Throughout Mines’ history, women have been a part of the institution, pioneering the future for women in engineering.
As early as 1880, women were on campus attending lectures and taking drawing classes. Graduating with a degree in civil engineering in 1898, Florence Caldwell Jones became the first woman to receive a bachelor’s degree from Mines. She was followed by Grace McDermut (Engineer of Mines, 1903), Ninetta Davis (Engineer of Mines, 1920) and Jacquelyn Borthick (Petroleum Refining Engineer, 1949). These women created the foundation and legacy for future generations of women at Mines to pursue degrees and careers in engineering, science and technology.
Women at Mines make up nearly 30 percent of the student population on campus and is above the national average of 22 percent for engineering school enrollments. They also persist and graduate at a higher rate than their male counterparts; currently, Mines has nearly 300 women graduates every year, with even more expected to graduate each semester.
To ensure success at the university and in industry, Mines has two offices dedicated to promoting gender equity and inclusive excellence: the Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (WISEM) Office and the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP). There are also many student organizations dedicated to promoting women in engineering and applied sciences, such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Society for Women in Mathematics (SWiM), Society of Women in Geophysics (SWiG) and Society of Women in Physics (SWiP). Additionally, there are programs geared to address issues specific to graduate students, including the Graduate Women’s Forum and the Women Graduate Students (WGS) group.
Women also have many opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities, including a variety of student organizations, varsity sports, club and intramural teams and many campus events where students can get involved and show their Oredigger pride. For women interested in Panhellenic societies, Mines has four sororities on campus: Alpha Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Beta Phi, and Sigma Kappa.
Mines is committed to increasing the number of women who aspire to be future engineers, scientists and business leaders, including those who come to Mines with a goal of making the world a better place.
Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics at Mines
“In this day and age, education is the way to get where you want to be—to be successful. The women at Mines are so lucky to have the support to be able to come to this school. I really hope that one day I will be able to use my education and my experiences and help uplift women around the world who don’t have the same types of opportunities.”