Lean In at IMS 2015

Mar 23, 2015 | Posted by: Sherry Hess

Hello all you female STEM readers out there …

It’s time to lean in.  If you don’t know what I’m referring to, read on.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is a book written by Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, and Nell Scovell, TV and magazine writer. Sandberg is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Lean In examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. 

For me the most compelling idea Sandberg offers is a call to action to get involved and step up to the challenges that lie ahead. I’ve become involved over the past couple of years in the IEEE Women in Engineering movement to recruit and retain more women in STEM fields. It all started back in 2011 when I stepped up to run the annual IMS Women in Microwaves (WIM) reception. From there I agreed to co-chair the IEEE MTT-S Women in Engineering/Women in Microwaves organization for the past two years and now two more.

My co-chairmanship has led to a series of guest blogs and speaking engagements worldwide advocating for women—and men— to get involved and boost the number of female engineers by increasing the visibility of women in engineering and creating networking opportunities for female engineers. This means more mentoring and role models, and creating more awareness of women achieving greatness in technical fields. And, most important of all, it means working to broaden the number of social, networking, and mentoring opportunities for women.

With IMS 2015 nearly here, the time is now to lean in. Join me at the annual WIM social networking event Tuesday evening, May 19 at the Sheraton, 2nd Floor Terrace (Oculus), across the street from the convention center. In addition to the networking activities, make a note to attend the all-female 5G technical track followed by a “Diversity in Engineering” panel session on Tuesday afternoon, May 19 starting at 1:30pm in Room 126ABC. You can find out more about WIM and the events being held by visiting IMS2015.org.

Women in engineering and microwaves in particular are still a small minority. We all need to participate in order to make a difference. Lean in and get involved—you’ll be amazed how many new connections you’ll make and how this network can be of benefit to you as your lean in to grow your career in STEM.