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NSF Awards $50K to Help Female Engineering Profs Meet Each Other

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The National Science Foundation has awarded about $50,000 to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to host a networking workshop for female engineering faculty to interact with each other.

The “Mentoring and Networking Workshop for Junior Women Faculty in the Big 10” grant gives $49,500 to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to host a “workshop” for female assistant professors in engineering.

According to the abstract for the grant, “Very few opportunities exist for junior women faculty in engineering to network, foster peer mentoring relationships, and interact with other female engineering faculty, particularly with female role models. The difficulty in connecting junior women faculty with senior women mentors contributes to under-representation of women in engineering faculty.”

Apparently, it’s not just an issue that not enough women are in tech, but it’s also a problem that not enough women who happen to be assistant engineering professors get the chance to talk to tenured female engineering professors over lunch.

The abstract claims the workshop will “enhance the professional skills and network of junior women faculty in engineering departments in the Big 10+” by helping women with “core skills,” such as “negotiation, elevator pitch, management skills.”

The abstract description also notes the workshop will also feature a panel on “the intersection of race and gender,” in order to cover all of the diversity bases.

The “Big 10 Women’s Workshop” held at the University of Minnesota in March 2016 featured “critical friends workshops” and a “moderated lunch” to discuss “the challenges faced by female faculty of color.” 

The grant started on June 1 and is “estimated” to run until May 31, 2017.

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