IEEE Foundation Works to Empower Women in Engineering

Three Female Scholarships (1)

Announcing the New “Future” Pillar

In celebration of the IEEE Foundation’s milestone 50th anniversary in February 2023 and a desire to lay the foundation for the future we envision, the IEEE Foundation has proudly expanded its four-pillars of impact  to include a new, fifth pillar, “Future,” that includes IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE).

Expanding upon its existing four pillars –  “Illuminate,” “Educate,” “Engage,” and “Energize” –  the IEEE Foundation’s new “Future” pillar highlights the IEEE Foundation’s long-standing commitment to WIE a member affinity group that coalesces a global network of IEEE members and volunteers dedicated to promoting women engineers, technologists, and scientists and inspiring girls around the world to follow their dreams of a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).

WIE is made up of dynamic and vital members, and has partnered with  IEEE Foundation for the past quarter-century. WIE has achieved a number of outstanding milestones, including the following:

  • Continuous Growth – WIE has grown to encompass more than 30,000 members (both men and women) across more than 100 countries and 950+ local IEEE-WIE groups worldwide.
  • Critical Funding – The IEEE Foundation is home to the “Women in Engineering Fund,” which has managed donations to the Fund since it was founded in 2010.  Since then WIE and the IEEE Foundation have funded pre-university initiatives, fellowships/scholarships, travel grants, and activities designed to promote greater public awareness and understanding of women in engineering.
  • Vital Scholarships – IEEE Women in Engineering takes pride in recognizing and providing scholarships to outstanding female students who are dedicated to advancing the field of engineering. Two major scholarships supported through donations to the WIE through the IEEE Foundation include the following:

IEEE Frances B. Hugle Engineering Scholarship – First presented in 2018, this annual initiative awards a US $2,500 scholarship to one or more female IEEE student members in honor of the memory of Frances B. Hugle, a pioneering engineer who started several companies in Silicon Valley. Recipients of the prestigious award in 2022 included Kimberly Betty, a mechanical engineering student at Kettering University, Flint, MI, USA, and Krista Marrocco, an electrical engineering student at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Krista Marrocco, an electrical engineering student at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Kimberly Betty, a mechanical engineering student at Kettering University, Flint, MI, USA

IEEE WIE International Scholarship – Established in 2022, this annual scholarship provides an award of US $2,500 one female IEEE WIE Student Member who has completed two years of undergraduate study in an engineering curriculum at an accredited university or college outside the U.S. The recipient of the 2022 IEEE-WIE International Scholarship was Runxi Wang, electrical and computer engineering student and incoming Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, Shanghai, China.

Advancing Women Inspiring Girls

In seeking to be the change that it wants to see, WIE has successfully developed and delivered activities that help girls and women enter and advance in engineering and related technical fields. WIE now seeks to expand its offering to make the profession even more accessible and diverse for generations to come.

As part of their shared desire to see a vibrant community of IEEE women and men collectively using their diverse talents to innovate for the benefit of humanity, the IEEE Foundation and IEEE Women in Engineering have established a new fundraising goal of $750,000, which will support the following beneficial and impactful activities:

  • The piloting of a new “Family Care Grant” for five years that will fund the attendance of 150 WIE members at an IEEE Conference.
  • Expanding support of the “IEEE-WIE International Scholarship Program,” which will provide financial support to 200 female students studying engineering at an accredited college or university anywhere in the world over the next decade.

In addition to promoting WIE, the IEEE Foundation’s new “Future” pillar also highlights the IEEE Foundation Fund, which provides critical resources needed to sustain, grow, and advance the IEEE Foundation’s mission to invest in IEEE programs that deliver societal benefit.

To discuss how you may support these initiatives, contact Eileen R. Heltzer, CFRE at or call 1 732 799 4431. To make a donation online, visit the IEEE Women in Engineering page on the recently launched IEEE Foundation Website.

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