Women in EECS at MIT

When a lot of us started Course 6 our freshmen and sophomore years, some without any background in electrical engineering or computer science, we did not know what to expect. As Jackie Xu, a student studying computer science in the class of 2017, describes her experience:

“As time went on and I gained more experience in Course 6, I realized I really wished I had more female mentors, collaborators, and friends in Course 6. There were so many incredibly talented women in the major, and I hadn’t had chances to really connect with them all.”

Jackie was surprised that there was no community at MIT for undergraduate women in EECS. So in the fall, she brought together several women in Course 6 in simple Facebook group — and then it turned into this very organization, Women in EECS, or WiEECS:

“Our hope, overall, has been for women studying EECS to never feel alone or in doubt about belonging in this field. It is often not an easy path for women who are severely underrepresented in electrical engineering and computer science. So, for women to study EECS at MIT — one of the best institutions in the world for this field — we need a community to support each other in this incredible and difficult pursuit. As women studying EECS at MIT, we also have the opportunity to set the bar as to what kind of community we want to create for this field overall, in and outside of these walls. Our mission is to build a community for women in EECS that supports, encourages, and empowers them to succeed.”

Our efforts are shaped by three guiding goals:

1. To foster a supportive peer network amongst MIT’s undergraduate women interested in EECS.

2. To empower women as leaders in the technology industry by giving them the resources and mentorship to grow.

3. To raise awareness about the issues women face in the field both at MIT and beyond.

We plan to accomplish this mission through various programs on campus:

  • Panels and Discussions: From interviewing to finding research opportunities, these informal information sessions are a valuable chance to learn about the technology sector. We hope to connect students to women who have succeeded in both industry and academia, in addition to alums who have perspective on what opportunities at MIT helped them the most.
  • Focus Groups: Students will have a chance to join sub communities that share a common interest within a specific area in EECS.
  • Lightning Talks: We will host lightning talk sessions — quick, engaging introductions to a wide assortment of different technical topics. Each talk will be 10- 15 minutes long and delivered by a passionate female undergraduate. This will present a way for younger students to learn about specific areas within EECS.
  • Social Mixers: Often accompanied by delicious food and fun activities, these community-building events help unite the undergraduate women in EECS.
  • Mentorship Program: This program will pair interested underclassmen with passionate upperclassmen to answer questions, offer advice and provide supportive mentorship.
  • Faculty Dinners: These faculty dinners will offer a unique opportunity to ask questions, hear stories and make meaningful connections with female EECS faculty members.
  • Skills Workshops: These are opportunities to build technical and personal skills, from tinkering with arduinos to practicing public speaking.

Please like our Facebook page and follow our medium blog, and join our email list. Our Facebook page will feature announcements for upcoming events, and quick introductions to get to know women in the community! This medium blog will feature recaps of our events, as well as the stories of women in EECS and their experiences in and out of MIT. We want to hear from you!

Reach out to us to be put on our general email list to hear about upcoming events and opportunities within MIT or to join any focus groups. If you have suggestions for our programs or would like to join our organizing committee, let us know! We look forward to forming a community for undergraduate women in EECS!

A couple of links:

Our Main Website

Facebook Page

To contact us, email wieecs-exec@mit.edu.

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