"Women Engineers @ the Beach" is an innovative outreach program that draws over 200 to 400 female students, once every semester, from Southern California elementary, middle schools, high schools, and community colleges.
Although there have been great contributions made by women in the field of engineering, women still comprise less than 10% of engineering industry. In 1974, women comprised about 1.6% of the 50,286 enrolled engineering students. This number jumped to 14.8% of 78,225 students by 1994. This increase, however, does not mirror that which exists in engineering industry. The National Center for Education Statistics' publication, The Condition of Education (2001), points outs that although women have earned more than half of all bachelor's degrees, only 17% of those degrees were in engineering. The majority of the degrees that women earned were in professions such as education, English, and visual and performing arts. These facts, coupled with the lack of engineering awareness by secondary school counselors and teachers and societal expectations of appropriate female-male roles also contribute to the low numbers of women engineers. "Women Engineers @ the Beach" was developed to inspire young girls to consider careers in Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science.
"Women Engineers @ the Beach" is an important outreach and recruitment effort of the College of Engineering at CSULB. The purpose of this one-day program is based on the understanding of some common points regarding factors that affect girls' success in engineering, technology, and other non-traditional career fields.