Generally speaking, engineering is a man's world. Studies show there are fewer women in engineering than in all other scientific or technical fields. Why is this? It appears the lack of interest in scientific and/or technical fields begins as early as grade school and continues on through college. This apathy is fueled by different approaches taken while teaching male and female students, lack of female role models in engineering/science, and sexist attitudes of teachers as well as students themselves. There is a common misconception that men are more adept at competitive and analytical thinking, while women better understand and deal with emotions.

Over the last 15 years, engineering as a major for both men and women has been on a downslide. Further, those who initially choose engineering as a major don't always finish with a degree. This decline is exacerbated by the increasing amount of retirees who were trained in the early 1960s, and is leading to a possible engineering resource crisis.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic
Research shows that boys and girls are educated differently. These differences factor into the shortage of women in science and engineering. A recent report found that while teachers gave boys detailed instructions on how to do things, they completed the tasks for girls, creating a phenomenon known as "learned helplessness." Girls learn to attribute failure to lack of ability rather than lack of effort. Studies of math and science classrooms have found that teachers interact more often with male than female students, and this increases from seventh to eighth grade. Also, girls grow less assertive over time and volunteer answers less often. This lack of assertiveness leads to a decline in experiences with instruments, materials, and techniques of science and math, resulting in a disadvantaged education.

Another disadvantage for girls in math and science is that they tend to gather in same-sex peer groups. Female peer groups traditionally strive for popularity, a sweet temperament, and being cute while disregarding more masculine attributes such as being strong, a good student, and athletic. One report states that peer groups tend to dissuade girls from taking advanced math courses and that girls are less likely to skip grades for fear their peers will not accept them.

Female role models in math and science fields are few and far between. A 1991 study found that elementary science texts had no illustrations of women. Recent studies find an increase in illustrations of women in textbooks, but these examples are far outnumbered by illustrations of men. Also,

women scientists are rarely featured in popular magazines. When they do appear, it is as subordinate assistants or as geniuses, neither of which provide good role models for girls. However, research shows that when male and female students read about a woman performing a traditional "masculine" activity, both groups believe women could and should do that activity.

Clearly, engineering is perceived as a nontraditional career path for women. For example, if a woman wants to have a family, she may believe a nontraditional career is incompatible with these plans. This thinking could be changed by having women embrace both masculine/instrumental and female/expressive qualities, changing their idea of science and engineering through exposure to good female role models, especially in textbooks, and changing science and engineering fields to accommodate traditional responsibilities, such as caring for a family.

Studies show to carve out more diverse career paths for women, changes must occur early on in education. Most girls lose interest in engineering fields before enrolling in college. Encouraging female students to take math and science courses throughout high school is crucial. Also, high-school teachers and guidance counselors need to be educated about engineering as a career. Re-search done by Raymond Landis, engineering and technology dean of California State University, Los Angeles, found many teachers who felt unqualified to discuss engineering in the classroom. This ignorance kept them from encouraging students to consider engineering. He proposed a secondary course for high-school teachers and counselors that would give an overview of engineering, outline the engineering education process, and introduce ways of working with students to promote success in engineering school.

Reversing the downward spiral
Now that some of the root causes have been defined, how can this epidemic be stopped? Experts believe an obvious place to begin is to encourage girls from kindergarten through high school to take advanced mathematics and science courses. This serves to keep their career options open, possibly steering them away from "traditional" female careers in the humanities.

Also, establishing mentoring programs provides female role models. A mentoring program focuses on achievements, success in school, and preparation for the workforce in a one-on-one environment. One such program, instituted by Autodesk chairman and CEO Carol Bartz, is a partnership with female managers and a group of female interns. Called "Design Your Future" (DYF), the goal is to inspire and empower young women to pursue careers in math, science, and technology. A DYF Web site lists internships, career possibilities, and events. The site is developed and maintained by the DYF interns who range in age from 14 to 19. The program also includes an annual day of hands-on activities that give young women a fun way to learn about high-tech careers; a speaker's bureau of women from Autodesk who speak at classrooms and educational events; and a job-shadow program for groups of middle and high-school girls to get a closer look at careers in a design-software company. The DYF Education Allies program partners Autodesk women mentors with seventh-grade girls at a local middle school.

Finally, experts believe if there were more female math and science teachers, perhaps the gender bias would start to deteriorate. That is, exposure to more women in these roles would remove this bias in the eyes of young girls, making the idea of a career in engineering or science a natural one, instead of breaking the "traditional" male career barrier.

