S. and India have experienced due to COVID.
Lastly, we report on recent public policy developments in areas that speak directly to SWE’s mission: DEI training and Title IX.
Anne M. Perusek
Director of Editorial and Publications