Edison International has donated $100,000 to Cal Poly Pomona’s Women in Engineering Program to provide greater opportunities for female students, who are gaining in numbers in the traditionally male-dominated discipline because of such efforts.
The Women in Engineering Program serves female undergraduate and graduate students, as well as female faculty in the College of Engineering. It provides mentoring, guest speakers and support services, as well as outreach to girls in K-12 schools to show that engineering is an exciting field of study.
Charisse Garrido, a civil engineering major, recalls that when she was younger, she wanted to be an artist, but she also loved math.
“Now that I think about it, engineers are artists. Instead of paint and other tools, they use math and science,” she says. “They’re creating something completely different — art, but practical art.”
In fall 2011, the year the program was introduced at Cal Poly Pomona, female freshmen made up 14.7 percent of the entering class. Just two years later, they made up 21.5 percent of the class — an increase of nearly 50 percent.
Edison representatives who attended the check presentation on March 4 said diversity benefits engineering.
“We know that women bring their own unique perspectives to this profession,” said David Mead, senior vice president of transmission and distribution for Southern California Edison. “Working together, Edison and Cal Poly Pomona can increase access to this field for women of all ethnicities.”