Written by IEEE | October 2, 2020

One of the goals of IEEE is to support life-long learning and provide opportunities for career and professional development. Part of this includes promoting women engineers and scientists, and inspiring girls around the world to follow their academic interests in a STEM career.

IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) connects nearly 20,000 members in over 100 countries to advance women in technology at all points in their life and career. Its annual Leadership Summit took place in Beijing recently, bringing together leading female technologists and engineers to discuss the future of female leadership in STEM as well as the impact of technology after the pandemic.

During his keynote at the summit, 2020 IEEE President Toshio Fukuda, said, “as a global organization, IEEE fosters the technology innovation for humanity and leverages technology to collaborate, communicate, and connect worldwide.”

Amplifying Female Leadership

The day kicked off with Yonghua Lin, IEEE Member and IEEE WIE Beijing Affinity Group Chair introducing IEEE WIE that connects nearly 20,000 members in over 100 countries to advance women in technology at all points in their life and career. The efforts of WIE not only provide an open and shared multidisciplinary cultural exchange platform, but also provide opportunities for further cross-disciplinary cooperation.

Yonghua highlighted the need to increase female leadership, to promote science and engineering to women and how to use IEEE WIE as a platform to increase women’s participation rates and diversity in the workplace, as well as accelerate gender parity.

Jessica Bian, IEEE Senior Member and I and Min Wu, IEEE Fellow and mentioned that in this era of both opportunities and challenges, the importance of “She-power” in the science and technology industry is growing. Through IEEE WIE, more women’s voices will be heard by increasing female participation and accelerating gender equality.

Research and Innovation During COVID-19

IEEE members shared their insights on research and innovation challenges and opportunities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Some also showcased their ongoing research programs to demonstrate how technology innovations will help us combat COVID-19 challenges.

Supavadee Aramvith, IEEE Senior Member discussed how robotics can be used for medical applications including interacting with COVID-19 patients, monitoring blood pressure, temperature scanning, and general health consulting. Aramvith highlighted the importance of 5G connectivity to enable this type of use.

Celia Shahnaz, IEEE Senior Member, highlighted the research challenges that have arisen in academia during COVID-19, and how to implement solutions to deal with this issue.

Norliza M. Noor, IEEE Senior Member, spent time discussing how the pandemic has accelerated the process of Industry 4.0 and Society 5.0, bringing more opportunities for digital transformation.

Despite the pandemic, IEEE and its members continue to advance technology innovations that enable us to work, study, and interact virtually, while inspiring women in engineering, younger generations, and a worldwide audience to do the same.

To learn more about IEEE Women in Engineering please see here.

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