ITASCA, Illinois, August 12, 2021 – Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN), a market leader and global provider of advanced micro-acoustic microphones and speakers, audio processing, and precision device solutions, today announced it has committed US$160,000 this year as a part of its multiyear commitment to the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Engineering to support female engineering students. Knowles’ donation helps support the enrollment and academic success of female students pursuing STEM degrees.
“Knowles is fully committed to advancing the growth of women in the workplace and increasing the representation of women in engineering. Increasing the pipeline of women graduating with engineering and other STEM related degrees is core to driving gender diversity,” said Jeffrey Niew, President and CEO of Knowles.
The $160,000 donation will help drive the following three critical initiatives:
- Scholarships: High-achieving incoming female freshman STEM students are eligible for UIC’s College of Engineering Society of Women Engineers-Knowles Scholarships. Knowles believes that having access to financial resources is one of the critical factors to attract and retain female STEM students.
- UIC’s Women in Engineering Summer Program (WIESP): The multi-week, intensive program exposes 25-30 junior and senior level female high school students to various engineering fields. The program focuses on engineering concepts, robotics and spatial competencies. Each year, Knowles hosts these students at its corporate headquarters in Itasca for a day which includes hands-on learning about careers in engineering and live interactions with our engineering staff including Knowles female engineers.
- Make It Happen Event: As statistics have shown a large number of female engineering students drop out during the first 2 years of their engineering program due to the lack of support and guidance. The UIC Engineering Advisory Board “Make It Happen” event is a program designed to provide these young women the platform and resources to overcome the challenges of successfully completing the engineering program.
Knowles’ commitment to gender diversity in STEM and its partnership with the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) has helped expand the pipeline of young women considering an engineering education. Knowles’ funded programs encourage female high school students to consider careers in engineering and computer science through hands-on extracurricular activities. These students are invited to apply to UIC’s College of Engineering. Our UIC female engineering students are the beneficiaries of Knowles’ generous financial support through academic scholarships and career programming, preparing them for successful engineering careers. We look forward to the many dimensions of progress that our partnership with Knowles makes possible” said Peter Nelson, Dean of UIC’s College of Engineering
Beyond the financial commitment to UIC, Knowles and the College are exploring opportunities for Knowles’ engineers to help shape a curriculum and present engineering topics to the WIESP students. Niew is the Chairman of the College’s Advisory Board and he continues to mentor and engage with the UIC engineering students on a regular basis. Knowles’ engineers and employees frequently speak to university students across the U.S. about engineering and potential careers paths.