It was my first time to get a chance attending the IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Committee meeting on 5-6 May 2023 at the Hilton Atlanta, GA, as IEEE Region 10 WIE Chair who contributes to the IEEE WIE Committee as a regional representative. The meeting was held at the same time with IEEE Award Ceremony 2023.
The main objectives of my participation in the meeting included:
- Represent Region 10 at WIE Committee meeting and sharing best practices and the activities plans for the year of 2023.
- Contribute in IEEE WIE Committee and IEEE WIE Subcommittee on Regional Activities
- Learn about WIE programs in other regions and bring back knowledge about good practices for implementation in R10.
Proceedings of the IEEE WIE Committee Meeting
The meeting was chaired by Prof. Celia Shahnaz, IEEE WIE Chair 2023-2024. The main agenda of the meeting was to help orientate IEEE WIE Committee members to the major IEEE OUs and learn about their functions and opportunities. The meeting also provided an opportunity for regional and technical societies’ representatives to share and learn from each other and encourage inter-collaboration between regional WIE and technical societies’ WIE.
The first day was wrapped by WIE Special funding request approval. Since the beginning of the year 2023, 37 proposals for WIE special funding have been received. 12 proposals were approved including 7 proposals from R10. Some of the proposals were rejected because the funding criteria weren’t met, and some proposals are pending as the committee still waiting for the additional document such as endorsement letter, which is very important to get approval. The proposal submission for the special funding remains open throughout the year, and the approval process is conducted at the committee meetings.
IEEE WIE also provides a travel grant for WIE members who wish to attend IEEE conferences (more information can be found at https://wie.ieee.org/grantsandscholarships/). A total of 18 submissions were received, including 5 from R10, and 6 travel grants were approved for this year. The reasons for travel grants not approved included ineligibility of the applicants and submissions for following conferences that are not eligible for travel grant:
- IEEE WIE International Leadership Conference
- IEEE Regional Annual General Meeting
- IEEE WIE International Leadership Summit
IEEE Executive Director, Sophia Muirhead joined the morning session for an official greeting and encouraged us to collaborate not only among the volunteers but also with the IEEE staffs to further IEEE’s mission around the world.
IEEE President, Prof. Saifur Rahman gave a welcome speech and also expressed concerns about diversity and inclusion issues as well as the climate change issues that are becoming of major global interests. Prof. Rahman said WIE leaders have to find a way to either working on or addressing the needs or concerns about climate change that relate to WIE.
Regarding IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine, the editors are keen on gathering more inspiring stories from WIE AGs worldwide. The team includes a professional writer who is ready to assist in developing an article from these stories. If you wish to share your story, please visit https://wiemagazine.ieee.org, or contact WIE magazine EiC, Karen Panetta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IEEE WIE organized sessions where chairs and representatives from prominent OUs were invited to share detailed insights into their missions and visions, which can greatly benefit WIE. The presentations included:
- IEEE Foundation and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
- IEEE Foundation Presentation
- IEEE HKN and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
- IEEE MOVE and collaboration opportunities for WIE
- IEEE EAB and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
- IEEE Humanitarian Technology Board and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
- IEEE Entrepreneurship Committee and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
- IEEE MGA Training – CLE and VoLT
- IEEE New Initiative Committee (NIC) and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
- IEEE Standards Association and Collaboration opportunities for WIE
- IEEE Future Directions Committee and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
- IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
- IEEE REACH and collaboration opportunities for WIE (WIE STAR)
- IEEE Smart Village and Collaboration Opportunities for WIE
WIE Regional and technical societies’ representatives took the stage to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and showcase their activities. Multiple collaborations were observed between regional WIE and technical societies WIE representatives during the presentations.
During this session, I had a chance to present Region 10 WIE membership statistic and analysis, best practices, and our upcoming activities as well as the flagship conferences in Region 10 including TENCON, TENSYMP, and HTC 2023 where R10 WIE will be helping to organize a WIE session.
As the largest region in IEEE, the other region and societies were interested to know how Region 10 WIE manages our team and run the activities. Below was the key information I shared with the WIE committee members:
- As the largest region, we have members from so many countries with different languages, different cultures, and different environments, and majority of them don’t use English as their first language. These are our biggest challenge in term of communication.
- R10 WIE committee members are active volunteers from different Sections and Councils to ensure the diversity among team members.
- We always include volunteers from small Section and Subsection to provide them opportunity to serve IEEE.
- Each project/activity is led by a committee member who reports to the committee at the bimonthly meeting.
- Committee members are encouraged to recruit their own team to support the project under the supervision of R10 WIE Chair.
- Enhance the capacity of WIE events by collaborating with other committees such as R10 HTA, R10 YP and R10 SAC.
The takeaway message from the other regions included:
- From a smaller region, they focus in one or two particular topics (based on IEEE focus, or regional concerns) then implement various activities throughout the year.
- Some regions are primarily focusing on IEEE WIE ILS to provide interesting session to their WIE members in the area, which is rotated every year.
Each region has its own uniqueness and specific membership status and hence the objectives of regional WIE committees are quite diverse depending on their regional needs.
On this occasion, the WIE ILS future locations were announced including following from Region 10:
- Karachi, Pakistan | 2-3 August, 2023
- Allahabad, India | 16-17 August, 2023
- Raipur, India | 25-26 August, 2023
- Visakhapatnam, India | 13-14 November, 2023
- Auckland, New Zealand | 11-12 December 2023
The meeting adjourned after a discussion about future issues, including the future directions of the WIE flagship international leadership conference, the global list of WIE vitality status update that will be disseminated through all WIE regional and WIE technical societies’ representatives later on, as well as its important statistics.
Attending the first WIEC face-to-face meeting gave me an opportunity to learn more about IEEE Women in Engineering at a higher level. It provided a platform to interact with dedicated IEEE WIE volunteers from various regions and WIE representatives affiliated with different technical societies within IEEE. The meeting facilitated collaboration among regional WIE coordinators and WIE representatives from IEEE technical societies, fostering valuable partnerships and shared initiatives.
Apart from attending the meeting, two major collaborations between Region 10 WIE and technical societies’ WIE (RAS and IES) were concluded. IEEE Region 10 WIEC and local WIE AGs will support WIE events in upcoming society flagship conferences that will be held in Asia-Pacific including:
- The IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), the flagship automation conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) which will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, on 26 – 29 August 2023 (supported by Dr. Dulsha, IEEE NZ WIE Chair and Associate Prof. Karinne Ramirez Amaro, IEEE-RAS WIE Chair)
- the 49th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES) which will be held during October 16-19, 2023, at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore (supported by Dr. Aishwarya, IEEE Singapore WIE Committee and Dr. Ya-Jun Pan, IES WIE Chair).
For collaboration among the WIE regional representatives the “IEEE WIE LEADERS FORUM 2023” will be held on 11 August 2023 at Louis-Pasteur Private, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario. The event is sponsored by IEEE Region 7 WIE Committee and IEEE Ottawa Section WIE AG. The event will be held 1 day prior to the Section Congress 2023. All Region 10 ExCom members are welcomed.
Region 10 Women in Engineering Committee Chair
May 25, 2023