International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Celebrating women and girls who are leading innovation in science and engineering

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iGEM students in the lab
Melissa Weckerle

According to data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), less than 30 percent of STEM researchers worldwide are women and only around 30 percent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. This highlights the ongoing need to bridge the gender gap by empowering more women to pursue STEM education and careers.

February 11th marks the 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day to celebrate women and girls who are leading innovation in science and engineering and to promote an increase in representation of women in STEM.

In addition to honoring all women scientists and engineers, today provides a perfect opportunity to highlight four Baskin Engineering student organizations that are dedicated to promoting women in science and engineering. Those four organizations are: The Association of Computing Machinery – Women (ACM-W), Girls Who Code, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE).

The Association of Computing Machinery – Women (ACM-W) is a STEM club that serves women in computing majors. Through various events and programming, ACM-W aims to prepare women for successful careers in the computing field. 

The Girls Who Code club is available to all UCSC women; members do not have to be associated with one of Baskin Engineering’s degree programs. The mission behind Girls Who Code is to support and engage women interested in technical fields through discussion sessions and networking opportunities. 

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is an educational organization dedicated to empowering women engineers. Through development programs, events, and scholarships, SWE prepares women to be leaders in the field of engineering.

Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) is a student-run organization that offers events throughout the year to engage UCSC women interested in pursuing science and engineering careers. Recruit, retain, reform is their motto, hoping to increase representation of women in STEM.

To learn more about these and other student engineering organizations, please visit: https://undergrad.soe.ucsc.edu/student-organizations.