By Khanita Duangchaemkarn, Chair, IEEE R10 Women in Engineering Committee
IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Committee Meeting 2023: Fostering Collaboration and Empowering Women in Engineering
The IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Committee meeting held on 5-6 May 2023 at the Hilton Atlanta, GA, USA, proved to be an invaluable opportunity for IEEE Region 10 WIE Chair and regional representatives to come together. The meeting, which coincided with the IEEE Award Ceremony 2023, aimed to exchange best practices, discuss upcoming activities and foster collaboration between regional WIE and technical societies’ WIE.
Chaired by Prof. Celia Shahnaz, the meeting focused on orienting IEEE WIE Committee members to the major IEEE organizational units (OUs) and their functions. It also encouraged inter-collaboration between regional and technical societies’ WIE representatives. The gathering commenced with the approval of 12 special funding requests, including 7 from Region 10, highlighting the active involvement of the region in supporting WIE initiatives.
The session featured esteemed speakers from various IEEE OUs, including the IEEE Foundation, IEEE HKN, IEEE MOVE, IEEE EAB, IEEE Humanitarian Technology Board, IEEE Entrepreneurship Committee, and more. These presentations shed light on their respective missions and provided valuable collaboration opportunities for WIE.
On the second day, regional and technical societies’ representatives shared knowledge, best practices, and upcoming activities. Khanita Duangchaemkarn, R10 WIE Chair, presented the region’s membership statistics, analysis, and future plans, including WIE sessions at flagship conferences like TENCON, TENSYMP, and HTC 2023.
The meeting also addressed communication challenges faced by R10 WIE due to the diversity of languages and cultures across the region. Strategies like active volunteer engagement, inclusion of members from smaller sections and subsections, and project-led committee structures were shared to ensure effective teamwork.
Notably, future locations for the WIE International Leadership Summit (WIE ILS) were announced, with cities like Karachi, Allahabad, Raipur, Visakhapatnam, and Auckland set to host these empowering events.
The meeting concluded with discussions on future directions, the dissemination of WIE vitality status updates, and the importance of statistics. This first face-to-face WIE Committee meeting provided a platform for interaction, collaboration, and shared initiatives among dedicated WIE volunteers and technical societies’ representatives.
Moreover, fruitful collaborations were established between Region 10 WIE and technical societies’ WIE, namely the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES). Joint support for upcoming conferences, such as CASE and the Annual Conference of IES, was agreed upon, fostering a stronger presence of WIE in the Asia-Pacific region.
To further enhance collaboration, the “IEEE WIE LEADERS FORUM 2023” will take place on 11 August 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario. This event, sponsored by IEEE Region 7 WIE Committee and IEEE Ottawa Section WIE AG, will precede the Section Congress 2023 and serve as a platform for WIE regional representatives to share insights and strengthen networks.
The IEEE WIE Committee Meeting 2023 not only provided a higher-level understanding of WIE but also paved the way for empowering women in engineering through collaboration and shared initiatives. It was a step forward in promoting diversity and inclusion in the field and ensuring that women’s voices are heard and recognized globally.