Ringing the Bell for Parity: SWE Members Reflect on the Nasdaq Opening Bell Ringing Ceremony

Through partnering with Nasdaq to highlight the need for more women in engineering, almost 50 female engineers gathered in Times Square in August to be present for the Opening Bell Ceremony. We are pleased to share reflections from the event through this blog.
Ringing the Bell for Parity: SWE Members Reflect on the Nasdaq Opening Bell Ringing Ceremony

Thanks to the advocacy of Nasdaq’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Supriya Jha, SWE was selected as a non-profit organization to participate in the Opening Bell Ceremony for the Nasdaq Marketsite on August 8, 2018. Joined by fellow SWE members and representatives from the Board of Directors, Karen Horting, Executive Director and CEO of SWE, rang the bell along with FY18 President Jonna Gerken, and President-Elect for FY20 Cindy Hoover.

We are pleased to share a selection of reflections from those who were present that morning:

“It was incredibly refreshing to hear Nasdaq’s commitment to gender diversity.  As a female engineer, we’re used to being in the minority, but long for parity.  Also impressive was their commitment to a highly diverse and inclusive workforce, which mirrors SWE’s goals and clearly establishes the strong partnership we will have together.  I look forward to watching Nasdaq on their journey as advocates for women in the workplace,” says Dayna Johnson who is a business development manager at GE and the Director of Professional Excellence on the FY19 Board of Directors at SWE.

Many of the participants highlighted how significant the opportunity was to highlight the need for more women in the profession.

“Ringing the Opening Bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite gave me the opportunity to show the world what an engineer can look like, and that she may look different than what the world expects,” says Christina Rabolli who is a product engineer in research & development at Becton Dickinson (BD).

Gina Trivellini, who is an aeronautical engineer for JetBlue Airways, shared Rabolli’s sentiment in saying, “As a female engineer, there can be a tendency to feel isolated and outnumbered. SWE has been a constant source of support - a network of mentors, role models, and friends. Having this opportunity to stand beside my SWE-sters for such an historic event, showing the world who SWE is and what we represent, was exciting and empowering. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of it.”

Other participants highlighted how the experience would help inspire future generations of female engineers.

“Not only it was a pleasure to take part in the Nasdaq opening bell ceremony, but also the opportunity to celebrate the visibility and achievements of women in the engineering field. You can't be what you can't see,” says Nathalie Leon who is a student at Fullstack Academy, Girls Who Code.

To that end, the future FY20 President of SWE and Vice President at Spirit AeroSystems, Cindy Hoover, shares, “It was my privilege to represent, along with a diverse and amazing group of women, the Society of Women Engineers and to inspire young women to consider engineering and STEM as a career path.”

The experience invoked a since of pride in both SWE and the engineering profession as a whole.

“A wonderful opportunity - Proud to be a member of SWE!” says Renee' A. Eddy who is a director, engineering operations and methods at Eaton.

“The experience and pride of seeing SWE up on the NASDAQ board showcased how much women engineers have, do and will contribute to all advances in the way we live and work,” says Nancy Seus BS CE, who is a wealth management advisor and assistant vice president at Merrill Lynch.

"At the crossroads of America in Times Square in New York, Nasdaq provided the world with the opportunity to see our beloved Society of Women Engineers on full display. As a SWE member since my undergraduate years, I felt proud that my beloved SWE was carving out yet another space in our society!” says Kameelah S. Majied, PMP, who is a senior project manger/engineer consultant at MERCK.

Similarly, Nancy Lu, who is a Ph.D. candidate in chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University, says, "This was a once in the lifetime experience. Increasing SWE’s visibility furthers the cause for all female engineers, and I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to be a part of this event."

A wide variety of engineers from SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council, including an engineer from IBM, Associate Chief Health Officer at IBM Watson Health Jane L. Snowdon, PhD, attended the event. Snowdon shares that, “It was an honor and thrill to represent the Society of Women Engineers for the NASDAQ bell ringing ceremony. Thank you for the special and fun opportunity to join so many extraordinary women engineers who are catalysts for change for the betterment of society.”

"It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only represent SWE and our profession as engineers, but to show all the NASDAQ-listed companies that diversity is important and beneficial to the bottom line," says Gerken, SWE immediate past president and manufacturing engineering manager at UTC.