WIE Case Studies

WIE leaders around the world create amazing programs and activities for our communities.   This page contains Case Studies of engaging, impactful, and enjoyable events created by WIE volunteers.  Let’s learn from one another’s successes!

Contribute your own Case Study for the benefit of WIE members globally by contacting women@ieee.org.

Mentoring in Region 8

Overview

The Region 8 (R8) WIE Mentorship Program is an event exchange program, where a successful event in one IEEE Section is replicated in another Section. The program started when R8 WIE members saw successful events in the Sections, and asked the R8 WIE Committee to provide assistance and connect them with the organizers of the events.

In 2017, two Skype calls were held between the WIE Affinity Group Chairs of the IEEE Sections of Lebanon, Tunisia, and Jordan. The aim was to replicate an event for refugee girls that was conducted in Lebanon. This has been the only event produced from the WIE R8 Mentoring Program so far.

The “how” of this program is not pre-defined. Members should feel free to adapt the program to their own regional needs. IEEE WIE R8 offers their know-how to support the countries of other regions in setting up this program. In case of interest, please contact the WIE R8 team.

Impact

The impact so far has been sharing experiences and strengthening ties between WIE members across IEEE Sections. Success happens when an event is replicated in another Section.

Resources
Any volunteer who sees this event as a successful event and would like to replicate it in another section can initiate and lead the exchange. Here’s how.  Visit the R8 WIE Mentoring Program

Contact IEEE Region 8 WIE for more information. Email: ma-wie@ieeer8.org

Returning Mothers: Bring Back the Women to Industry

Overview

The representation of women in engineering and other professional careers has been a much-debated evergreen topic since the efforts of various governments, organizations and even social enterprises in this arena are still on the increasing side.  Women are still not well represented in the profession, especially in industry.  They are dominating in numbers at colleges and universities in the nation, but when it comes to leadership, the number is diminishing and they are still not seeking careers in the field in significant numbers.  Apart from this, the number of women leaving the profession is in alarming numbers, contributing to the imbalance in the top positions.  The women who leave their careers after three to five years of experience for their family reasons form the major portion.  The talent pool thus lost has to be rediscovered if we want to retain this balance on the top.  With this in mind, Ramalatha Marimuthu initiated the Returning Mothers Program in 2014 to target women from various backgrounds to come together and discuss the path ahead to create a transition pipeline for women who want to come back to industry.

Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology proffered me the “Systers Pass It On Award” in 2014 which comes with a grant of $500, and I decided to use the money for providing a platform for the women, especially to explore the need for second careers.  With the support of IEEE Women in Engineering and the “Systers Pass It On Award”, I organized the first Returning Mothers Workshop in Coimbatore, India in 2014.

Dr. Netiva Caftori, Retired Professor of Women’s Studies from Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), Chicago interacted with the audience about how to improve their interpersonal skills.  Satish Babu, Director, Office of Free and Open Source Software of Kerala Government talked about the various avenues for women to upgrade their technical skills.  The outcome of the program was the identification of the most important block in furthering their careers – a lack of confidence in women about their ability to come back.  Building up their confidence is the most important task ahead if we wish to bring women back to industry.

Ramalatha Marimuthu has been conducting workshops once a year at various levels for the women who wish to take a break and for the students who will be facing a similar situation where they will have to take a decision on compromising their career for higher priority responsibilities of the family in future. These workshops have now culminated into a national level conference held in Bengaluru, India on the 13th and 14th of November 2019.

Impact

The event is held with the goals of bringing together senior women with break experience and early career women and students on a single platform to explore the possibilities on new career paths, to provide an assessment metric for themselves to assess their ability to transition back, to blend and to balance.

The task ahead is not easy. The women themselves are to be sensitized about their importance and the necessity of having a career for themselves. I hope that Returning Mothers will provide a platform for connecting the industry and talented women and contribute to this task. This is a common problem for the whole world and so there is work for every volunteer to pitch in help.

Resources

The program can be organized wherever there is a need.  Email women@ieee.org to connect with the organizers.

