Now Reading
Thought Leadership

One of the hallmarks of SWE’s thought leadership is the annual State of Women in Engineering issue of SWE Magazine. This year’s issue brings you our 20th annual literature review, along with articles focusing on two areas of significant impact: the global pandemic and policy changes brought by the new administration in the U.S.

Heather Doty
FY21 SWE President
Karen Horting, CAE
Executive Director and CEO

The literature review team undertook the painstaking task of examining nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles, books, and papers presented at major conferences on various aspects of gender inequality in engineering and STEM more generally, summarizing the main findings of the best work published or presented over the past year. This review offers analysis and insight, and suggestions for areas that are either unexplored or underexplored for future research and intervention, essential as the profession moves forward to develop best practices for the recruitment and retention of women in engineering.

More than one year into the global pandemic, there is no question that COVID-19 has affected all of our lives in numerous ways. We look at the impact of COVID-19 on women in the STEM workforce specifically, and on women more generally, both in the United States and globally. In addition to highlighting various studies and commentary from thought leaders, we share the major findings from SWE’s COVID-19 surveys conducted in 2020 in the United States and India. Taking a comprehensive view of the STEM pipeline, we also look at pre-collegiate outreach during the pandemic.

We examine two areas of U.S. policy that speak to SWE’s mission. First, a discussion on updates to Title IX — specifically, the use of executive orders to toughen protections against sexual harassment and assault, along with President Biden’s latest order, issued on March 8, International Women’s Day. Secondly, Biden rescinded an executive order from President Trump that had denied systemic racism’s existence and restricted diversity training within the federal government, its contractors, and its grant recipients. Still, the fallout from the original order has continued in some quarters.

This State of Women in Engineering issue contains a wealth of information relevant to the profession, and we encourage you to take full advantage of its contents as we work together to fulfill the SWE mission and achieve a more diverse engineering workforce. SWE appreciates your support in this endeavor.

Heather Doty
FY21 SWE President

Karen Horting, CAE
Executive Director and CEO

COPYRIGHT 2021 SWE MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.