In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting resources, events, and connections for Women Engineers!
First, we want to shine the spotlight on the many amazing student clubs and organizations for women engineers.
UVA Student Clubs
SWE (Society of Women Engineers)
The Society of Women Engineers is a national professional organization that aims to support and promote women in achieving their full potential in engineering careers. National SWE awards scholarships and holds the world's largest conference and career fair for women engineers each year. The SWE section at UVA has three areas of focus: outreach, professional development, and community building.
GradSWE’s mission is to support graduate engineers as they achieve academic and life goals. As graduate students, the life challenges and transitions that we experience are unique and the types of professional opportunities that we seek out are different from what may be sought out by undergraduates. We strive to foster a more diverse and inclusive engineering community and advocate for changes that result in a more supportive environment and provide opportunities that are targeted towards graduate students.
WiCS (Women in Computer Science)
Women in Computing Sciences (WiCS) at the University of Virginia supports, celebrates, and advocates for the full engagement of women in all aspects and fields of computing, providing a wide range of programs and services to members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women. Our mission specifically at the University of Virginia is to build a strong community of students who have an interest in computing and technology fields. Our goal is to enhance the education of women and increase their involvement in computing sciences through events, information sessions, mentorship opportunities, and by keeping members informed about educational and career opportunities available at UVA. We hope the WiCS community will inspire and vitalize women to enter the currently male dominated computing world.
GWC (Girls Who Code)
Girls Who Code at the University of Virginia is an organization to empower young women in technology. As long as you have an interest in programming and would love to learn more, you are welcome to join! You do not have to be female or in computer science. We host workshops, socials, and panels to help you grow farther as a programmer and a community member. If you don't know how to code, that's okay! We'll teach you.
Women in STEM
Women in STEM is a social and professional organization for women in the STEM fields to collaborate and encourage one another. We work with professionals at UVA and in the Charlottesville community to help members gain meaningful opportunities.
Women in Entrepreneurship
We’re an accelerator for early-stage projects and startups led by women entrepreneurs at UVA: we strive to provide our community of female founders with the support, guidance, and resources they need to build successful, sustaining ventures.
The primary purpose of this organization is to educate, empower, and advocate women in chemical engineering, and their supporters, by providing an open space for dialogue, mentorship, collaboration, camaraderie, and skill building through professional development, community networking, and outreach to primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions. WChE is open to all genders and encourages active engagement with other URM groups such as WICS, NSBE, SWE, and Out in STEM. There is also a graduate chapter of WiChE.
WiCyS (Women in Cybersecurity)
Discord invite: https://discord.gg/fEHm3h2MwR
WiCyS is a brand new club this year at UVA!
Staying Connected with Women Virtually
There are many other ways to connect with women in engineering and technology to find mentors, get advice and find community.
Charlottesville Women in Tech
Charlottesville Women in Tech (CWIT) is a local organization for women and girls in the tech space looking to establish connections and find resources to support their careers. CWIT aims to bridge the gender gap in tech by providing a safe and collaborative learning environment for women in Cville. They highlight local organizations with a female focus, host events and talks about equity, and recently hosted a Fall 2020 Summit for women to expand their network and kick-start their careers in tech. Join their mailing list to receive updates about upcoming events and check out their website to connect, collaborate, and learn more about local women’s success stories!
Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was an influential pioneer in the history of tech. “To honor Grace Hopper’s legacy and inspire future generations of women in tech,” the virtual Grace Hopper Celebration (vGHC) continues this year to bring “the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront, and [highlight] the contributions of women to the tech world.” Learn more about featured speakers and award winners from previous years and find information from posted impact reports and presentation slides. This year, vGHC is being hosted September 26-29th and registration is coming soon. Event registration sells out fast! Sign up for registration updates and check out their scholarship opportunities.
“R-Ladies is a world-wide organization to promote gender diversity in the R community.” This community is a great space to start and grow in your journey with R, a common programming language for statistical computing. Check out the various ways of staying connected with R-ladies below. Join the local chapter, R-ladies Charlottesville, to attend virtual meetups with members of the local community and use the R-Ladies directory to find women to connect with! Also find and attend global events. To stay connected virtually, join the R-Ladies community Slack, follow @RLadiesGlobal and @RLadiesCville on Twitter, and even share code on the R-Ladies Global Github!
Elpha is a forum where we women can build our careers together. Join Elpha to “connect with peers and mentors, learn from experts, access job opportunities,” and expand your network. Join forum communities about advice, career growth, compensation, health & wellness, money, productivity, and many more! Forums even include a space for asks, rants, and wins!
Women Who Code
Women Who Code (WWC) is an international non-profit “that provides services for women pursuing technology careers and a job board for companies seeking coding professionals.” Join WWC to develop technical skills and advance your career in tech through coding resources, leadership opportunities, global networking opportunities, scholarship opportunities, and access to a curated job board. Also look forward to their upcoming events, including the upcoming Women Who Code CONNECT 2021 conference, taking place virtually on June 10-11, where you can hear from diverse female leaders in tech!
In addition to joining these female-focused organizations, stay connected and empowered through social media!
Instagram: @famlequotient, @thefemalehustlers, @builtbygirls, @scribblesbynicole, @recipesforselflove, @makerswomen
Twitter Hashtags: #womensupportingwomen #femaleempowerment #gritandgracelife #getitgirl #knowyourworth #believeinyourself #womenengineers #womeninstem #womeninengineering #womenshistorymonth #womenintech #womenengineersrock #womenempowerment
Additional Opportunities & Resources for Women in STEM
In addition to the student organizations, conferences, and events above, here are a few bonus programs and events that support the professional development of women in STEM.
First is UVA’s very own Women’s Maker Program! The goal of the Robertson Media Center-based Women’s Maker Program is to help promote greater confidence in female undergraduate students, improve their sense of belonging in STEM fields, and better prepare them for careers in the STEM workforce. Past participants collaborated as a group on a semester long self-identified maker project to solve a community problem. They received training on rapid prototyping methods and technology, such as design thinking and 3D printing. Participants were also provided with a stipend for participation, a mini grant for project supplies and implementation, as well as future student employee opportunities at the Robertson Media Center. The Women’s Maker Program is currently hosting a Women in Technology Speaker Series, and the next event is Friday, April 16th from 1:30-3:30pm at Clemons Library – register here. Activities were scaled back this year as a result of COVID but be on the lookout for more information about next year’s program.
Next, local organization CvilleBioHub is highlighting the work of female founders and scientific leaders in the Charlottesville area in honor of Women's History Month. Hear from panelists on their academic and industry journeys. Discuss the opportunities and challenges that women scientists and business leaders face in our community and beyond. Register to attend the Women in Bio(tech) webinar on Tuesday, March 30 from 12-1pm.
You’ll also find events and programs for women in Handshake like these upcoming or past events:
Past events: Women in Consulting panels, Women in STEM Policy, Google Roundtable with Women in CS, Women in Finance, and more
And finally, if you’re searching for a virtual community, consider getting involved at Rewriting the Code (free!). There are already 10,000+ college and early career women with passion for tech who have joined. You can engage in projects, internships, hackathons, and volunteering for good. You’ll also find year-round programming related to career exploration, recruiting, mentorship, as well as technical and professional development. All students who identify as women are welcome.