Gap, Minded

Out of the admitted class of 2026, SCU sees its highest percentage of female engineers in a decade.

Incoming Broncos are bridging the gender gap in engineering. Out of 404 first-year engineering students admitted to SCU’s class 2026, 186 are women. That 36.6% is the highest percentage of female engineering majors at the University in a decade. It’s also higher than the national 22.5% of bachelor of engineering degrees awarded to women in 2019—the most recent data tallied by the American Society for Engineering Education.

“We are excited for this historic volume of female engineers,” says Danielle Sandoval ’07, MBA ’11, director of enrollment marketing and strategy, “and what it means for representation both in the classroom and across the various industries these students will eventually transition into—most of which are male-dominated.”

Though a final count won’t be possible until the fall quarter starts, Sandoval says the group of admitted students not only includes the most female engineers but the most declared engineering majors, period, in 10 years. The most popular declared engineering major across all groups is computer science and engineering.

Society Of Women Engineers 1953
Members of the Society of Women Engineers, circa 1953. SWE was founded in 1950 and is now the world’s largest organization dedicated to the entry into and advancement of women in engineering fields. Photo courtesy Wikimedia.

Angelus McNally ’22, the president of the SCU chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, says she felt much more welcomed into the engineering fold at Santa Clara than at her high school. Yes, there were still more men than women in her classes, but it never felt “cutthroat, in the way I’ve heard it can elsewhere, to get attention from professors, to get internships,” says McNally, who’s moving to Seattle after graduation to work as a software engineer at Microsoft. “SCU broke the idea that an engineer has to be like this or look like that—all the women engineers I know here don’t fit any particular mold at all.”