Advancing Women Engineers

Advancing Women Engineers Hosts Panel and Networking Event  

Advancing Women Engineers (AWE) held its first in-person meeting with a panel event and networking dinner. Dedicated to building a community for women in engineering by leveraging the support of its alumnae network, AWE seeks to empower the next generations of women in STEM to build confidence, develop leadership skills, and find a sense of belonging. 

“The panelists talked about their experiences and their journey as women in the College of Engineering Computer Science (ECS). They gave us advice and supporting words that I will carry on during my next three years in college,” says computer science student Esther Chang ‘26.  

“AWE’s Networking group was a fantastic way for me to not only meet alumni but to also know them on a more personal level. This way, I could relate with them a lot more,” says computer science student Adya Parida ‘25.  

“The panelists shared their struggles in college and uncertainty regarding their careers. Many panelists changed jobs multiple times and I could relate to that since I am also unsure about my career path currently,” says computer science student Meagan Gonzalez ‘26.  

In addition to providing a safe space for women in engineering, AWE seeks to raise awareness about the meaningful work that engineers do and improve the perception of women in STEM while offering mentoring and career and internship opportunities.  

“The biggest takeaway for me was the fact that I am not alone in engineering and there is a large Orange community of talented women engineers who have been in my shoes before, and I can always reach out to them for guidance,” says Parida.  

“For me, the biggest takeaway is that it is possible to graduate from ECS and find a job in a respectable environment and kindhearted people. Hearing from alumnae let me learn that not every experience after college will be negative and you can still have a successful and positive experience,” says Gonzalez. 

AWE plans to host many events to engage alumni and students through networking, immersion programming, “Real Talk” sessions, virtual conferences, and more.  

“As a student who transferred into computer science this semester, it was great to see the alumni of our school to see where I would land after graduating,” says Chang. “The AWE event provided me with a lot of insight into what my future would look like as a woman in ECS.”