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Library Hosts Women In Engineering Exhibit

September 20, 2006

In tribute to the pioneering women of the 20th century who broke into the “male” field of engineering, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) have created a traveling multimedia history.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wendt Library will host the exhibit “Petticoats and Slide Rules” for 12 weeks this fall.

For more than 50 years, SWE has encouraged women in engineering education and in the field. It has celebrated achievement and stood for equal rights in a field where women historically were shunned, says Alice Pawley, an industrial and systems engineering Ph.D. student and UW-Madison chapter member of SWE. The exhibit highlights the struggles and the successes of women engineers from the early 1900s to present, featuring materials from the SWE archives at Wayne State University, including photographs, letters, diaries and news clips.

The exhibit was funded by a grant from the Ford Motor Co. The UW-Madison visit is sponsored by the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute and the UW-Madison chapter of SWE. They hope that the exhibit will increase awareness of the history of women in engineering.

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