Equity advisor of the College of Engineering looks for opportunities to increase participation of women within the field.
The Program for Women in Science and Engineering at Iowa State recently honored Sriram Sundararajan, associate dean of the College of Engineering, as a 2016 WiSE Champion.
The award recognizes individuals who have supported WiSE and have individually tried to improve success for women in science and engineering.
As the College of Engineering’s equity advisor, Sundararajan works with WiSE to support women students within engineering, including efforts to recruit women into STEM fields and educate faculty about how unconscious biases can affect decisions.
“I am pleased to receive the award, and it’s great that we have such a valuable group like WiSE on campus,” Sundararajan said. “Changing the culture on campus to make it more inclusive is a long process that involves many individuals. We all have to work together to make a difference.”
He adds that programs like WiSE work with the college to come up with creative ways to educate the majority of the population about equity, mutual respect and how to avoid stereotyping.
“For some, issues like stereotypes and biases might not even be on their radar because they are just simply unaware of what others may be experiencing,” Sundararajan said. “That’s why increasing awareness about these topics is so important in improving the learning experience for all students.”