Image is everything. Not.
Interestingly, a 1998 Harris Poll, commissioned by the American Association of Engineering Societies, reveals that most women are not well informed about engineers and, in fact, don't even know what engineers do or how they contribute to society.

Unfortunately, society has done little to promote engineering as a desirable career for women. Scientists and engineers are often portrayed in popular culture as men who are, more often than not, either mad or nerds, neither of which women strive to be.

Additionally, only about 2% of Americans think of engineers as inventors, and only 3% as creative. Instead, according to the Harris Poll, engineers are regarded as builders, makers, designers, and planners.

Those women that do choose the engineering profession despite these statistics find that it's tough being a woman engineer. Fact is, the U.S. engineering workforce is predominantly composed of white males. And ironically, though women make up more than half of the U.S. population, when it comes to the engineering workforce, they comprise only about 8%, according to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Believe it or not, this percentage shows an improvement over the mid-1980s, when the proportion of females in the engineering workforce was less than 6%.

In the workplace
In recent years, according to an SWE survey of 2,000 male and female engineers, women engineers typically have started their first engineering jobs at salaries equal to or greater than those of their male counterparts. After about eight years in the workforce, however, those women still pursuing an engineering career earn less than men. This disparity widens the longer these women stay in the workforce.

Some experts believe the salary difference is due to women not advancing into management at the same rate as men. Others believe that family responsibilities have caused women to remove themselves from the workforce for a period of time and that they never make up the difference.

The SWE survey produced other interesting findings:

  • Women engineers are more likely than men to work in a manufacturing sector, while men work in consulting.
  • Women engineers tend to work for large engineering employers while men work in smaller firms.
  • Men are more likely (40% versus 14%) than women to pursue and obtain registration as professional engineers.
  • 51% of male engineers feel that they participate in management decisions while only 32% of female engineers feel this way.

Most experts agree that survey results such as these reflect a glass ceiling — a perceived barrier preventing women or minorities from moving into top management positions that they can see, but never reach. In fact, research from the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, as well as testimonials, support that today's American labor force is gender and race segregated, and that white men fill most top management positions in corporations.

On the other hand, some women engineers say that obstacles such as these have been minor, and in some instances, being a woman in the field has actually helped in that they tend to be remembered by peers because they stand out in a crowd.

Regardless, men and women are different and how they interact in the workplace may be a factor in the low representation of female engineers.

Men are frequently confused about how to treat professional women, according to Bernice Resnick Sandler, Ed.D., of the National Association for Women in Education. For example, men tend to cast women into social roles, either as cute and adorable or as motherly, she says. This is especially true in the male-dominated engineering world. Women may also experience either overt or subtle sexual harassment in the workplace, according to Sandler, saying that women typically:

  • receive less eye contact than men,
  • are called upon less often than men when they volunteer,
  • are interrupted more frequently than men,
  • have their suggestions ignored,
  • and get less feedback.

Sandler also notes that double standards exist, such as characterizing men as courageous but women as dragon ladies or men as assertive and women as aggressive.

As a result of these perceptions, many women tend to denigrate themselves, she says, when they speak in low voices, qualify their responses, frame opinions as clever questions, and raise their voices at the end of sentences; a habit that turns their statements into questions.

Other differences are much more obvious. Like it or not, women have babies. Until recently, this fact has been ignored in the workplace, forcing women to give up their careers for the sake of family. Flexibility is key to striking a balance between career and family for both women and men.

Finding a cure
With all the perceived biases against women in the engineering workplace, experts say there are some ways women can gain equal footing with their male counterparts. To address concerns over family responsibilities, corporations can offer flex time, comprehensive family leave policies, job sharing, and on-site day-care or child-care assistance.

Other issues, such as lack of recognition, can be handled by ensuring that women are not only well represented on visible team projects, but that managers and peers listen, respect, and act on their ideas as appropriate.

Corporations can also hold managers accountable for recruiting, developing, and keeping female engineers, the same goes for universities and tenure awards.

Because many women engineers are not predisposed to self promotion, companies can offer job rotation opportunities and showcase their contributions. Combating the feeling of isolation many women engineers claim to experience may require in-house mentoring programs as well as establishing a team environment to encourage participation and interaction.

