Beatrice Alice Hicks was an American engineer and the first woman engineer to be hired by Western Electric.
Beatrice A. Hicks broke new ground for women as an engineer, inventor, and engineering executive, expanding the advancement and recognition of women engineers in an era when less than 1% of the engineers employed in the United States were women. She strove to open the doors of engineering education closed to women before 1970.
Hicks invented the gas density switch. She pioneered the design, development, and manufacture of pressure and gas density controls for aircraft and missiles.
Hicks felt that the lack of women in STEM was detrimental to the progression of the field. By 1950 Hicks co-founded and was voted in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE)as president. This long-standing organization now boasts approximately 35,000 members and provides guidance, professional development, and networking opportunities for women worldwide.