February 19, 2023
Today marks the beginning of National Engineers Week here in the US (February 19-25, 2023).
Always held on the week that encompasses February 22nd (the Birthday of our first President, George Washington, who is also considered our "First Engineer" for his surveying work), National Engineers Week marks the contribtions of engineers while also raising awareness of the importance of math, science and technical skills.
Started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), National Engineers Week is nw cleratedby more than 70 engineering, educational and cultural societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies.
This weeklong celebration includes Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on February 23rd (just called "Girl Day" on the NSPE website) - one of many days on which STEM professionals, educators, parents and others are encouraged to introduce girls to engineering, science, and other professions that are important to our work in Water.
(and in case you're wondering ... YES, we did just celebrate International Girls and Women in Science Day on February 11th!
Yet despite all these days dedicated to celebrations and awareness raising ... and desipite the BILLIONS of dollars spent on getting girls/women and other underrepresented groups into college degree programs in engineering and other STEM fields (including those required for work in water, environmental, and sustainability) ... we are STILL seeing Women leaving careers in these fields!
In a longitudinal study conducted over 13 years, published in 2015, researchers found that:
"Women make up 20% of engineering graduates, but it’s been estimated that nearly 40% of women who earn engineering degrees either quit or never enter the profession."
A more recent study by the World Bank on Water Utilities (2019) found that Women Engineers left at almost DOUBLE the rate between 2018 and 2019. The "Great Resignation" and pressures on women during COVID likely has accelerated those departures further.
The World Bank "Breaking Barriers" study identified four stages in the Water Career Pipeline:
In order to truly, understand why the "Water Career Pipeline" is "Leaking" Women Water Professionals - and the come up with ways to "Plug the Leaks" - WaterCitizen finds it necessary to add a FIFTH CAREER STAGE.
To learn more, DOWNLOAD WaterCitizen's Free QuickGuide:
Discover the 5 Critical "Leaks" in the "Water Career Pipeline" for
Women Water Professionals
© 2023 WaterCitizen Foundation All Rights Reserved