In cases where discrimination or harassment is overt, management can provide diversity training and develop and enforce antidiscrimination and antiharassment policies.

Research shows that the engineering profession as a whole must diversify its workforce to keep up and compete in a global market. The first step may be to create a better image of engineers and engineering so that talented young people, of all races and genders, are attracted to the profession. Secondly, the glass ceiling must be broken so that qualified individuals can achieve top management positions. And finally, most experts agree there's a problem of attrition. If, as many managers believe, women aren't promoted because they tend to leave their careers earlier than men, a bigger challenge than advancement becomes actually keeping talented women engineers. Recruiting and training good engineers is costly and takes too much time for employers to be indifferent to the problem. Programs and policies that help all employees have a flexible, balanced, and gratifying career and family life are key to attracting and keeping the best talent.

Information provided by The National Academy of Engineering Summit On Women in Engineering.

Women In Time

Pioneering women from the past and present have made significant contributions to science and technology, despite many barriers. Here's a look at some of our founding mothers.

1818-1889: Maria Mitchell, an American astronomer, won a gold medal for discovering a new comet on October 1, 1847, and was the first American woman to be internationally known astronomer. Mitchell was the world's first woman professor of astronomy.

1820-1910: Known as the "lady with the lamp," Florence Nightingale shaped nursing into the profession it is today. She studied nursing in Paris and later became the superintendent of a women's hospital in London. In 1854, the Crimean War left British troops with inadequate health supplies. The secretary of war asked Florence to take charge of the dilapidated hospital. She took command, cleaned it up, and set up schedules for food and care. She saved many lives and made many changes in the nursing and health profession.

1842-1911: Ellen Swallow Richards, an American chemist, earned a B.S. in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873, as well as a master's degree from Vassar. She went on to complete the requirements for a doctorate, but did not receive the degree because, as she wrote, "the heads of department did not wish a woman to receive the university's first D.S. in chemistry." Ellen taught in MIT's Chemistry department until she died, analyzing water and sewage systems for the Massachusetts Board of Health and set statewide quality standards. She also had a reputation for being known as a "preeminent water scientist." Richards achieved worldwide recognition on her analysis of minerals in the earth. Richards pioneered environ-mental and sanitary engineering and is known as "the woman who founded ecology."

1843-1903: The Brooklyn Bridge was called one of the most important construction projects of the 19th century when it opened on May 24, 1883. Much of the credit belongs to Emily Warren Roebling. Emily served as the link between her husband/chief engineer, Col. Washington A. Roebling, and the construction crew. When Washington fell victim to decompression sickness while working on the Manhattan caisson — 78 ft beneath New York's East River — Emily became the surrogate chief engineer. Between 1872 and the bridge's opening in 1883, Emily learned higher math and engineering through "onthe-job" training. While her accomplishments went unrecognized by professional organizations, she is listed as one of the builders of the bridge on the dedication plaque.

1854-1923:Hertha Ayrton (Phoebe Sarah Marks) was one of the first woman electrical engineers. She invented a fan to clear poisonous gases from mines and soldier's bunkers and was the first woman to gain an award from Britain's prestigious British Royal Society.

1865-1933: Kate Gleason was the first woman to be president of a national (U.S.) bank, as well as the first woman member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Her father was the owner of Gleason Works, a machine-tool factory in Rochester. At age 12, Kate started working Saturdays at her father's factory. By 1893, she helped her father design and perfect a machine that produced beveled gears quickly and cheaply. Henry Ford credited Kate, rather than her father, for this invention when he said it was "the most remarkable machine work ever done by a woman." From 1890 to 1901, she was the secretary-treasurer of the firm and perhaps the world's first female seller of machine tools. As a result of her business leadership, Gleason Works became a leading U.S. producer of gear-cutting machinery.

1867-1934: Marie Curie began studying science and mathematics at the University of Paris of Sorbonne in 1891. By 1893, she had earned the equivalent of a master's degree in physics, followed by mathematics. In 1895, she married physicist Pierre Curie. Together, they worked with French physicist, Henri Becquerel, who in 1896, discovered that pitchblende, a mineral that contained uranium, gave off radiation that darkened photographic film and made nearby air conduct electricity. Marie calculated the radiation leaving the pitchblende and found that there was significantly more radioactivity in the ore than in the uranium itself. She hypothesized that other elements had ores that were radioactive, too. Together, Marie and Pierre separated the ores and found two very radioactive elements, naming them polonium and radium. Marie, Pierre, and Becquerel received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1903, and Marie became the first woman ever to do so. She also received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1911. No other person has received two Nobel awards in science. She died in 1934 due to over-exposure to radioactivity, while researching the isolation of a new element.

