In anticipation, Kate Nolan, SWE Outreach Committee Chair, shared with us why Ada Wilson is her female role model.
I’m inspired by Ada R. Wilson, the first female engineering graduate of the University of Missouri (also known as Mizzou), graduating with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1907. Ada was a trailblazer, unafraid of charting her own path. My graduating class of chemical engineers was 25% female — I can’t imagine being the only one! I also shared an honor with Ada during my undergraduate years. During my senior year, I was knighted by St. Patrick during Engineers’ Week — an honor made possible by Ada’s status as the first Lady of St. Patrick (the precursor to knighting both male & female students).
Ada has inspired new traditions in the past decade, including the Ada R. Wilson Lecture & Green Tea (hosted by SWE each March) and the 1907 Celebration of Women Engineering (which recognizes outstanding women engineering students, alumni, and faculty). I am so grateful for Ada’s determination, which helped to open unlimited possibilities for me and many other female students in Mizzou Engineering, more than a century later.
On August 26th, or in the days leading up, share a photo of your female role model with the hashtags #SeeHerBeHer and #WomensEqualityDay. Tag SWE and FIRST in your post so we can interact with you!
In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day” to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.
SWE and FIRST have a common goal to support diversity and inclusion in engineering, technology and all other disciplines, and supporting women is at the core of that focus. Both organizations are actively engaged in developing strategies and creating programs that empower women to reach their fullest potential. With the #SeeHerBeHer campaign for #WomensEqualityDay, we hope to create a conversation, to inspire sharing and to empower women to advance and succeed wherever and whenever they are!
To join the movement, make sure to follow FIRST and SWE on Twitter: