Engineers, Educators, Science Cohorts Gather for Conference Seeking to Recruit More Girls to Technical Fields

April 15, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — More than 100 educators, business representatives and advocates of technical fields will gather for the Texas Girls Collaborative Project Kick-off Conference to network and forge partnerships that seek to increase the number of girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

When: 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Friday, April 18

Where: The University of Texas Club, 2108 Robert Dedman Drive, in Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at The University of Texas at Austin. A map of campus can be found online.

Background: Educators and business leaders from across Texas will converge on The University of Texas at Austin's campus to discuss how to boost the number of girls who choose engineering or science as a career. Some of the businesses and educational institutions participating include 3M, ExxonMobil, IBM, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Girlstart, Latinitas, the Texas Workforce Commission, the Austin Children's Museum and school districts and universities statewide. Participants will be eligible to apply for $1,000 mini-grants for their collaborative efforts. Individuals may pre-register online through April 16 and on-site the day of the event for $25, if space is available.

The keynote speaker will be Duy-Loan Le, a senior fellow at Texas Instruments, who received the 2007 Women of Vision Award for Leadership from the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. The one-day conference will officially launch the Texas Girls Collaborative Project and include panel discussions, presentations, breakout sessions and opportunities for networking all centered on the theme "Communicating and Collaborating to Achieve Success."
Women constitute 45 percent of the workforce in the United States, but hold just 12 percent of engineering and science jobs in business and industry, according to the National Council for Research on Women.

The Texas Girls Collaborative Project connects organizations and individuals across Texas committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The project is led by the Women in Engineering Program at The University of Texas at Austin, together with Leadership Team and Champions Board members from nonprofits, K-12 schools, higher-education institutions, companies and other organizations across Texas.

The conference is sponsored by ExxonMobil, IBM and a grant from the National Girls Collaborative Project. For more information on the conference and to learn more about the Texas Girls Collaborative Project, visit http://texasgirls.engr.utexas.edu/.

For more information, contact: Becky Rische, Institute for Computational Engineering and Science, 512 471 4978;  Tricia Berry, Cockrell School of Engineering College of Engineering, 512-471-5650.