1876: Elizabeth Bragg received the first engineering degree awarded to an American woman in 1876 in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

1878-1972: Lillian Evelyn Moller Gilbreth, an American psychologist and engineer, is considered a pioneer in the field of time-and-motion studies, showing companies ways to improve management techniques and increase efficiency and production through budgeting time, energy, and money. Dr. Gilbreth completed her graduate studies in psychology at Brown University and wrote "The Psychology of Management" based on her research. This book is said to have helped evolve engineering management into today's version which considers the human element. She received many honorary degrees in engineering at masters and Ph.D. levels and was made an honorary member of the Society of Industrial Engineers in 1920. She is also listed as "Member No. 1" of the Society of Women Engineers.

1878-1968: Lise Meitner was inspired by Marie Curie to become a physicist and study radioactivity. In 1918, while studying with chemist Otto Hahn, she discovered the second heaviest known element, called protactinium. In the 1920s, Meitner studied the behavior of beta particles: negatively charged particles given off during the breakdown of radioactive atoms. Meanwhile in Germany, her former partner Otto Hahn and another scientist were trying to find a heavier element than uranium by bombarding heavy elements with subatomic particles called neutrons. However, they found that when they exposed uranium to neutrons, they got barium, a much lighter element. Hahn wrote to Meitner in 1938, asking for her help in explaining it. Until then, physicists thought the atomic nuclei couldn't be split. Meitner, along with her cousin and physicist Otto Frisch, concluded that under some conditions the nucleus might become "a very wobbly drop, like a thin-walled balloon filled with water," and a neutron might split it. The two wrote calculations and figured, according to Albert Einstein's theories, splitting a uranium nucleus should release 200 million electron volts, 20 million times more than an equivalent of TNT. This discovery led to the development of the Atomic bomb six years later. Otto Hahn received a Nobel Prize in 1944 for his part in discovering nuclear fission, but Meitner did not. Meitner, however, has been called the "most significant woman scientist of the century."

1879: Mary Walton, an independent inventor, developed a method for minimizing the environmental hazards of factory smoke. Walton's patented system deflected the emissions being produced into water tanks, where the pollutants were retained and then flushed into the sewage system. Later, Walton tackled a different kind of air pollution — noise. Trains being installed throughout the larger cities in the U.S. in the 1880s were clanging loudly. Walton, who lived in Manhattan, set out to solve the problem. She set up a model railroad track in her basement and, in time, discovered a sound-dampening apparatus. She cradled the rails in a boxlike framework of wood, which was painted with tar, lined with cotton, and filled with sand. Vibrations from the rails and sound were absorbed by the surrounding materials. Walton received a patent on February 8, 1891. She sold the rights to New York City's Metropolitan Railroad.

1881-1975: Alice Catherine Evans was an American microbiologist who proved a dangerous bacteria, found in fresh cow's milk, could cause human disease. This discovery forced the dairy industry to begin heat-treating milk to kill bacteria.

1883-1959: Edith Clarke became the first woman to be elected fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1948.

1883-1971: Nora Stanton, granddaughter of the American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was the first junior member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She gained experience in 1909 as an assistant engineer and chief drafter for the Radley Steel Construction Co. and, in 1912, became an assistant engineer for the New York Public Service Commission. Stanton also worked for the Public Works Administration in Connecticut and Rhode Island as an architect, engineering inspector, and structural-steel designer.

1886-1970: (Marie) Gertrude Rand was the first woman to become a fellow of the technical society, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. In 1928, she and her husband accepted positions at the Wilmer Opthalmological Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. One of their projects was lighting the Holland Tunnel that ran under the Hudson River and connected New York City and Jersey City, N.J. Another was developing standards of visual health and acuity for airplane pilots and ship lookouts during World War II. The couple held many patents for lighting devices and instruments. From 1943 until retirement in 1957, Rand was a research associate at the Knapp Foundation of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, N.Y. There, researched detecting and assessing color blindness and became a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of America in 1952 during her tenure at Columbia University. In 1963, she was awarded the society's Gold Medal. Rand also became the first woman to win the Edgar D. Tillyer Medal of the Optical Society of America in 1959.

