Women in Engineering at RIT (WE@RIT) is dedicated to expanding the representation of women engineers and preparing women for leadership roles within the engineering profession.
Hundreds of women engineering students participate in our engineering career-focused programs and events each year. WE@RIT is a nationally recognized program for fostering community and success for women engineering students and for providing younger women in middle and high school with opportunities to explore engineering. In addition to working with RIT students, WE@RIT provides programming for middle and high school girls in summer camps on campus to encourage young women to consider careers in engineering where they can put the intellect and creativity to use in helping solve real world problems.
KGCOE is the only engineering college in the nation named in honor of a woman. Kate Gleason demonstrated innovative, entrepreneurial, and technical abilities at a time when women could not even vote! Kate Gleason's legacy and inspiration, together with the college's strong commitment to foster gender equality in the engineering field led to the creation of a women in engineering program called WE@RIT. It was founded in 2003 by a group of dedicated faculty and staff. WE@RIT develops and hosts programs that support, educate and inspire young women both academically and socially.
Executive Advisory Board
The Executive Advisory Board provides consistent guidance to WE@RIT on strategic direction, programs, and partnerships. They assist with our extensive collaborations with University Programs, College of Engineering Departments, Faculty, and Industry partners. This valued method of operation has a positive impact on programs and student success.
Kate Gleason knew there was nothing she couldn’t achieve, provided she had passion and the will to succeed. Women engineers at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering share this philosophy. Inspired by our college’s namesake, they stretch conventional limits to reach their full potential. And Kate isn’t their only inspiration. The number of women faculty members within our college exceeds the national average, and women comprise 40% of the dean’s leadership staff.
Our woman engineering faculty are also engaged in research and activities related to recruitment, retention, and advancement of women students and faculty in STEM-related fields. They are recognized by national and international professional organizations for their dedication to their respective disciplines, for their research, and for their contributions to the education of the next generation of engineers.
In 2012, 19% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering, 23% of master’s degrees in engineering, and 23% of doctorate degrees in science and engineering were awarded to minority women. (NSF, 2011).
Women make up 46.8% of the overall workforce, but are much less represented in particular science and engineering occupations (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
36.1% of chemists and material scientists are women;
14.7% of chemical engineers are women;
12.6% of civil engineers are women;
12.5% of electrical and electronics engineers are women;
20.2% of industrial engineers are women; and
8.3% of mechanical engineers are women.
In 1914, Kate Gleason was unanimously elected to membership as the first woman member in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
In 1884, Kate Gleason became the first woman engineering student in the United States.
Women in Engineering Retreat
The WE Retreat is an invitation-only one day program for accepted KGCOE female students held in coordination with the RIT Accepted Student Open House.
When: March 29th, 2019
Engage with our unique women engineering community.
Learn about unique student design experience, research opportunities, leadership development and more.