Conferences & Events

IEEE-USA, IEEE WIE Co-Sponsor First WIE Summit USA East

By Nita Patel

IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) and IEEE USA co-sponsored the first IEEE WIE Summit USA East on 6-8 November in Philadelphia, Pa. WIE’s mission is to inspire and empower women as leaders in engineering and technology. Through a network of more than 500 affinity groups and 15,000 members around the world, IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) directly transforms the lives of hundreds of thousands of young girls and women via pre-university outreach, technical seminars, humanitarian projects, networking events, and educational programs focused on encouraging self-realization through the core ideas of the IEEE WIE mission.

The Summit focused on developing and improving leadership skills for individuals at all stages of their careers. Successful leaders from IEEE’s North-East Region presented inspirational and empowering talks; demonstrated emerging technologies; engaged attendees to facilitate discussion; and offered potential STEM advancement outreach class ideas.

2015 IEEE-USA President-Elect Peter Eckstein kicked off events for more than 180 attendees, 37 speakers, and 11 industry patrons with an opening reception and welcome. Eckstein encouraged attendees to network, connect and advance. Attendees enjoyed the evening networking, complete with stories shared around a chocolate fountain. Kate Duncan and Vicky Drury led the volunteer committee who coordinated the event.

In addition, all participants received a complimentary copy of IEEE-USA’s book: Women in Engineering CompilationVolume 1-Books 1-4.  The first print compilation contains the first four books from IEEE-USA’s Women in Engineering series eBooks. The books tell the journeys of four notable women engineers along the path of their engineering careersthe obstacles they faced, the challenges they overcame, and the lessons learned along the way. All individual and compilation eBooks in the IEEE-USA WIE series can be purchased for special discounts to members at

Conference speakers included: Ellen Weber, executive director at Robin Hood Ventures; Tiffany Gasbarrini, senior editor at Springer Nature Group Media; Theresa Hennesy, senior vice-president at Comcast;  Mary Pat Farrell, vice-president of strategy & development, Rockwell Automation; Kathy Vigue, senior director at Johnson & Johnson; and CEO at Prestige Concepts, Tiffanie Stanard; 2015 IEEE-USA President Jim Jeffries; and Karen Panetta, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate education, Tufts University.

Tracks consisted of sessions on leadership, how to get published, nurturing entrepreneurship, salary negotiations, overcoming stereotypes, wearable electronics, encouraging girls to pursue STEM fields, and promoting diversity in engineering. The track content provided actionable steps, thought-provoking ideas and fun activities.


In addition to three concurrent tracks, the event hosted an onsite career fair, with such patrons as patrons Rockwell Automation, Johnson & Johnson, Ametek, Springer, WE Automation, and others. The fair provided an opportunity for patrons to highlight their technology and for attendees to investigate potential new opportunities. For more on the 2015 WIE Summit East, go to:

The second annual WIE Summit East will be held in the fall in the Boston, Mass. Area. More details to come.

Nita Patel is IEEE’s 2015 Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference Chair.

Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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