1897-1937: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1932.

1903-1974: Through her studies of applied mathematics and fluid dynamics, a German/American engineer and mathematician named Irmgard Flügge-Lotz improved aircraft designs by adding the automatic controls that made jet aircraft possible. In 1931, she worked out a formula for determining the distribution of lift over the span of a plane's wings. Her book, "Discontinuous Automatic Control," was published in 1953. She also became the first woman professor of engineering at Stanford University in 1960.

1906-1992: Naval officer Grace Hopper worked as a programmer on the Harvard and Navy team that, in 1944, produced the Mark 1, an early prototype of the electronic computer. In 1941, she coined the term "bug" for computer glitches when the Mark I suddenly stopped working and she found a moth lodged in a relay. She was also involved in creating Univac, the first all electronic digital computer. Additionally, Hopper invented the first computer compiler, a program that translates written instruction into codes the computer can read. This led to her codevelopment of Cobol, an early standardized computer language.

1913-1996: Mary Leakey made archaeological discoveries that changed most views of human evolution. She found two skulls in 1948 and 1959 that traced human origin to Africa (not Asia as previously believed), and in 1978, found a trail of fossilized footprints (3.6 million years old) that proved humans began walking upright earlier than scientists believed.

1913-2000: Hedy Lamar, in addition to being a well-known movie star, worked with composer George Antheil and came up with the original idea and patent that led to cellular-phone technology. Lamar had heard about how easy it was to block the simple signal of radio-controlled missiles. She recognized that if the signal jumped from frequency to frequency quickly and both sender and receiver changed in the same order, then the signal couldn't be blocked. This discovery came before the invention of digital electronics. Lamar and Antheil patented the Secret Communication System in 1942, however the patent ran out before either could collect any royalties.

1920-1958: Rosalind Franklin was a molecular biologist studying X-ray diffraction, and is known for discovering DNA's properties, including its density and spherical shape.

1937: Valentina Vladimirovna Nikolayeva Tereshkova was born in 1937 in Russia. Traveling on the Russian spacecraft Volstok VI, she became the first woman to travel through space. She had no official pilot training but was accepted into the cosmonaut program because of her excellent amateur parachuting abilities. Tereshkova left the Russian space program shortly after her historic flight and went on to serve as director of the Soviet Women's Committee in 1968. From 1974 to 1991, she served as a member of the Supreme Soviet Presidium.

1948-1986: Sharon Christa McAuliffe received her B.A. degree in 1970 from Framingham State College, Mass., and a masters degree in education in 1978 from Bowie State College, Md. Former Vice President George Bush announced on July 19, 1985, that Christa had been unanimously chosen from over 11,000 applicants for the NASA Teacher In Space Project on the space shuttle Challenger. Her goal as the first teacher in space was to "humanize the Space Age by giving a perspective from a non-Astronaut." Sharon Christa McAuliffe was killed on Jan. 28, 1986, when the Challenger exploded 78 sec after take-off.

1949-1986: Dr. Judith Resnik was the second American woman in space. She received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1970 from Carnegie-Mellon University. She then went to RCA Corp. where she worked in the missile and surface radar division, and service division. She left in 1974 to become a staff scientist in the neurophysiology laboratory at the National Institute of Health. Resnik received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1977 from the University of Maryland. When she heard that NASA was going to admit women into the space program, she was determined to become an astronaut, and joined NASA's space program in 1978. She and Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, worked together on the design and development of the remote manipulator system. Tragically, Dr. Resnik was one the seven astronauts killed in the explosion of the Challenger (Shuttle Mission 51L) on Jan. 28, 1986. The Society of Women Engineers named one of its awards in her honor.

1951-present: Sally Kristen Ride began her career as an astronaut in 1977 when she responded to an advertisement by NASA soliciting applications for young scientists who were interested in serving as "mission special-ists" on future space flights. Ride's opportunity came in March of 1982, when she was chosen as one of the crew members of the space shuttle Challenger. She flew her last flight for NASA in October of 1983.

1956-present: Eileen M. Collins was the first woman ever to pilot a NASA space shuttle mission. This mission included docking with the Russian space station Mir as well as deployment and retrieval of the satellite Spartan 204. During her career at NASA she has logged more than 4,000 flight hr in over 30 different types of aircraft, as well as working as an aircraft commander and instructor pilot.

