IEEE PES Women in Power (WIP) Forum was successfully held on October 22, 2019 at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. This forum was organized by IEEE PES WIP of China and co-organized by Xi’an Jiaotong University. Many engineering society leaders and inspirational figures in the energy industry attended the forum and made splendid speeches, including Ruomei Li, Chair of WIP Forum, Chair of IEEE PES WIP; Zhaohong Bie, Vice Chair of WIP Forum, Professor of Xi’an Jiaotong University; Zhiqian Bo, Chair of IEEE PES China; Xiaoxin Zhou, Academician of CAS, Former Chief Engineer of CEPRI; Wenquan Tao, Academician of CAS, Professor of Xi’an Jiaotong University and Marie Jesus Prieto Laffargue, Former President of WFEO.
Marie Jesus Prieto Laffargue, Former President of WFEO, first expressed her welcome and gratitude to the experts attending this forum. She stated energy has made great contributions to the development of human society, but there are also many challenges. It is vital to improve the social status of women and encourage women to make more progress. It is also important to wisely use the power of technology in this information era.
Zhiqian Bo, Chair of IEEE PES China Chapter Council,celebrated the opening of the forum and introduced the history of IEEEPESChina Chapter Council, mentioning WIP among the most important committees of IEEE PES. Bo mentioned that now more and more best students in China choose to study power engineering and many women have chosen it as their career. However there is still a long way to go.
Yonghua Lin, Chair of IEEE WIE Beijing Affinity Group, first thanked all the helps during the process of building WIE (Women In Engineering) to help female engineers and students. Li encouraged all female engineers to be brave to welcome the challenge and get out of the comfortable zone to pursue something different.
Sainab T. Ninalowo, Former Chair of IEEE PES WIP, shared her own experience of being a primary teacher. She pointed out that empowerment begins with individual commitment by self-empowerment, volunteering and speaking up. She also mentioned that the need for global gender equality will raise the standard of living in the whole world.
Khayakazi Dioka, Chair of CIGRE WIE International, introduced the vision and mission of CIGRE WIE. Dioka said self-empowerment, empowering others and celebrating achievements are three steps to be empowered, motivated and inspired. She urged women not to wait others to do it but build own confidence. It is about how to empower yourself and empower others.
Chair of SC B5 at CIGRE, Rannveig Loken, shared her experience of working group in CIGRE and the information of CIGRE. She emphasized increasing the capacity and strength of women and seizing every opportunity.
Xiaoyan Huang, Professor at Zhejiang University, shared her own career path. She underlined the importance of hard-working, teamwork, time management and being active. She encouraged young female students to believe in themselves and empower themselves so that they can be what they can be.
The second session mainly focused on the topic ‘Increasing the Capacity of Women’ and was moderated by Beibei Wang, Professor at Southeast University.
Lan Wang, Project Manager at IEEE China Office/IEEE PES, introduced the development of IEEE. She raised the idea of self-development through volunteering journeys and women empowering non-profits as they can foster followers’ commitment and ability to contribute creatively to organizations.
Olga Anderson, Chair of IEEE Smart Village Education, answered the question of how to make a change in everyday life and volunteer. She mentioned it is impossible for women to become engineers right now in many parts of the world because they cannot read and count. So she spent her career fulfilling the goal of WIP: equal opportunities both for men and women.
Alexander Apostolov, IEEE fellow, Principal Engineer for OMICRON Electronics, encouraged every young students and engineers to look at everyone as human beings instead of male or female. He gave female young students some advice like taking any chance to learn and being ready, focusing more on others, trying to do better in life both personal and professional and not being afraid of failure.
Panelists who participated in the dialogue included Xiaoxin Zhou, Academician of CAS, Former Chief Engineer of CEPRI; Wenquan Tao, Academician of CAS; JInghan He, Professor of Beijing Jiaotong University; Wenfeng Liu, Professor of Xi’an Jiaoytong University. They discussed the question of ‘How to do better in professional careers for women?’
Professor Liu said only by working harder and harder they can achieve career success. Women in China has their advantages and disadvantages. In one way, women have to support the family with men and have to take more responsibility. In another way, women are more careful to find the small differences, care less about money than men so that they can focus more on the career.
Professor Zhou said they have to have scientific spirit. They also have to question the tradition and authority and finally they should be willing to share their ideas in the team. Professor Ruomei Li asked a question that if others question him, how he would feel. Professor Zhou answered that he was glad to see it coming and that was a very important part of team work.
Wenquan Tao quoted the saying of Karl Marx of ‘there is no royal road to science’, and they had to work hard to make achievements. Professor Wenfeng Liu asked Professor Tao the question that how to manage work time. Professor Tao answered that he preferred work at night when there are no phone calls and mails.
Jinghan He mentioned young students have to stick to scientific research and should not give up studying. They also have to widely use the power of innovation and do not be afraid of facing challenges. They can get their power and encouragement from family and children when facing the challenges of life.
At last, Professor Ruomei Li expressed her thanks for all the guests present and hoped in the future they would have more participants in women activities. All the experts and guests attending the forum made splendid speeches. They discussed the supporting of career advancement, networking and education of women in the energy industry, affirmed the values and achievements of female engineers in the society and raised many constructive suggestions for young students and engineers. The forum was held in an open and inclusive atmosphere from beginning to the end.