Meet Heather Quinn IEEE WIE ILC Chair - June Newsletter

Meet Heather Marie Quinn, Chair of IEEE WIE ILC 

I have been a member of the WIE community, since I became an IEEE member.  As a student member, I was often one of the only women in my engineering classes.  I knew there was a problem with representation, but I was very focused on my schooling so tried to just keep my head down.  When I finished my schooling, I moved across the US for work to a place where I knew virtually no one.  I needed a support system.  I reached out to my employer’s employee resource group, joined the WIE affinity group, and my technical society (the nuclear and plasma sciences society).  I have done a lot of volunteerism in MGA and TAB through WIE and NPSS.  Volunteering for NPSS as a reviewer, journal editor, technical chair, and conference chair were helpful in advancing my career.  On the other hand, volunteering for my local section and WIE has been helpful in staying in my job.  As my career has advanced, I have found myself around fewer and fewer women.  When I broke through one of the glass ceilings at work a few years ago, the air was very thin and I was suddenly alone as the only woman.  I needed WIE.  I needed women to be by my side as I was breaking through these barriers, as other women at work caught up to me so I wouldn’t be alone.  I am so grateful that WIE has been with me through all of these changes.  I hope that my work as the Region 6 WIE coordinator and as the WIE ILC 2021 and 2022 chair helps me open up these levels of support for all gender minorities within the IEEE.  You might be alone at work, but you are never truly alone with the IEEE WIE.  If you are feeling alone, please reach out to your local or region WIE group or join us at the WIE ILC.  We want to be here for you!