From grassroots organizing, to the state of women in engineering, to running for congress, sessions at WE17 empower women to advocate at all stages of their careers. Below, we’ve shared sessions on various levels of advocacy and public policy on each day of WE17. Check out the full WE17 Conference Planner to find additional sessions.
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Rocket ships, Tanzania Trips, and the Power of Engineers as Advocates
Thursday, October 26, 4:30pm – 5:30pm | ACC — Room 16B
Alyssa Deardorff and Jillian Yuricich grew up on opposite sides of the United States and had diametrically opposite undergraduate experiences, but they share a common passion for advocacy. They have worked locally leading student organizations, nationally by advocating for aerospace policy on Capitol Hill, and globally through rural renewable energy projects. Alyssa and Jillian have relied on their experiences as advocates to stretch themselves in their internships, student government roles, and scientist-astronaut training. These women believe that advocacy reaches beyond standing up for your beliefs to encompass being a champion for your communities and yourself.
The State of Women in Engineering
Friday, October 27, 1:00pm – 2:30pm | ACC – Room 6
Join the second comprehensive presentation to continue your familiarization of current research and trens on the state of women in engineering. During this special event, you’ll hear from the SWE Literature Review authors as they frame the discussion and point to the current research landscape regarding he basic data on women in engineering, gender bias, workplace culture, and more. We’ll re-examine SWE’s own research from the past year, along with other industry leaders, and look forward to the next future.
Lighting Talk: Reflections on the United State of Women Summit
Friday, October 27, 2:30pm – 2:50pm | ACC – Room 18AB
Kim Bishop was fortunate to be invited to attend the first ever United State of Women Summit in June of 2016 in Washington, D.C. The summit was hosted by the White House, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Aspen Institute. The summit was dedicated to discussing a number of topics, including economic empowerment, equal pay for equal work, women’s health, women’s education, violence against women, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement. During this talk, Kim will reflect upon her observations, experiences, and learnings from the summit.
NASA Rocket Scientist Leaving Mars for Politics
Saturday, October 28, 10:00am – 11:15am | ACC – Room 8
Tracy Van Houten knows science and reason need a seat at the table in Washington D.C. so she ran to be the first ever woman engineer in Congress during a 2017 special election to represent California’s 34th District. This non-partisan talk will cover Tracy’s experiences as a Congressional candidate, the great need for political engagement by those in the STEM fields, and suggestions for involvement as an engineer in your local political scene. Calling all women, engineers, students, moms! We all need a seat at the table if we want fact-driven, people-driven legislation and political discourse in our country.
Advocacy: Turning Social Force into Social Action
Saturday, October 28, 2:45pm – 3:45pm | ACC – Room 9C
New research makes it increasingly clear that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially. Although there is a growing consensus among top executives that gender diversity is both an ethical and a business imperative, progress is painfully slow. Despite modest improvements, women are underrepresented at every level of today’s corporations, especially in senior positions. Representation of women in STEM in senior positions is even lower due to issues that impact retention rates. Participants will learn how they can engage in grassroots advocacy to effect and accelerate change across all levels of the STEM leadership pipeline.