A Message From Jenifer Castillo, IEEE WIE CHAIR 2021

Jenifer Castillo, Chair of IEEE WIE Committee  2021

Dear IEEE WIE Members,

After such a challenging year, we welcome 2021 with great expectations and hope, and with lots of plans and goals.

However, there are always great things happening in our lives that we must be grateful for, even through the storm. In my case, 2020 gave me one of the best news I could have received: I was appointed IEEE Women in Engineering Chair for 2021! Let this also be a good moment to thank our past Chair, Lisa Lazareck-Asunta, for steering the WIE Committee through such a demanding year.

I have been a volunteer since I was a university student, and my first volunteer position was as a WIE Student Branch Affinity Group Chair. It is an understatement the honor and joy this represents for me. This also represents a tremendous responsibility, for which we have prepared a strategic agenda for the year to be able to give the best results to IEEE, support the growth of our volunteers, and keep improving our members’ experience. For 2021, we have two priorities we would like to focus on: Members and Volunteers. Members have always been our priority, and their experience is our north. However, this organization moves forward thanks to an amazing community of volunteers to whom I want to say: we see you and we thank you for all your efforts.

For this reason, we have established some main  objectives, amongst which are: focusing on women in industry members, using volunteer.ieee.org as the great platform it is to develop our volunteers, promoting the TryEngineering.org STEM portal to enrich our STAR program, and promote the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at IEEE through our D&I best practices. But maybe one of the things that will change our game, is that this year we will have our first opportunity to vote for the IEEE WIE chair-elect!

Our amazing WIE International Leadership Conference (WIE ILC) will be virtual again, and the global reach this grants is nothing but thrilling for our community. Also, IEEE will have a strong focus on Students, and with the 50% discount in their membership (FUTURE50 discount code), added to WIE free electronic membership, it represents a remarkable opportunity for our Student Affinity Groups to grow stronger.

2021 is still uncertain, but I am excited to promote with our amazing team our vision and mission through the community. Let us keep supporting each other, let us keep fixing each other’s crowns.

Jen Castillo