Meet Shweta Behere

How did you first get involved in IEEE Women in Engineering?
I heard about IEEE Women in Engineering from one of my coworkers recently. Many years ago, in the year 2000 I was an IEEE member when I was a bachelor’s student in Computer Science at the University of Pune. As a student, IEEE membership provided me all the right opportunities for learning as well as networking. Honestly, I believed that IEEE was mainly for students, professors and academic professionals, so I did not continue with my IEEE membership. Later on, I transitioned from a student to a corporate professional working in the computer science industry and gathered over a decade of experience. Recently, one of my coworkers mentioned to me about IEEE membership and the IEEE women in engineering society and that’s when I realized that I had been missing so much in the past several years. I wasn’t even aware about the IEEE women in engineering society and the great things it does. As soon as I heard about it, I looked it up and went through all the various events and activities that it supports. I was thrilled to find out that IEEE Women in Engineering provides this great platform for women all over the world to be connected and benefit from each other tremendously. I promptly joined IEEE and signed up for IEEE Women in Engineering.

Why did you decide to become a WIE member?
I am a strong advocate for women in technology and I like to promote young women to pursue this field whenever I get an opportunity. Throughout my career, I have been in multiple situations where I have been the only female member in a team or in a meeting. That has always kept me wondering as to why are women not actively pursuing technical engineering careers. I have made it a mission to encourage other women to start and progress in this field whenever I get a chance. As soon I heard about IEEE Women in Engineering society, I jumped on the opportunity and became an IEEE WIE member. Being a member, it would help me connect and engage with other women across geographical boundaries and cultures. I am extremely excited and eager to participate in the women in engineering society at IEEE.

What do you wish other people knew about IEEE WIE?
I would like to let other people know that IEEE WIE is this amazing platform that helps you connect and network with women in engineering from all over the world and across different stages in their career. I had this misconception that it is mainly for students and professionals in academics only, but that is not the case. It can benefit anyone and everyone who is willing to participate and learn. There are different opportunities to present, speak, volunteer, mentor and get any sort of help if needed.

What is it like to be an IEEE WIE Volunteer, and what do you enjoy about it?
I have joined IEEE WIE only few weeks back and will be looking into opportunities to volunteer with them soon. I have connected with my local chapter and joined their mailing list to be aware of any upcoming events and activities. I am eager to volunteer and actively participate in them.

Why do you feel it is important for women to enter into the field of engineering?
I feel it is extremely important for women to enter the field of engineering and even more for women to stay and thrive in this field. Bringing in more women in technology will not only bring diversity, but it brings in a whole new perspective to the industry. Gender diverse teams bring in more innovation, unbiased research, effective marketing and practical decision making. If more women enter the field of engineering, we can make technical advancements suitable for women which will change and benefit society as a whole. It will help close the pay gap between men and women and provide an encouraging environment for new women entering the field. Women are technically very capable and strong, but social norms and gender inequalities have been restricting them to grow and make use of their full potential. Now is the time to make this change happen and promote more women to enter and be successful at engineering careers.