The 12rd IEEE PES APPEEC Women in Power (WIP) Forum was successfully held on 22th September 2020 in Nanjing, China. “Women in Power, Enhance the Future” was the theme of this year. This forum was organized by IEEE PES WIP China and Hohai University, supported by IEEE WIE Beijing Affinity Group. Experts from USA, UK, Australia, Bangladesh, Kenya, China and other countries participated in the event online. The forum consisted of four stages: Welcoming Address, Keynote Speech, Question and Answer Session and Interview.
The moderator of this forum was Dr. Beibei Wang from Southeast University The event started with the welcoming addresses from Dr. Ruomei Li and Xueping Pan on behalf of WIP and Hohai University respectively. They congratulated the successful opening of the event, thanked the organizers for their hard work and the support of the participants, affirmed the achievements of female engineers in power industry, and expressed their support for female engineers.
There were eight speakers in the Keynote Speech Session. Lisa Lazareck-Asunta, IEEE WIE President, presented the speech，including objectives of WIE, WIE membership by region, IEEE WIE Webinar Series Pilot, WIE Summits, 2020 IEEE WIE International Leadership Conference (ILC), 2020 Direction and Progress. She said “IEEE WIE pledges to work towards gender-diversified panels at all IEEE meetings, conferences, and events, including our own”. Jessica Bian, the chair of IEEE PES, presented “Women in Power (WIP)-Platform for Preparing Future Leaders”. She said “PES Women in Power’s mission is to advance the world through the creativity and innovation of diverse leadership, and to foster the careers, connections, and talent of women in the power industry to achieve their full potential to become the leaders of the future”.
Dr. Noel Schulz, the former president of PES from Washington State University, presented “Women in Power-Resilience, Networking and Leadership”. She said “Resilience means the ability to recover and create a difference by making things better or changing the status”. Yonghong Chen from USA MISO, presented “Wholesale Electricity Market Design and Computational Research-past success and future challenges”. She pointed out that “The market clearing and pricing under future resource portfolio can be solved by enhancing the interaction of market applications with existing commercial optimization solvers”.
Celia Shahnaz, IEEE Bangladesh Section Chair, WIP representative of R10, presented the speech including 2020 Flagship Events in Region 10, PES-HAC and Member Engagement Webinars during COVID 19, 2020 PES Day International Webinars, International Women day Gathering and Women in Engineering Day Webinars, Women in Engineering Tech Meetup Online Webinars Series and opportunities of virtue events.
Mercy Chelangat, PES Kenya Chapter Secretary, presented “How can Women in power enhance the future?”, shared her experience in WIP & WIE, role of WIP in advocacy, policies, role models in WIP and the way forward.
Prof. Furong Li from University of Bath, who was also an alumna of Hohai University, presented “Knowing and playing to your strengthens”. She concluded “To reflect my career, here are my three key messages for you to take away: Knowing your strengths; sufficient preparation times; allowing time to rest and recovery”.
Dr. Feifei Bai from the University of Queensland, shared her experience of “Grow up from students to early career academics”.
Then, the event entered the Q&A stage. Meng Ni, a graduate student from Southeast University, asked Dr. Feifei Bai a question “How we can find the appropriate research orientation when we start our independent research？”. Dr. Feifei Bai answered the question based on her academic and scientific research experience, and won applause from the audiences.
Dr. Beibei Wang asked Dr. Noel Schulz about how to balance family and scientific research. Noel Schulz gave several suggestions to the majority of female engineers “find a partner supporting your career; enjoy yourself at work or during family time; take a short break”.
Dr. Ruomei Li asked Celia Shahnaz about how to use time sufficiently. Celia Shahnaz gave her answers based on her own scientific research experience and WIP/WIE experience.
Dr. Xueping Pan asked Dr. Furong Li a question “How to coordinate your time between work and rest time？”. According to the working characteristics of female engineers, Dr. Furong Li answered “It’s very much to balance quality and quantity of your work”.
Finally, the event entered Interview Session. Zhixin Fu, an associate professor from Hohai University, was interviewed. She expressed her gratitude and tribute to Dr. Ruomei Li, invited experts and all those who supported the event. She said that female engineers should, as Prof. Furong Li said, have a clear understanding of themselves, seize the opportunity to develop themselves, and actively cooperate with other female engineers.
In this forum, the Keynote Speech speakers not only showed their career growth process, career achievements and experience in balancing family and career, but also discussed with audiences on how to improve women’s participation in engineering fields, how to create more opportunities and improve social status for female engineers. The influence of the forum will lasted longer than expected.