Peter Yang for TIME
April 15, 2015 8:46 PM EDT

I felt so excited and honored when I learned that John Oliver would feature the Society of Women Engineers as a worthy recipient of scholarship donations on his show. After John mentioned SWE, many more people suddenly became aware of us and our mission to encourage women to become—and stay—engineers.

John is powerful because he isn’t afraid to tackle important issues thoughtfully, without fear or apology. But he’s unique because he uses irreverent humor to make people think. The U.S. needs more engineers, especially women, who are so underrepresented in the field, and we’re doing something about it. The show’s mention helped SWE raise more funds than we could have hoped for—money that would otherwise have taken our society many years to raise. This small consideration from John Oliver inspired many to donate and help young, aspiring female engineers pursue their degrees and positively impact our world.

Bierman is the president of the Society of Women Engineers

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