Women in STEM pave the way for the future of the College of Engineering and Science

Only 19% of the College of Engineering and Sciences at Louisiana Tech University are women.

Louisiana Tech students are paving the way for future students and coworkers by engaging with each other and building a community of successful women.

“Engineering has been a male field since it started, so one thing is not only getting women together but educating others to be advocates for women in these fields,” said Allie DeLeo-Allen, the director of enrollment management and employer relations for the College of Engineering and Science.

Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science is fostering that idea by creating Women in STEM (WiSTEM) which started out of the Office of Women in Science and Engineering by Katie Evans, Krystal Corbett, and DeLeo-Allen, three female faculty members at Louisiana Tech.

Abby Phillips, a junior in chemical engineering, said what sets Louisiana Tech apart from other universities is the faculty and administration. When looking at these larger universities, she noticed the difference between a faculty and administration that cared about student success and others that do not prioritize it.

“At other universities, they were not personally concerned with student success but at Louisiana Tech all of the professors want their students to succeed,” Phillips said.

Louisiana Tech offers several opportunities for women in engineering that include workshops and internships. Victoria Carroll, a junior in chemical engineering, has been selected for three separate internship opportunities from the knowledge and resources provided to students at Louisiana Tech who are in the COES.

“For African-American women, a lot of companies are looking to diversify and looking for new ideas or different ways of thinking so there are definitely a lot of opportunities, especially here at Louisiana Tech,” Carroll said.

Black women in STEM often do not have the opportunity to relate or be able to see students that look like them so it can be difficult for women of color to feel comfortable expressing their accomplishments or making connections.

“We are talking about women in STEM but you have that added layer,” said Caroline Canatella, another student studying chemical engineering.

These students understand how important it is to take these experiences and use them to continue to pave the way for future women in the field.

“Think of our journey as women in STEM as going hiking on a new trail,” DeLeo-Allen said. “The women who have come before us have cleared the path to a certain point, and it is our responsibility to continue to clear the path further, even if just another foot, so the women who come after us can go even further than we’ve come.”
This article was written by Communication student Kelly Cole.