Resources to Help Women Boost Their Careers in Engineering

Webinars, travel grants, and e-books among the tools available

6 April 2016

IEEE offers products and services to help women climb the engineering career ladder and be recognized in the field.


    Visit the IEEE Women in Engineering website to access the many resources WIE offers, including its award-winning IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine, with its articles about members’ careers and engineering news. An e-book presents WIE members’ accomplishments, and you can sign up to receive the monthly newsletter, WIE Exchange, which highlights activities by WIE groups around the world.

    And for use in a classroom or to display at an event, you can print a poster (at the bottom of this link) with photos of successful female engineers. Included is IEEE Member Pamela Bhatti, who created a device that applies electric charge to activate nerves in the auditory system of the hearing-impaired, and Graduate Student Member AJung Moon, a roboethicist who works on developing positive, safer human-robot interactions.


    In the WIE Live Chat webinars hosted on Facebook,  women talk about issues female engineers face. A recent webinar, “Women and Negotiations,” presented by career coach Elizabeth Lions, covers words and phrases to avoid when asking for a raise or a promotion. Another, “Women in Entrepreneurship: Building Your Startup,” led by entrepreneur and investor Meera Kaul, discusses how to identify business opportunities and develop a business plan. To access the archived webinars, visit the WIE YouTube page.


    WIE offers its members grants for travel and related expenses for attending or presenting papers at IEEE conferences. An applicant must be a WIE member for at least one year and apply at least three months before the event. Members may not receive more than one grant per year.


    Visit the IEEE Women in Engineering channel on to watch videos from the group’s past conferences and other events. In one video, Patty Hatter, chief information officer of the Intel Security Group, addresses the importance of being fearless when taking on leadership roles and making business decisions. In another video, Sophie Vandebroek, CTO of Xerox and president of its innovation group, discusses how to innovate.

    The channel also hosts the “I Change the World: I Am an Engineer” series, in which women share their career trials and triumphs. This along with the WIE app and other resources were made possible by a US $25,000 grant from the IEEE Life Members Fund of the IEEE Foundation in order inspire and empower women and girls and promote diversity within within the engineering profession. Don’t miss the video about the first woman to receive the 2015 IEEE Medal of Honor, Life Fellow Mildred Dresselhaus, professor emeritus of EE and physics at MIT. She has been nicknamed the “Queen of Carbon.” The IEEE Foundation is the sponsor of the IEEE Medal of Honor. 


    The WIE app, available through the Apple iTunes store, profiles dozens of successful female engineers from around the world. Each one tells her story and explains how she was inspired to become an engineer, what her work is like, and how young women can build engineering careers.


    IEEE-USA has published nine e-books in its Women in Engineering series, starting with Inspire and Close the Gender Gap, which provides varied perspectives from female engineers and data on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce. Other e-books include Follow Your Curiosities: Finding Success Through Learning and Recognizing and Taking Advantage of Opportunities.


    Join the Women in Leadership community on IEEE Collabratec—an online platform to help people network, create, and collaborate—to meet women in technical professions with whom you can discuss projects and share resources. Some of the conversations include ways to diversify the STEM field as well as issues affecting working women, such as dealing with the work-life balance. Upcoming conferences and online events are posted.


    Nominating information is available for WIE awards, which celebrate members’ achievements. That includes the annual IEEE Women in Engineering Inspiring Member of the Year Award, which recognizes a woman who has made outstanding contributions to WIE and the engineering field. The IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group of the Year Award is given annually to a group that has shown outstanding leadership and initiative in organizing activities.

This article is part of our April 2016 special report on women in engineering.

IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.

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