Region 10 Change Makers

Overview

Region 10 WIE initiated a new project in 2019 named “WIE Change Makers”. This is a partial travel funding program for WIE volunteers to attend and present at the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Summit (WIE ILS). IEEE WIE ILS provides opportunities for global networking, mentorship, and collaboration through highly interactive sessions designed to foster discussion and collaboration among the participants, speakers, and the organisers. Travel grant recipients are selected from IEEE WIE leaders from Region 10, with priority given to volunteers who have contributed to various programs that inspired, engaged, and advanced women in engineering. This project enables opportunities for active volunteers to meet and learn from fellow engineers and researchers in the field, especially from women who have successfully built their careers. We expect that attendees will take back with them the knowledge gained at the summits to implement best practices in their own Sections, Student Branches, and Affinity Groups. We insist that the Travel grant recipients must conduct a workshop at their WIE Affinity group on the importance of the WIE ILS and share their experience with the rest of the membership. It improves their motivation and accelerates communication among their WIE group.

The program started in 2019. R10 WIE sends out the call for travel grants annually. There was a “Change Makers” program planned in 2020 for active WIE volunteer members.
We originally planned a travel funding program to attend the IEEE WIE International Leadership Summit 2020 in Coimbatore (India), Lahore (Pakistan), Nagpur (India). However, due to COVID-19, plans had to be changed.

Impact

  • Train young IEEE WIE volunteers about IEEE activities, best practices, and methodologies.
  • Take back learnings from the Summit to implement in their sections, student branches, and affinity groups
  • Travel Expense Funds partially help young WIE leaders to participate in the WIE ILS
  • Encourage submission from less active/inactive WIE AGs

Project measurable deliverables

  • Number and Quality of submission
  • Outcome (report) for the R10 newsletter and R10 WIE Website

R10 WIE received 50 submissions from 5 countries (Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) in 2019. After evaluation, the R10 WIE Committee selected 10 members for financial support. However, some fund recipients were not able to attend the ILS due to visa issues and other reasons. As a result, we had 5 Change Makers in 2019.

Resources

The program can be organized wherever there is a need.  Any Section/SB Affinity Group can initiate and lead the program. For details on the application method, visit http://wie.ieeer10.org/ieee-r10-wie-travel-grant-for-ils-2019/

Visit the Region 10 website to view R10 WIE Change Makers reports.

Contact Emi Yano (R10 WIE Coordinator) for more information. Email: emi@ieee.org

IEEE WIE Turkey Affinity Group

Overview

In order to serve IEEE WIE communities and members during the COVID-19 pandemic, from April 2020 IEEE Turkey WIE decided to design a virtual strategy and adapt to the conditions of a pandemic.

It is only when we’re faced with a pandemic such as the latest COVID-19 outbreak that we can truly assess if our plans are flexible. It may be impossible to meet in person, but it is actually also another opportunity to connect and collaborate to overcome challenges together. We have 3 main virtual events by IEEE Turkey: E-Tea Talks, E-Learning Ports, Virtual Empowering Women Summit.

Instead of waiting for the day when physical events and gatherings are possible again, we have already organized a series of these virtual events, and actually, we learned and experienced that going virtual actually offers many advantages.

E-Learning Ports:

  • Every month there is a new “E-Learning Port” that consists of several sessions/training and each port with a different technical or professional theme.
  • Up to 30 participants need to apply and were selected to attend each “E-Learning Port”.
  • Participants receive a “certificate of attendance” after completing the tracks of each port.

E-Tea Talks:

E-Tea Talks connects volunteers and experts worldwide at the virtual platform mostly in a panel discussion format. We have connected IEEE volunteers addressing several organizational units and technical societies’ volunteers worldwide in these panel sessions. These panels are still available to watch on-demand on our YouTube Channel.

  • April – August 2020: Organized several E-Tea Talks every week
  • From August 2020: Plan to host at least 1 E-Tea Talk per month

Empowering Women Summit 2020 will be held December 8-10 and December 15-17 as a virtual event with three hours of daily content, and in total of more than 12 keynote talks, addresses from experts which will be broadcasted for everyone as part of the program.

For all these initiatives, we closely collaborated with several IEEE Organizational Units, Technical Societies and also other NGOs, corporate partners and stakeholders from Turkey.

Impact

  • Connecting experts and volunteers worldwide,
  • Recognizing volunteers and experts with knowledge, skills and experience to inspire others to progress in their own lives, careers, professional and personal development.
  • Networking and reunion opportunity on the virtual environment
  • Supporting our volunteers both professionally and personally, for the women in the tech community
  • Collaboration opportunity with other NGO’s and stakeholders

Resources

We used virtual tools and platforms to plan these events. Most of the events were live-streamed on IEEE Turkey WIE YouTube Channel

WIETurkeyTeaTalk1
WIETurkeyTeaTalk2

We welcome your contributions!  If you have an event or activity developed for the WIE community that may be emulated by others, please contact women@ieee.org.