Foreword: Until now, the social status and influence of most women in the world do not match their contributions, so women generally lack self-confidence. The establishment of the Awards for Women in Engineering, in addition to recognizing the winners, will also inspire relevant female engineers and give them the motivation to fight for the same goal. Human beings are the most potential special energy. Equitable recognition of individuals who have made outstanding contributions will accelerate the sustainable development of the world.
On March 13, during the 66th NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW 66), IEEE PES WIP convened a parallel forum on “The importance of social recognition of women who make outstanding contributions to the SDGs” , to provide ideas and suggestions for promoting women’s rights and sustainable development. Dr. Ruomei Li, chair of the WIP Advisory Committee, served as the chair of the forum. The forum invited Jaime Cristobal Cepeda, chairman of the IEEE PES Award Committee, Shanon Nason, winner of the IEEE PES Senior Administrator Award, and Ni Ming, former chairman of the IEEE China Council (PCCC). The importance and role in continued development, emphasizing the need for social approval and support. Simay Akar, winner of the IEEE PES ROBERT NOBERINI Award for Outstanding Contribution to Engineering, Jiawei Wang, Chair of IEEE PES WIP Danish Branch, Han Lei, Vice Chair of IEEE PES WIP China/Director of CSEE JPES Editorial Department, Chair of IEEE PES WIP China/ Southwest Jiaotong University Professor Wang Xiaoru, NFF Operations Director Ruth Brinkley, Chair of the New Future Foundation Queen Mother Blakely, Hohai University Associate Professor Chen Zhenfei, and Tsinghua University Sichuan Energy Internet Research Institute Dr. Wang Rize, this meeting was hosted by Dr. Li Gen, an associate professor from the Technical University of Denmark host.
Dr. Li Ruomei first delivered a speech. She believed that in the era of digital technology, women should participate in the process of technological development on an equal footing and should receive equal opportunities for education and training. Women need to be given the opportunity to use digital technology systems and have a voice so that women engineers can serve society as a whole.
In the following speech, Jaime Cristobal Cepeda said that advancing innovation and technological change, as well as achieving gender equality and giving all women access to education is becoming increasingly important. While the globalized internet has made everyone connected, many women still fail to reflect their significant contributions and lack self-confidence. Therefore, it is our responsibility to promote the contributions of professionals and to place special emphasis on those from exceptional women. At the same time, we need to continue to push for the empowerment, especially of future women engineers, as a way to achieve gender equality expectations.
In her speech, Shanon Nason shared her work experience in managing awards and scholarship programs at PES. She expressed PES’s efforts in expanding diversity in award applications and review, and showed the current application and review status of PES awards.
In his speech, Ni Ming said that recognizing and celebrating the contribution of women in the Sustainable Development Goals is crucial. Although women play a vital role in driving sustainable development, their contributions are often undervalued or unrecognized. Recognizing women’s contributions not only helps motivate and motivate others, but also promotes women’s economic empowerment and closes the gender gap. But to overcome barriers like culture and social norms, we need to work together to create a culture — one that recognizes and values the contributions of women.
Afterwards, all the participants had heated discussions on the role of women in sustainable development, how to improve women’s social recognition, and how to balance work and life.
Below we have captured some representative discussions and Q&As:
Dr Li Gen asked Simay Akar “You are very active in PES and you are still working in the company you started, you have achieved a lot. But why do you apply for PES awards and what are the benefits for you to apply for these awards? For our audience Any suggestions?” Simay Akar said that as a partner and volunteer in the power industry, she has been committed to contributing to clean energy technology and a better future. She believes that it is important to be recognized, but what is more important is to inspire each other and support more people with the same passion and vision through years of hard work. She said that it was a coincidence that she was nominated for the PES award, “We can actually do better.”
Jiawei Wang shared her experience as a representative of WIP Denmark. She said that she and her female colleagues found that there were no full-time female professors and female role models in the electrical engineering department, so they actively joined PES WIP and organized related activities , invited outstanding women in the power and energy industry to give speeches. These efforts won her the Outstanding Volunteer Award, which inspired her to continue to organize more activities in her volunteer work. This award has had a great impact on her and keeps her motivated to continue her future work.
Han Lei believes that the establishment of the Female Engineer Award is an important measure to encourage women to be better in the engineering field. She herself has won the IEEE PCCC Outstanding Female Engineer Award. China often holds female engineer forums, focusing on female growth and leadership training. However, while women are prominent in scientific research, they are underrepresented at expert and leadership levels. Han Lei believes that this is because women are more likely to give up opportunities or choose more comfortable ways of working than men.
Wang Xiaoru believes that this forum is very important to attract more female students, engineers and teachers to participate in the activities. She said that although China has a large number of female engineers and teachers, the Chinese Association of Engineers is also one of the most active committees. However, she still wants to see more female leaders functioning on the international stage, and as such, they need more support and attention.
Dr. Li Ruomei said in her speech that it is very important for women to be recognized in the field of science and technology. They have unique advantages and contributions in the field of science and technology. Therefore, promoting and expanding women’s rewards will help accelerate the achievement of sustainable development goals. She also gave suggestions on how to increase the influence of the Women in Technology Awards, such as clear award criteria, reflecting women’s unique contributions, relaxing the basic requirements for female candidates, providing opportunities for growth, and utilizing various online social platforms and partners. Expand the impact of the award. She said the contributions of more women scientists are needed for a better future, so recognizing women’s achievements can provide them with motivation and confidence.
In her speech, Queen Mother advocated providing scholarships for women so that they can obtain educational opportunities and participate in sustainable development. She said that after the epidemic, we should pay more attention to violence against women. She mentioned that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is promoting the global empowerment of women rights, so want to hear women’s voices and opinions from all over the world.
Zhenfei Chen asked Shanon Nason “Considering the differences in countries and specific work areas, how to ensure the fairness of award selection and how to make more students pay attention to PES awards?” Shanon Nason replied “We only provide for the first to seventh areas Scholarships, because that’s where the funding comes from. We also offer Distinguished Student Scholarships, up to $10,000 for worldwide applications. We’re only giving out five at the moment, but can give out up to ten. Applications require three Senior Member or peer nominations , but we are considering removing this criterion. Receiving a scholarship also includes a one-year membership to three PES events. If you need help finding a nomination for a senior member, please contact our office.”
Dr. Wang Rize said that IEEE’s research shows that there is a stereotype in society that men are more suitable for engineering research, which will hinder more women from participating in the realization of sustainable development goals. Women’s career development is affected from high school before entering the workplace, so how to break this impression at an early stage is crucial to women’s career development. Education systems can help women understand their contribution to the SDGs, which can better benefit their future careers.
The forum was a complete success, and the guests encouraged more women to participate in engineering and technology fields, and said they would provide opportunities and platforms for them to network and showcase themselves. We should recognize their efforts and contributions, and give awards and recognition to increase awareness and influence throughout society.