Dear SWE GRPP Committee Members,
I am excited to report that on Monday afternoon SWE President Melissa Tata and Past President Siddika Demir, with other STEM and diversity leaders, attended a White House briefing by the First Lady. Mrs. Obama spoke about the importance of supporting girls and women to enter and continue in STEM careers. Her talk was followed by a panel commenting on their careers as related to the earlier Monday announcement that the National Science Foundation is launching an “NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative” to provide greater work-related flexibility to its grantees. I watched the White House event streaming live and noticed Melissa and Siddika in the second or third row!
Please visit the SWE press release at http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2094&Itemid=129 .
You can see the video, which is about an hour, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/09/26/first-lady-michelle-obama-national-science-foundation-family-frien .
A White House press release about the NSF initiative is offered at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/26/white-house-and-national-science-foundation-announce-new-workplace-flexi .
The goal of the Government Relations and Public Policy is “To be the STEM gender equity power broker at the federal level.” In support of this goal SWE leaders have recently been engaged with the National Science Foundation regarding proposed changes in NSF grant programs to study women in STEM fields and their proposal review policies regarding the broader impact of research on diversity in STEM fields. You can review the engagement of SWE leadership with NSF and other federal entities at http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=187&Itemid=289 which lists SWE letters in support of SWE public policy positions since 2006.
Thank you again for your service to SWE and the engineering community.