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Opening Thoughts: Multifaceted Impacts

Opening Thoughts: Multifaceted Impacts Opening ThoughtsAs the world moved through spring into summer, the multifaceted impacts of COVID-19 and the enduring legacy of structural racism dominated the news. The confluence of these events have made this fall a time like no other. In this edition of SWE, we look at both from the standpoints of engineering, the STEM professions, and women’s experiences.

Our cover story, “How Do We Create Systemic Change?,” focuses on the insights, experiences, and recommendations of prominent African American women in STEM higher education. Against the backdrop of serious reflection regarding racism and social injustice, these leaders point out that change must begin at the top, and offer specific actions in the form of policies, programs, and classes that will go a long way toward rectifying inequities.

Considering both the immediate and longer-term impacts of the pandemic in the workplace, our story “COVID-19: Game Changer for the World of Work” looks at the critical roles of IT departments and chief information officers. The amazingly quick switch from working on-site to full-time working from home accomplished in a matter of weeks what might have otherwise taken years. What are the implications of this? How are we going to experience the “new normal,” and how might we even redefine the workplace?


Due to the impact of Covid-19, is there a new awareness coming into being on the part of fathers, concerning the massive effort involved in nurturing children’s development and the importance of child care programs?

 

From the perspective of family life, we look at the impact of work at home in our Career Pathways article, “Changing Mindsets.” Here, we examine the dynamic between partners working from home while, at the same time, home-schooling or attending to other aspects of child care. Is there a new awareness coming into being on the part of fathers, concerning the massive effort involved in nurturing children’s development and the importance of child care programs? Experts weigh in.

Introducing new columns

In our News & Advocacy section we are introducing “A Closer Look at the Data,” which examines a piece of current research relevant to women in STEM. Each issue will offer an overview in easy-to-digest bits, with the aim of broadening awareness of the relevance and applicability of research.

“Ask Alice” is our second new department, which you will find in the Voices and Views section. Geared toward collegians or young professionals looking for advice on either a personal or professional matter, questions will be answered by individual members of the SWE editorial board. Questions will be answered on a rolling basis, drawing from the board members’ own experiences, insights, and expertise.

Toward WE20

Finally, offering both a bit of whimsy and making a strong case for the value of thinking beyond the boundaries of one’s discipline is our news story “Engineers Fold Art into New Devices.” Learn about women engineers applying traditional art forms to create innovative solutions to engineering problems. 

And while you are enjoying that, please regard it as a sneak peek into our upcoming conference issue, in keeping with the WE20 theme: Practice Curiosity.

Opening Thoughts: Multifaceted Impacts Opening Thoughts

Director of Editorial & Publications

anne.perusek@swe.org

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