Celebrate the 5-Year Anniversary of the
Women in Engineering Program (WE@UCLA)
31 Days to Unlock $25,000!

Help us reach our new 5-year anniversary goal of 55 gifts by May 31!

  • Percent towards goal of 55 gifts! 105% 105%

Celebrate 5 Years of WE@UCLA!

May 2022 marks the five-year anniversary of the launch of the Women in Engineering (WE@UCLA) program at UCLA Samueli. To celebrate this incredible milestone, we have launched an anniversary fundraising campaign! Our new goal is to reach 55 gifts by May 31 to unlock a $25,000 challenge gift put forward by a generous UCLA Samueli donor. Gifts to this campaign will go towards advancing one of the program’s most critical priorities – the WE@UCLA Leadership Academy.

Since its inception on May 1, 2017, WE@UCLA has made huge strides in enabling the full participation, success, and advancement of women in engineering and computer science. There is no membership, it’s not a club, and the program is open to all UCLA Samueli students who support the mission.

Join us in celebrating this significant five-year milestone by making a gift of any amount to help facilitate the continuation, expansion, and improvement of the WE@UCLA Leadership Academy!

Women in Engineering Mission

The UCLA Women in Engineering program (WE@UCLA) is committed to enabling the full participation, success, and advancement of women in engineering and computer science. The program is open to all students who support this mission. WE@UCLA promotes an environment that enhances the personal and professional development of women, provides opportunities and resources to develop self-efficacy and leadership skills, and facilitates a rewarding career path after graduation.

To learn more please visit the Women in Engineering homepage HERE. 

Our Focus: The WE@UCLA Leadership Academy ~

The WE@UCLA Leadership Academy was the very first WE@UCLA initiative. Over the years, it has become one of the program’s signature offerings available to students on an annual basis. It is a cohort-based professional development and leadership series that is designed to empower engineering and computer science students, improve their self-efficacy, and provide a sense of community. It includes team-building, identification of personal strengths and weaknesses, and networking with female industry leaders who serve as keynote speakers and panelists. Over the course of the series, we address themes around leadership, which include self-efficacy, identity, ethics, confidence, community, and teamwork.

The Leadership Academy is fully funded by private support. We rely on the generosity of the UCLA Samueli donor community to offer the program to our students each year. The maximum number of students that we have been able to support in the academy currently is 36 students per year. Looking towards the future, we hope to increase this number while continuing to offer the academy on an annual basis. The Leadership Academy has proven to be a highly successful and popular component of the WE@UCLA program, which is why expanding and improving upon it is the top priority of this campaign.

Program Achievements

Since its inception in 2017, more than 140 students have completed the WE@UCLA Leadership Academy. The program participants represent all of the UCLA Samueli majors, and they range from first-year undergraduate students to Ph.D. students.

Analysis of the program’s assessment results show participants overwhelmingly had increases in their confidence, self-efficacy, feelings of empowerment, and sense of community.

Empowering the Future

WE@UCLA helps further UCLA Samueli’s commitment to increase the pool of diverse engineers ready to enter this exciting and innovative field. It provides a suite of programs to recruit, retain, and prepare female engineers to help the industry meet the ever-growing demand for a diverse technical workforce.

In addition to increasing the enrollment of women engineers at UCLA Samueli, WE@UCLA seeks to provide an environment where women can persist, succeed and thrive. After carefully reviewing the literature, the WE@UCLA Leadership Academy program was designed with these goals in mind.

“To help solve the critical problems of today and tomorrow, we need all hands on deck. The more diverse the ideas, the more comprehensive the solutions, and the better it will be for everyone.” – Audrey Pool O’Neal, Ph.D. | Director, Women in Engineering

Hear from Students ~

Hear from current UCLA Samueli students who recently graduated from this year’s WE@UCLA Leadership Academy in February 2022:

Elona Khoshaba, Electrical Engineering Major

“Throughout this past year, my perception of what it means to be a leader has evolved and changed with this program. I used to focus on the concepts of strength, influence, and communication – and while these are important pillars of what it means to be a good leader, there’s much more to the story. Though usually perceived in a negative light, I’ve learned that vulnerability can actually be an asset in leadership, as it encourages people to internalize what you’ve said and perhaps reflect on their own situations whether it be in work, school, or personal life. I’ve also learned that being flexible and understanding is integral to building a cohesive and resilient team as people that feel heard and appreciated are more likely to work well together. In this way, I’ve begun to review leadership in a warmer light as I’ve learned that empathy is an essential pillar to being a decisive and perceptive leader.”

Wei Zhou, Computer Science Graduate Student

“From the past few months I learned that being a leader is not always about me and what I think. Being a leader is about using your voice to give everyone else a chance to speak and hearing all of the voices to understand them. Being a leader is about being aware of your own biases and actively seeking out different perspectives and ideas.”

Kendall Millett, Mechanical Engineering Major

“I think that the way to be productively confident as a leader is to promote an environment of respect – respect for others and respect for yourself.”

Itohan Ero, Computer Science Major

“The WE@UCLA Leadership Academy created an atmosphere of encouragement, love and positivity. It was a safe space to learn, grow and challenge myself. It taught me how to better advocate for myself and others. The leadership academy also equipped me with tools to advocate for the things I need and provided an environment for me to verbally practice these skills. It was a much-needed reminder that as women, we don’t have to be afraid to speak up because our thoughts and opinions are valid. Lastly and most importantly, the WE@UCLA Leadership Academy empowered me to embrace what makes me different and to not be afraid to stand out. It served as a reminder that I belong in engineering and computer science.” 

Help us reach our new 5-year anniversary goal of 55 gifts by May 31st!

  • Percent towards goal of 55 gifts! 105% 105%

Thank you for your celebrating this incredible milestone with us!