New E-Book Marks Fourth Book in IEEE-USA’s Famous Women in Engineering Series

It is no secret that women represent a far smaller percentage of the engineering workforce than their male counterparts. While some 35% of environmental engineers are women, they make up only 18% of chemical engineers, 10% of electrical engineers, and 9% of mechanical engineers.

According to DiscoverE’s 2023 Executive Summary, when high school students were asked how interested they were in pursuing a career in engineering, female students’ interest paled in comparison to male students’ interest. Why? Data shows that this is largely due to the “concrete” image (and visible gender divide) that exists in engineering fields today.Statistics from Discover E's 2023 Executive Summary

IEEE-USA is taking steps to bridge that divide by amplifying female engineers’ voices and telling stories highlighting women’s impact in the engineering profession. As female students gain more exposure to women in engineering roles, the chances increase that future generations will wholeheartedly embrace this field.

In the fourth book of the IEEE-USA’s award-winning “Famous Women Engineers in History” series, author Paul Lief Rosengren tells the story of Kate Gleason, who did not conform to the stereotypical image of women in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Gleason felt as comfortable in overalls as fancy dresses and hats; became the first woman enrolled in Cornell University’s Engineering program; was chosen as the first woman member of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Concrete Institute; and made a name for herself in sales, business and engineering. 

Kate Gleason E-Book Cover

Friends with Susan B. Anthony, Henry Leland, Lillian Gilbreth (a successful engineer and businesswoman in her own right) and Henry Ford, Gleason made her mark on the world in countless ways. To name a few, after WWI, she used her wealth to help rebuild a French town and generously supported her hometown, Rochester, N.Y. Her significant gift to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) led to the renaming of the engineering school in 1998 as “The Kate Gleason School of Engineering.” In 2003, RIT established “The Kate Gleason Endowed Chair“ given to a professor who, among other qualities, motivates women in engineering activities and builds “upon the tradition of Kate Gleason as a role model for women in engineering.” Gleason’s legacy embodies determination, hard work, and creativity, as praised by former RIT President Albert Simone. 

Since 2014, IEEE-USA has published 35 e-books on Women in Engineering — all written by IEEE members, and each featuring a different woman’s journey through life and career in her own words. The individual books and compilations can be found in the IEEE-USA Shop

IEEE-USA also sponsors a number of regional IEEE Women In Engineering (WIE) events across the country — such as the International Leadership Summits — which provide a forum for women students, researchers, educators, engineers, leaders and innovators to discuss a wide variety of relevant topics in the fields of engineering, science and technology. Promoting and engaging in events like this is key to disseminating the knowledge and information necessary to enhance the recruitment and retention of women in technical fields worldwide.

Through April only! Use discount code WIE2024 and get Compilation Vol.1 (Books 1-4) of the IEEE-USA Women in Engineering series FREE (members AND non-members).

Also, be sure to explore the IEEE-USA Famous Women Engineers in History series or the award-winning IEEE-USA Women in Engineering series today. Both are FREE for IEEE members.


IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of 150,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization. Visit us online at, follow us on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, LinkedIn, or subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Leah Laird
Senior Marketing & Communications Specialist, IEEE-USA
202-530-8328 |

John Yaglenski
Director of Communications, IEEE-USA
202-530-8359  |