Chat Live With Prominent Women Engineers

A new program gives you the chance to ask notable IEEE Women in Engineering members questions about their careers

19 September 2012

Whether you want to get career guidance, find out what it’s like working in a field in which women remain a significant minority, or how to land that first job, you’ll get your chance over the next four weeks. To help introduce women to the engineering field, IEEE Women in Engineering is organizing a series of four live online “Community Chats” starting today.

Each one-hour discussion will be hosted by IEEE WIE members from the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, and India. Viewers can send questions during the chats on the IEEE WIE UStream channel, which streams live video, or they can post on the WIE Facebook Facebook page or IEEE’s Twitter account.

The first chat is happening today at 12:30 p.m. EDT and will feature IEEE Fellow Karen Panetta, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Tufts University, in Somerville, Mass. Panetta is also director of the university's Simulation Research Laboratory and founder of the Nerd Girls program, which is aimed at dispelling negative stereotypes about technical fields and the women who work in them. She was a recent recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

On 26 September at 2 p.m. EDT you can chat with IEEE Member Teresa Schofield, an electronics engineer and chair of the IEEE United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland Section WIE group. She is also the chair of the U.K./European region for the Global Marathon For, By, and About Women in Engineering and Technology. The annual event is part of Engineers Week and features panels of women in STEM fields discussing how to influence young women to consider engineering careers, giving advice on career paths, and more.

IEEE Senior Member Maria Cristina Dias Tavares will be the host for a chat at 4 p.m. EDT on 2 October. Tavares is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, in Brazil. Her research interests focus on electrical energy transmission.

And at 10 a.m. EDT on 11 October, join the discussion with IEEE Senior Member Ramalatha Marimuthu, who heads the department of information technology at Kumaraguru College of Technology at Anna University, in Coimbatore, India.

For questions about the chats, e-mail IEEE WIE Program Manager Keyana Tennant at

In addition to the chats, IEEE WIE recently published a press release picked up by several media outlets that features tips from the chat hosts on how to bridge the gender gap in engineering.

And IEEE isn’t the only group focusing on women engineers lately. The New York Times ran a story on 17 September about a mentorship program involving women working in STEM fields giving female undergraduate students advice and answering students’ questions.


Photo: Steve Debenport/iStockphoto

Sources: TSG Partners

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