The Advancing Women Engineers team is thrilled to have had a wonderful 2019 with the opportunity to meet and work with new and innovative individuals, many of whom were featured on our website. The AWE team aims to feature people, events, and programs who are not only groundbreakers, but also glass ceiling breakers. Here’s how 2019 was filled with glass ceiling breakers:
Words of Wisdom
First, the AWE team has interviewed everyone from Sales Engineers to Robotics Engineers. Colleen McCann, a project manager at a robotics company, voiced her interest in encouraging women and young girls to find their passion in engineering and pursue it. Speaking of her recommendations for young women, “figure out what it is you are passionate about in engineering and go after it. Just keep pursuing it.”
item West engineer Prajakta Sontakke encouraged women to not let fear of the industry take hold of them, and to instead face their challenges head-on. “Just because [engineering] is difficult doesn’t make it something only a guy can do,” said Sontakke. Her work as a young female in the engineering field resonated with our younger audience, inspired by Sontakke’s words to stand out instead of conforming in order to fit in.
Omega Torres, Sales Engineer for Nexon Automation, inspired readers to ‘just go for it,’ and work towards your dream job each and every day. Torres recognized that, for most individuals, success comes from a source of innovation. Her own motivation came from her personal satisfaction of meeting and exceeding goals, and she inspired other females to follow suit into the engineering field because “we are continuously breaking down more stereotypes thanks to our work and perseverance.”
AWE on the Road
The Advancing Women Engineers team also took the show on the road, attending several events to promote female involvement in the engineering field, as well as STEM careers in general. In June, the AWE team went on the road to Orlando, Florida to attend the Women in Automotive conference in the United States. A Germany-based AWE team member had also attended the European event in Stuttgart, Germany, and the juxtaposition of two different cultural dynamics on a similar event provided insight into the global push for more women in engineering. Featured on our website, WIA’s founder Christy Roman spoke on her mission to encourage female involvement in the automotive industry, a male-dominated field that is seeing a cultural shift to better accommodate and encourage women. item Engineer KJ Cocke was given the opportunity to discuss imposter syndrome as part of a roundtable discussion.
In 2019, the second trip taken by the AWE team was one of the largest ventures taken on thus far. In October, AWE team member Rebecca Waddell and UFA Project Manager Amy Parish traveled to Leon, Mexico to attend Industrial Transformation Mexico put on by Hannover Messe. Joining an afternoon devoted to discussing women in STEM and women in the manufacturing industry, Rebecca and Amy spoke on behalf of AWE. First, as a key note address explaining the importance of the Advancing Women Engineers program, why it was established, and what it accomplishes through the interview and promotion of people, program, and events who are making strides in the engineering/STEM industries. For the second speaking engagement, Ms. Waddell joined a panel of esteemed women running similar programs for their employers in order to discuss how each was tackling identified gender disparity.
Where will the next year take the Advancing Women Engineers program? 2019 proved to be a globe-trotting year as we featured groundbreakers and glass ceiling breakers. Do you have an idea of a person or program we could feature? Make sure you email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.