Businesses, Engineering Schools Tap Overlooked Workforce: Women (Hartford Courant)

By: Stephen Singer, Hartford Courant 

Daniel Burkey, associate dean for undergraduate education and diversity and a professor in UConn’s School of Engineering, works with freshman engineering students. (Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)


As Connecticut looks to hire more engineers for the state’s booming aerospace and defense industries, universities and employers are tapping an overlooked segment of the workforce: women.

Engineering schools and businesses are increasingly graduating and hiring more women in what traditionally is a male-dominated field. That means greater opportunities not only for women with math and science skills, but also for companies in Connecticut scrambling to hire workers to build commercial and military jet engines, helicopters and submarines.

 “We need the talent. We need the numbers. We need more engineers,” said Louis Manzione, dean of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture at the University of Hartford.

Kevin McLaughlin, director of engineering diversity programs at the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering, said hiring more women not only expands the workforce but also the potential to solve problems.

“To only have some minds at the table doesn’t make sense,” he said.

The change is being driven by engineering schools reaching out to students with different backgrounds, manufacturers broadening the field of recruits and businesses seeking engineers who understand how other women use certain products.

Click here to read more on the Hartford Courant website. 

Published: February 22, 2018