As Nita Patel peered around The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose after the first full
day of sessions, she said exactly what I
was thinking in that moment, “You can
just feel that people actually want to be
As I sit here writing this, I can’t
help but think about how amazing my
week has been thus far, and it’s only Monday. I am finishing
up day one of the IEEE Women in Engineering in Leadership
Conference (@WIEILC) in San Jose, California, which I was
so privileged to attend. Before the event, I filmed a quick “Why
I Became An Engineer” video interview with Nita, the IEEE
WIE ILC founder. (You can watch the video here: ecnmag.com/
Nita was intelligent, kind, and maybe most importantly,
extremely humble. I had no idea what a huge (~1300
attendees), successful, and inspiring conference this would
be, even for an “outsider” like me (I’m no engineer). This
conference was built for women engineers to “connect, recruit,
and support change makers and leaders,” however, I quickly
found that the content was not only relevant for women in
engineering—it was relevant to all women who are or want to
be leaders. It’s for women who want to be inspired, for women
who want to lead and do great things.
Sure, this is a conference meant to bring together women
in engineering from all different backgrounds and cultures,
but that doesn’t mean we can’t all take something away from
the lessons. Below are a couple of worthy takeaways I found
thought-provoking, and I hope you will too.
1. Be a person of tomorrow. It’s so easy to get caught up in
the day-to-day seemingly never-ending to-do list, and nuances
of life. Step back. Take a moment to remember what you’re
working for (or towards). Are you building a life for today
or tomorrow? Sure, you want to live in the moment, and by
all means you should, but don’t forget to plan/design/create/
innovate for tomorrow.
2. Tell stories. One woman I met actually pointed this out
to me—almost every speaker at the conference started the
session off with a good story. One that mattered, one with a
good ending, a funny occurrence, or a lesson learned. It makes
a difference, it captures the audience, and most importantly,
people remember you because of them. Stories have been
around for centuries, and they’re certainly not going anywhere,
so keep ‘em coming!
So, before all of these good, warm feelings vanish due to the
stresses of daily life, I want to challenge you to be better, be
fabulous, lead by example, be your unnerving, uncanny, unique
self—whatever that may be, because there’s only one of you!
Until next time,
P.S. Go green!
Janine E. Mooney
Editor in Chief, ECN
Editorial Content Director, DEG
Twitter: @JanineEMoon + @ECNonline
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Jeff Bader, Micron Technology
Harrison Beasley, Global Semiconductor Alliance
Carlos Castillo, Engineering Manager position,
Midmak Medical Device Division
Stacey M. DelVecchio, 2014 President, Society of Women Engineers
Tom Donofrio, Central Semiconductor Corp.
Christian Fell, FRABA Inc.
Joshua Israelsohn, JAS Technical Media
Dan Jones, Motor/Motion Controls expert
Anthony Le, Spansion
Ron Moore, Avnet Electronics Marketing
David Niewolny, Freescale Semiconductor
Robbie Paul, Digi-Key
Steve Sargeant, The Marvin Group
Aung Thet Tu, Fairchild Semiconductor
Rick Weitfeldt, Qualcomm
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