Women's Professional Group

The Women's Professional Group (WPG) consists of members who are engaged in all areas of the experiential education field. Members include, but are not limited to, teachers, outdoor educators and field staff, program coordinators, students, business owners, and many more.


WPG is rooted in education programming and research for women and girls.

WPG serves a dual function:

  • To provide a structure to voice the interests, needs and concerns of women within AEE and in the larger professional community
  • To serve as a forum to support, network and mentor each other around the joys, pains and problems women meet within the workplace


In 1980, Rita Yerkes attended her first AEE Annual Conference and participated in a men and women's issues interest group. The current chairperson felt the group was no longer needed despite the fact that over 25 people attended, most of who were women. Rita disagreed. Over the next few years, Rita worked with many supportive women and organizations to create the Women in Experiential Education Special Interest Group. The group held its first AEE Pre-Conference gathering in 1984 and began promoting its mission by hosting a variety of workshops, newsletters, and fundraisers, and mentoring women conference presenters and writers for the AEE Journal of Experiential Education. By 1987, the group was awarded AEE Professional Group status and the Women's Professional Group was born. Read more about the history of WPG and the women who helped build it.

Resources list