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Society of Women Engineers

New York Energy Week: Women in Energy

In a field where the majority have been men, women have made historical contributions for decades.

Published On: June 2016
Maria Telkes

Maria Telkes (2nd from left) receives the first Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award at the 1952 American Society of Civil Engineers Centennial of Engineering in Chicago, Illinois.

The future for women in the energy industry is bright. In a field where the majority have been men, women have made historical contributions for decades. Leona Woods was the only woman on Enrico Fermi’s team in 1942 when they achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction. She was also the youngest on that team, at only 23. The following year, Robert Oppenheimer appointed Charlotte Serber to lead the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s library, a position of immense importance given the deluge of classified and unclassified reports that needed to be documented and distributed. And in 1947, Hungarian biophysicist Maria Telkes (see photo) built the first house to run on 100 percent solar power. Since then, women have continued to make extraordinary contributions to the energy industry.

New York Energy Week honors past contributions of women in the field and champions their present and future work, by featuring leading women on every NYEW panel. Last year, the Women in Power Breakfast paid tribute to women executives and leaders from across industry and government who have achieved professional excellence working on critical challenges in the energy space. The panel focused on how the role of women in the industry is changing, with speakers providing professional development insights into how women can continue to make a difference.

With an increasing number of women entering the energy sector, the entire industry stands to benefit. Increased diversity of opinions, experiences, and expertise accelerates innovation and improves our ability to tackle complex challenges.

This year, NYEW is stepping its commitment to highlighting the accomplishments of women in energy by ensuring a 50/50% gender balance of male and female speakers. It will also feature a dedicated session entitled “Women Disrupting Power.”

You are invited to join host GE Energy Financial Services for New York Energy Week June 13-17, 2016 for a conversation with some of the industry’s biggest female influencers. The moderator will be Amanda Levin, and speakers will include Colleen Calhoun, Tina Palmero, and Andrianne Payson. These women have excelled in the energy industry and will share their insights into disruptive technologies and how women are affected by and can actively shape current trends in the industry, to excel in their professional careers. The energy industry, related companies, and communities all stand to benefit.

Learn more at New York Energy Week.

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