The Society of Women Engineers National Conference was held in Indianapolis, Indiana from Oct. 21-23. The University of Maine at Orono was able to sponsor nine women to attend this conference with the theme of “Aspire to Inspire.” The goal of this theme was to help young engineers continue to help the younger generation see their potential and live it out. The nine women who attended consisted of three civil engineering students, three mechanical engineering students, a biomedical engineering student, a mathematics student, and a computer engineering major.
There were more than 7,000 female college students in attendance at the conference, not including the 250-plus companies in attendance and the influential female CEOs of fortune 500 companies. Many inspirational speakers attended the conference to share their stories to young engineers so that they can help blaze a trail for the younger generation. The three keynote presentations were heavily attended and the speakers were all inspirational women from many different companies representing WE21 sponsors; Stephanie Hill the vice president of Rotary and Mission Systems for Lockheed Martin Corporation, Barbara Humpton the CEO of Siemens Corporation, and Patricia (Patti) Poppe the President and CEO of PG&E.
Not only was the conference impactful for the students in attendance, it was also a historic trip as well. The mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, proclaimed Oct. 22nd as “Society of Women Engineers Day” for the state of Indiana.
This news segment is here to inform and inspire young men and women to pursue their dreams, but is especially for the young person reading this newspaper. Many of the college female students in attendance had to fight to be a scientist, engineer, mathematician, or technologist in their respective field. In the Society of Women Engineers, we are here to help you see that anyone can pursue a future in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics no matter what you look like, your gender identity, your religion, your size, or your background. Patti Poppe puts it this way: “Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. What the world needs is people who come alive.” Above all, always aspire to inspire.
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