A Message From Jenifer Castillo, IEEE WIE CHAIR 2021 - April Newsletter

Jenifer Castillo, Chair of IEEE WIE Committee  2021

Dear members and volunteers,
I do not think I can communicate a short message that makes justice to everything that is happening in WIE, but I will try and highlight some events of the last 4 months. I would like to start by sharing with you that in the remaining issues of the WIE newsletters I will be introducing a Special Guest, that will share with us why they are engaged with the WIE community. These guests are WIE committee volunteers that are giving their time to make IEEE WIE better every day, and I am happy for you to meet them.

Our annual meeting was held (virtually) on March 19 and 20, it was focused on training the WIE committee volunteers to serve in the best way our membership: it was focused on you. The meeting was well attended with the participation of the leaders of IEEE and the MGA, with presentations from the IEEE Educational Activities Board, the IEEE Training Committee, the IEEE History Committee, and many others. We discussed what can we do better for our members, to global economic trends, so we can be one step ahead of what you, as a professional, may need in the future.

We also participated in the Sections Congress with a presentation that is now available for everyone in the Center of Leadership Excellence (https://ieee-elearning.org/CLE/) as well as all the other amazing presentations. If there was a turning point for me as a volunteer, it was when I attended the Sections Congress in 2017; to see the magnitude of IEEE was overwhelming as well as inspiring. I am so glad that every member is having an opportunity to get a grasp of it, thanks to the virtuality. Last but not least, this first quarter we appointed our first WIE Treasurer in the history of our Affinity Group, and I hope you feel as well as I do: Empowered. This is tremendous progress for our community and is a great way to lead the path to our first IEEE WIE Chair election that will be held during 2021, which also leads me to my next feeling: Engaged! Nothing like participating in the election of your leaders to make you feel part of the process. With it, I welcome my first guest: Anne Costolanski, IEEE WIE Treasurer 2021. Thanks for being a part of this community!

 

Hi, Im Anne Costolanski and I serve as the Treasurer of the Women in Engineering committee and the chair of Atlanta WIE. I’ve been involved with IEEE and WIE since 2016. I volunteer with IEEE because I feel strongly about supporting women in the engineering field and encouraging young girls to pursue STEM careers. Growing up, I didn’t have any female role models or know anyone who held a technical job, so I didn’t know what kinds of career opportunities were available to someone who was interested in math and science. I’ve also encountered gender-based harassment at work and at school. So my goal in serving IEEE is to support and encourage the professional success of women in electrical engineering and young girls to pursue STEM careers.

Growing up, I didn’t have any female role models or know anyone who held a technical job, so I didn’t know what kinds of career opportunities were available to someone who was interested in math and science. I’ve also encountered gender-based harassment at work and at school. So my goal in serving IEEE is to support and encourage the professional success of women in electrical engineering and to help inspire the next generation of engineers. And as a bonus, I’ve met some great people and made some good friends while volunteering!