The Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), an event hosted by Design News’ parent company UBM, was recently called out over Twitter.
You can see the tweet below, in which the engineers says she is "tired of being one of the few women speakers" presumably at events like ESC, as she has not applie dto speak at ESC in some time. (I’ve covered up the tweeter’s handle and the responder’s handle out of respect for their privacy.)
The tweet references our upcoming ESC Boston event, May 3-4, 2017. Before we go further in this blog, let me assure you as one of the people who works with the ESC advisory board and selects the conference tracks, ESC’s sessions are based entirely on their merit and the speaker’s understanding of embedded systems design. No distinction is made based on gender, race, etc.
If you count the accepted speakers at ESC Boston, women make up about 25% of the speakers. Sadly, that’s double the 12% of the engineering workforce that is made up of women, according to the American Association of University Women, which has shared their recent study on why women make up such a low percentage of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.
Low involvment from any group is concerning, as we know and have shown time and time again that diversity in the workforce contributes to creativity, productivity, and innovation, not to mention that companies with more diversity perform better financially over the long run. Diversity is needed to steer the direction of engineering and technical innovation.
We also know that in the very near future, the United States will need a mass of new engineers and computing professionals as Baby Boomer engineers exit their cubes and technology continues to become a more pervasive part of our economies, healthcare, in general, our lives.
In short, ladies, engineering needs you. In truth, we need anyone we can get so when half the population isn’t taking on engineering, at least not at more than 12%, it’s a problem.
So at ESC, we are trying to address why, exactly, more women are not engineers. At ESC Silicon Valley last December, we hosted a Women in Engineering panel and networking session where the discussion focused on why women either don’t go into engineering or don’t stick with it.
Even though the sesison started at 7:30 a.m., the room was full and we heard from a few of the attendees that they traveled in, some flying in, specifcally for the session.
Now at ESC Boston on May 4, 2017, again at 7:30 a.m., we are hosting our second Women in Engineering session, with an exceptional panel of women with STEM backgrounds.
- Jessica Gomez, Founder and CEO, Rogue Valley Microdevices
- Asmita Khanolkar, Manager, Manufacturing Engineer, CeQur
- Jessica Levenson, VP, Search & Engagement, TechTarget
- Nita Patel, Systems & Software Engineering Director, L-3 Warrior Systems, and Founder and Chair for the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference
- Angelica Perzan, Inside Sales Engineer, maxon precision motors, inc.
I’ll be moderating the panel and look forward to hearing their thoughts as successful women in STEM fields as to what can be done to increase diversity in engineering, professional challenges and opportunities, and more.
Everyone is welcome at this session, so long as they are registered for ESC. Information on the session is below. We hope to see you there.