BWISE Mission and Purpose
Black Women in Science and Engineering was founded in 2015 with the purpose to support underrepresented women in bridging the leadership gap through networking, mentorship and career development.
The group consists of Black women from middle management through senior leadership with degrees in the sciences, math and engineering (even if you no longer work in that field).
Why This Mission?
There is a pressing need for inclusion that has not been successfully addressed. The 2015 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index found a “slight uptick in STEM-related education and employment activity in the United States compared to 2014. But the raw data show gaps between the men and women and between whites and minorities remain deeply entrenched —and, in some cases, have even widened.” Annually, more than 25,000 Black women obtain undergraduate degrees in STEM. However, only 75,000 are working in these fields and less than 5,000 are in senior management roles. Studies show that professional development and mentorship are keys to retaining and attracting women and minorities in STEM and our BWISE program offers both.
This is a group to empower and develop Black women who have degrees in the sciences, math and engineering (even if you no longer work in that field) and who would like to connect with others. If you want to share career experiences and be encouraged by your sisters, then this is the group for you. We will focus on moving our careers forward through personal and professional development as well as industry networking and entrepreneurship.
Erika Jefferson is the President and Founder of Black Women in Science and Engineering (BWISE), an organization focused on bridging the leadership gap for Black women in STEM. She received a MBA from Georgia Tech and a BS in Chemical Engineering from LSU.