Skip to content


How to Inspire Young Women on Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

How to Inspire Young Women on Introduce a Girl to Engineering DayWhat does it mean to be an educator or role model? Someone who is looked up to by others, seen as a good example, or inspires positive change. A great time to introduce a mentee to a new career option would be during Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on February 22nd.

The day is dedicated to giving young female students a unique opportunity to discover engineering careers alongside world-class scientists and engineers. It’s a time when volunteers, educators, and others who act as role models can show girls how engineers change our world.  
This day is focused on growing a movement to inspire girls’ future, so they learn they have a place in engineering a better world. Research by the American Association of University Women shows that women make up only 34% of the workforce in STEM-related fields, and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college. This number has been improved since 1970 when women accounted for only 8% of STEM workers, but there is still a large gap to fill. 

How to Inspire Young Women on Introduce a Girl to Engineering DayAn integral part of filling this gap is introducing women to careers in STEM but also providing accessible pathways in education where students can see themselves in the work that they are doing. One way the SME Education Foundation is bridging this gap is through the SME PRIME program. 

Founded in 2011, SME PRIME builds tailored manufacturing and engineering programs in high schools across the US, providing equipment, curriculum, teacher training, and student scholarships, along with funding for manufacturing-focused extra-curricular activities and program sustainability. For the 2022-23 school year, nearly 2,000 SME PRIME students identified as female.

Another SME Education Foundation initiative focused on inspiring students to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering is the Bright Minds Student Summit series. The Bright Minds Student Summits are hosted alongside SME conferences and events. Each Summit is designed to provide high school students with their first taste of manufacturing and expose them to manufacturing technologies through student-centric programming. 

For several years the Foundation has placed an emphasis on expanding access and equity in the manufacturing sector though all of its programs, with a particular emphasis in making an impact through the scholarship program. The Foundation invested over $18 million in scholarships to support more than 5,000 deserving students since 2011. In the 2022-23 academic year, the Foundation awarded scholarships to over 100 female students. 

Looking to the future we are continually growing the scholarship support available to young women. For example, thanks to a 2023 gift, the Foundation is able to launch the Jerry L. Wickamn Endowed Scholarship Fund, specifically intended to support underrepresented women pursuing degrees in manufacturing and engineering. 

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and encourage girls to explore careers in engineering. The SME Education Foundation inspires, prepares, and supports the next generation of female engineers by showing them how they can change the world and be a role model in the industry.  

Investing in Tomorrow's Workforce

As the philanthropic arm of SME, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization serving the manufacturing industry, the SME Education Foundation has had a significant impact on hundreds of thousands of people since its inception in 1979.