The Amateur Radio Digital Communications Foundation (ARDC) awarded SWE a $318,000 grant to provide scholarships, support leadership programming, and women of color research.
ARDC’s aspirational goals are to broaden reach amongst underrepresented groups. In a historically male-dominated field of radio and digital communications technology, SWE and ARDC will help advance and raise the profile of diverse women in those fields. Ultimately, the goal is to inspire and attract women and girls to future careers in STEM fields and retain them in the profession.
“There are few matters in science, technology, and engineering that are more important than equity,” said Rosy Schechter, Executive Director of ARDC. “Until the demographics of engineers match the demographics of the world, then we still have a long way to go. I am glad that ARDC is able to support the Society for Women Engineers to achieve this vision.”
ARDC will support SWE by providing 30 new scholarships, including 10 freshmen scholarships, valued at $200,000 for women studying in an undergraduate program in preparation for careers in engineering, technology, and computer science.
In addition to scholarships, ARDC will also support this year’s SWENext High School Leadership Academy and the Collegiate Leadership Institute. SWE’s outreach and leadership programs focus on changing the perspective and perception of engineering and technology fields among girls and their adult advocates. By providing hands-on opportunities for collaborative learning outside the classroom, SWE’s programming will further broad reach and inclusion of underrepresented groups.
Building on the work of the Women of Color in Engineering Collaborative and past research, SWE will create and pilot a new year-long program to encourage undergraduate women studying at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to pursue STEM graduate degrees. The pilot program will consist of a cohort of 20-30 women. The findings will help professional societies like SWE and foundations like the ARDC to broaden our understanding of the unique experiences of women of color in engineering, helping us improve our impact on the engineering field.
“Our new partnership with the Amateur Radio and Digital Communications Foundation will further our mission to support and empower women in engineering and technology,” said Karen Horting, CEO and Executive Director of SWE. “This grant will have a tremendous impact on our outreach, leadership programs, and research which is pivotal to increasing the diversity and inclusion of future generations of women engineers.”
Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is a California-based foundation with roots in amateur radio and the technology of internet communication. The organization got its start by managing allocations of the AMPRnet address space, which is designated to licensed amateur radio operators worldwide. Additionally, ARDC makes grants to projects and organizations that follow amateur radio’s practice and tradition of technical experimentation in both amateur radio and digital communication science. Such experimentation has led to broad advances for the benefit of the general public – such as the mobile phone and wireless internet technology. ARDC envisions a world where all such technology is available through open-source hardware and software, and where anyone has the ability to innovate upon it.
Learn more about ARDC at ampr.org.