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Coalition Develops National Campaign
August 4, 2008

Engineering is a vibrant field that offers boundless opportunities to the innovative people who make up its ranks. It is an excellent choice for anyone interested in a rewarding, well-paid career—so why the dearth of women engineers? Research indicates that low enrollment rates of college-bound young women choosing engineering as their major have led to dwindling numbers of females entering the profession, suggesting that women do not perceive engineering as relevant to their educational or professional goals.

Engineer Your Life is a national campaign that aims to close the gap by enlightening girls about the opportunities available in the world of engineering. This dynamic initiative is spearheaded by members of the engineering community and WGBH Boston, who teamed up in 2004 to find out why girls weren’t participating in engineering in greater numbers. The program is built around three key messages—creativity has its rewards, make a world of difference, and explore the possibilities—which aim to change the perceptions high-school girls have about engineering and to encourage them to enroll in undergraduate engineering programs.

Anchored by its interactive multimedia website, Engineer Your Life showcases 12 in-depth profiles of young female engineers whose choices embody the campaign’s key messages and provides information on the paths they took to reach their professional goals. Their stories present engineering as a realistic option for young women who are interested in careers that make a difference in the world while being flexible, fun, and creative, and as a goal that is desirable and within their reach.

Beyond the launch of the Engineer Your Life website, the coalition also plans to continue positive messaging over the course of the next two years by hosting nationwide training sessions for engineers and educators. Engineers will learn how to better communicate information about their profession to students and the adults who influence them. Counselors will be able to learn more about the field and obtain resources useful for advising students and informing parents. The coalition also will host Engineer Your Life information tables at college fairs across the country that reach 800,000 annually. Future marketing plans include a print and online campaign to drive traffic to the website, including multiple postcard mailings to every sophomore girl with a PSAT score greater than 55.

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