Women's Initiative at UW

The Women's Initiative at the University of Washington seeks to encourage middle- and high-school girls to pursue engineering. We are a group of women engineering students from a variety of engineering departments in the College of Engineering. For more information on UW's focus on women in science and engineering, visit WiSE. If you're from a university and interested in creating your own Women's Initiative, visit our website on How to Create a WI.

Our Goals

  • Encourage young women to see engineering as a viable and exciting potential career path.
  • Empower and motivate girls to take the most challenging math and science courses in high school.
  • Expose girls to the field of engineering and to challenge its common stereotypes.

How It Works

UW women engineering students from a variety of engineering departments give 45-90 minute presentations to middle- and high-school girls.

Presentations include:

  • Hands-on activities to engage students in thinking about engineering concepts,
  • Discussions of real projects presenters have worked on,
  • Information and examples of the many different types of engineering,
  • Fun details about the life of an engineering student.

Feedback from Previous Presentations

What did you think engineering was before you saw our presentation?

“I really didn't know much, but I thought it had to do with complicated math.”

“I thought engineers were people who work on trains.”

“I used to think it was mostly building buildings.”

“I thought that engineering had something to do with being a blacksmith.”

What was your favorite part of the presentation?

“The personal slides to show that engineers are normal people and can be cool.”

“The give-aways were awesome and building the bridge was fun!”

What did you did you learn about engineering?

“I learned about the many different kinds of engineering and that there are many women in the field.”

“It is vital to the advancement of society.”

“It takes a lot of work... it can be fun to make things and then see them work.”

“I learned engineers don't just deal with math all day long.”