On September 15-16th, 2018, the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Summit (WIE ILS) took place in Mississauga, ON. The theme of the summit was STEMPowered Leadership, with the goal being to engage and empower women in engineering. Held at the same venue that weekend were the IEEE Young Professionals Summit and Student Congress. Joint events allowed for more perspectives to be shared and exposed many young engineers to the mission and philosophy of WIE. Several Winnipeg Section WIE members were fortunate to attend the event.

U of M students Aimee Carvey, Hannah Fogel and Valorie Platero share their experiences below.


Local Conference Participants (L-R): Hannah Fogel, Valorie Platero, Aimee Carvey, Nasim Abdollahi, Martin Rickey, Leo Zheng, Adam Brown

Attending the WIE ILS provided us with the opportunity to learn about current developments in improving the representation of women in engineering. Keynote speakers and panel discussions talked about one of the most prominent efforts in this endeavour, 30 By 30. 30 By 30 is an initiative started by Engineers Canada that encourages companies and academic institutions to work towards increasing the percentage of women in the field of engineering to 30% by the year 2030. Panels also discussed current emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain and how women’s perspectives are influencing these research areas. Speakers from IEEE provided information about other resources and outreach programs run by IEEE.

Many workshops during the weekend were led by female engineers who are very successful in their fields. They shared their personal experiences and gave advice for other women navigating the industry. The conference also had social events that enabled us to network and connect with other female engineers in various stages of their careers. This helped us gain valuable insight and advice in planning our own careers and potential mentorships in the future.

At the awards banquet Saturday evening, Nasim was presented with the Best Section of the Year award for small- and medium-sized sections. This is a great accomplishment that speaks to the dedication of our local volunteers.

We returned home hopeful and inspired to plan for WIE events in Winnipeg in the coming year. We would like to thank Professor Philip Ferguson and the IEEE Winnipeg Section for sponsoring our attendance at the summit.