Employment in science, technology, engineering, and math fields is still disproportionately dominated by men, especially in engineering and math. Last year, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 27 percent of STEM jobs were held by women. The percentage is even smaller for managerial and senior-level positions. Some optimism is justified, however, as the numbers were even lower five years ago.
Change can begin with knowledge, and efforts are being made at all levels of schooling to encourage girls and young women to pursue exciting, often lucrative STEM fields.
But many people cannot afford to pursue a STEM degree. Here is a look at some engineering scholarships being offered exclusively for girls and women.
IEEE Women in Engineering scholarships. WIE offers three grants. The Frances B. Hugle Scholarship is named for a pioneering engineer who started several Silicon Valley companies. It awards US $2,500 to an IEEE student member who has completed two years of undergraduate study at an ABET-accredited school in the United States.
The 2U Scholarship program is available only to students at George Washington University, American University, Syracuse University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of California, Berkeley. Awardees can receive up to $10,000 to use toward tuition.
Amelia Earhart Fellowship. One industry that was ahead of its time in female inclusion was aviation. Earhart was one of many female pioneers in the industry.
For this scholarship, sponsored by Zonta International, 35 women pursuing a doctorate in aerospace engineering each receive $10,000 to put toward tuition. Since the fellowship was established in 1938, it has helped more than 1,600 women further their education.
Society of Women Engineers scholarship program. SWE scholarships are available to women at both the undergraduate and graduate levels whose focus is engineering and computer science. The program awarded more than 260 scholarships last year, and in 2019, it gave scholarships totaling almost $1 million.
There is no limit on recipients for the scholarship—all women who can demonstrate that they have shown leadership, encouraged diversity, and excelled academically are encouraged to apply. Recipients in the United States are eligible for $10,000 scholarships, while Canadian recipients receive CA $5,000.
Science Ambassador Scholarship. This one is funded by the creators of the Cards Against Humanity game. One young woman receives a full-tuition reward. Applicants must submit a three-minute video explaining why their intended field of study is the best and upload it to YouTube.
This list only scratches the surface of scholarships that are available to women who are interested in a STEM career. The more young women associate with other women who are already succeeding in engineering, the more funding options they are likely to discover.
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