Some timeline information courtesy of A Bibliographical Dictionary A to Z of Women in Science and Math, authored by Lisa Yount.


Carol Latham, Thermagon Inc.

As founder, president, and CEO of Cleveland-based Thermagon Inc., a successful custom manufacturer of heat-transfer materials for electronic components, it seems that Carol Latham is on top of the world. But it hasn't been easy.

After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in chemistry, Latham was hired by the former Standard Oil of Ohio where she spent a lot of time working with plastics. It wasn't long, however, before family obligations kept her home where she dedicated the next 18 years to being a full-time housewife and mother. Then, after a divorce in 1981, Latham was forced to reenter the workforce. Ironically, she ended up back at Sohio, now part of British Petroleum. At that time, Sohio was in the ceramics business, busy trying to develop a new heat-conducting material for small electronic devices. Latham believed that Sohio could combine ceramics with plastics to create heat conductors that were soft, pliable, and adhesive. Her associates, however, paid little attention to her ideas and, in fact, didn't even take her seriously.

Latham resigned and went to work testing her theory by combining ceramic materials and other fillers with resins until she came up with a concoction that drew as much as eight times more heat than anything else on the market.

Not surprisingly, people were doubtful that such a product existed and, that it was developed by a woman to boot. Latham promoted her product and soon after, started receiving small orders from major players in the market. In just five years, Latham has seen her business grow from less than $500,000 in sales/year to $12 million. Both Latham and Thermagon since have received national publicity and numerous awards and, last year, she was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.


Rodica Baranescu, SAE president

Rodica Baranescu, chief engineer at International Truck and Engine Corp., is the first woman to be elected president of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Under her leadership, SAE will actively pursue women and minorities in hopes of steering them toward a career in automotive engineering.

Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, Baranescu holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Bucharest where she taught for more than 13 years before coming to the U.S.

As SAE's first female president, Baranescu wears her badge proudly. As she should, after all, of the society's 80,000 members, only about 4.7%, or 3,800, are women. Baranescu says women have to be proactive to stimulate growth, even though they have made considerable progress over the years.

In addition to boosting the number of women and minorities in the automotive engineering field, Baranescu will continue SAE's drive to place young, volunteer engineers in grade schools to talk with students and help teachers develop projects that promote engineering.

"We need to have more of these mentors in the classroom, and more women and so that kids see an example," she says. "If they like math and physics, they need know it is all right to become an engineer, rather than a doctor or a nurse."

As president, Baranescu also will work to:
encourage young people to become SAE leaders,
continue to expand SAE globally,
continue pushing to harmonize standards,
and improve services to engineers on the industry's heavy-duty side.


Carol Bartz, Autodesk Inc.
Carol Bartz is CEO, president, and chairman of the board of Autodesk Inc., said to be the world's leading supplier of design software and one of the biggest PC software companies in the world. Under Bartz's direction, the company has diversified its product line and grown revenues from $285 million to more than $820 million in an eight-year period. She held positions at Sun Microsystems, as well as Digital Equipment Corp. and 3M Corp.

Bartz graduated with honors in computer science from the University of Wisconsin. She received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from William Woods University. Also, she was honored with the 1994 Donald C. Burnham Manufacturing Management Award from the Society of Managing Engineers (SME). Along with serving on various boards, Bartz is honored in the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame.


Janine Bay, Ford Motor Co.
Janine Bay, director of vehicle personalization, won the WEC/BREED Award for Women's Leadership in the first year the honor has been given.

The SAE Women Engineers Committee gives this new award to the woman who best achieves balance between personal and professional achievement in the transportation industry. At Ford Motor Co., Bay has taken a leadership role in creating a workplace that values the balance between work and family. She cochairs diversity committees at all levels within Ford and is a member of the Corporate Diversity Council. She is also chairperson of the Executive Advisory Group for the Professional Women's Network.

Bay began her career with Ford in 1976 as a product engineer in body and electrical product engineering. Among her many accomplishments was launching the 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra which led to her appointment as manager of durability and development analysis with the task of improving Ford's high-mileage durability. In 1994, Bay was appointed to the position of Mustang Vehicle Line Director, where she designed and launched the 1999 Mustang.

She maintains a strong focus on family life, often bringing her seven-year-old daughter to speaking engagements or Mustang events.


Online help for women engineers

Home page of the Women in Engineering Program Advocate s Network (WEPAN).

Photo courtesy Osborn International