A Message From Jenifer Castillo, Chair of IEEE WIE Committee 2021-
June Newsletter

Jenifer Castillo, Chair of IEEE WIE Committee 2021

I would like to open this newsletter today by sharing with you a tremendous accomplishment from April: with more than 500 attendees from 45 countries and 8 global networking events, the Virtual International Leadership Conference (ILC) 2021 was a complete success. During the ILC we had the opportunity to attend presentations of hundreds of speakers and some amazing Keynote speakers, but please indulge me to share with you some of the words I shared with the attendees as we were closing the event.

Having Toshio Fukuda, 2021 IEEE Past President, opening the event was very special.  I have tremendous admiration for the person he is, and he honored it by reminding us that we can always accomplish more together for the benefit of humanity. Stacey Abrams taught me that as you overcome your challenges you need to start plotting, so you know what is your next step. I had the opportunity to meet a hero, Dr. Mae Jemison, my inner 13-year old that dreamt to be an astronaut was as happy as she could be, and my current self heard loud and clear that once you get a seat at the table, you have to use it!

I felt identified, and that was thanks to Lynne Doherty (McAfee), being an engineer that stepped into a sales role, just like me… I do not have to know her, I already have her career ladder as an inspiration for mine. And then, my heart was warm as I felt represented with Sandra Rivera (Intel), daughter of Colombian parents, a Latina making her way up in the industry: what a feeling. I hope each of the attendees had the opportunity to go through many special moments, as I did. For it, and for all the effort putting this event together, I am absolutely thankful to Heather Quinn, ILC 2021 and 2022 Chair, and all of the fantastic team that made that possible. Of course, I could not choose a better guest for this message than Heather herself, to share with us what inspires her to be part of WIE and help us find our Kathy (who made a difference in her life)! Please do not forget to read the impactful article, “IEEE Women in Engineering Leads a Pledge to Make Speaker Panels More Gender Balanced” by our Past-Chair, Lisa Lazareck-Asunta. It is a very important effort to make sure women have that place at the table: You will not only enjoy it, but feel inspired to be in those panels, and to help us promote them.

The IEEE elections are coming soon! And thanks again for being a  part of this community!