Women represent nearly 1 in 5 chemical engineers, as of 2009, and have gained in engineering overall during the past three decades, writes Colleen Leahey. But the country and companies are falling short in recruiting women at key moments, says Wendy Hawkins of the Intel Foundation. "We need to focus on girls, on young people. We need to put more young women in contact with adults in engineering. Is this the life, the whole package that they want? [Girls] need more opportunities to create, design, to make something," she says.

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