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Noted author to speak on advancement of women in science, engineering

Dr. Virginia Valian, noted author, speaker and distinguished professor of psychology at Hunter College (CUNY), will give a presentation on Friday at 10:00 a.m. at Louisiana Tech University titled, “Why So Slow: the Advancement of Women in Engineering and Science,” which is based on her well-known book of the same name.

The speech will take place in University Hall and is free and open to the public.

Valian is well-known for her insight into issues affecting the advancement of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.   Women are conspicuous by their absence at the most prominent levels of science, medicine, business, law, and academia.  Valian’s explanation of women’s slow advancement in the professions details how and why women are disadvantaged and includes remedies that institutions and individuals can work to achieve genuinely fair organizations that make full use of everyone’s talents.

Valian’s visit is sponsored by the ADVANCEing Faculty Program in the College of Engineering and Science.  The program, supported by a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, has as its goal to create a culture of success for women faculty and students in engineering and science fields.  The program is managed by the Office for Women in Science and Engineering, which also delivers professional development programs for women students and faculty.

Dr. Jenna Carpenter, associate dean for administration and strategic initiatives in Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science, outlines why it is important to understand and address women’s slow advancement in engineering and science.

“One of the keys to maintaining our nation’s competiveness in the world economy is innovation,” said Carpenter.  “A diverse workforce fuels innovation in science and engineering by providing a variety of approaches and experiences to help solve problems and develop new products.

“Women currently represent only 12 percent of the engineering workforce nationwide.  To change these numbers it will take everyone working to address the issues and implement the solutions that Dr. Valian will discuss.”

Writen by Catherine Fraser – cfraser@latech.edu