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The Next Generation of Black Girl Magic

To celebrate Black History Month, the SWE African-American Affinity Group has made their WE21 session “The Next Generation of Black Girl Magic” available to the general public!
The Next Generation of Black Girl Magic - Black Girl

Black women are underrepresented amongst STEM professionals. This lack of representation starts very early during academic years. In a study conducted by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), in 2006, 5% of STEM bachelor’s degrees were awarded to Black women. This number decreased to only 4% by 2015. The pandemic has also disproportionately affected Black students. This is an alarming trend with larger implications in society due to the snowball effect of continuing to have a lack of representation of Black women in various parts of our society. The goal is to explore factors why Black women are underrepresented in engineering and evaluate techniques or tools to encourage Black women to pursue engineering.

In this webinar, the panel discusses ways to empower us to reverse this devastating trend and how to lead the way for the next generation of Black Women in STEM. Through their personal experience, the panel shared:

    • Their first exposed to engineering
    • Tips on applying for scholarship
    • Financing college and/or graduate school
    • Navigating their academic years
    • Tips on developing a resume
    • Tips on how to land an internship
    • How professional organizations help expand their connections
    • Landing their present engineering careers
    • Hairstyles in the workplace and microaggressions
    • Mentorship experience
    • COVID impact
    • What they look forward to in the future
    • And more

The webinar will then conclude with key takeaways and suggestion of action items.

Speaker bios:

Nina Ahuja

Nina is a Program Manager with Epsilon and an entrepreneur based out of the San Diego, California area. Raised in Chicago, she obtained engineering degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Nina is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and a Project Management Professional (PMP). In her spare time, she teaches group dance fitness classes and cooking. Nina is the Social Media Lead for the SWE African-American Affinity Group for FY22.

Debra L. Coleman

Debra is a Real Time Embedded Software Engineer at The Boeing Company. She ensures that safety critical software is correct and certifiable on commercial aircraft. Debra was born in Mobile, Alabama and relocated to California when she was six months old. She received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University and two Master’s degrees, one from the University of Washington, in Electrical Engineering and from Boston University, in Computer Information Systems. She enjoys helping others and is the Co-Lead and Collegiate Engagement Lead of the SWE African-American Affinity Group for FY22.

Louvere Walker-Hannon

Louvere is a MathWorks Application Engineering Senior Team Lead, who provides technical guidance and strategic direction to a team of Application Engineers as they work with customers to implement tasks for various applications across many industries. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a master’s degree in Geographic Information Technology with a specialization in Remote Sensing. Louvere has presented and continues to present at several STEM related conferences on various topics and is an active STEM advocate. She is also a recent recipient of the SWE WE Local 2022 Engaged Advocate Award which honors individuals who contributed to the advancement or acceptance of women in engineering.  Louvere is a current Co-Lead of the SWE African-American Affinity Group and the Professional Development Lead of the SWE Latinos Affinity Group for FY22.

The SWE African-American Affinity Group (AG) is a safe space for Black members and allies to connect with each other and provide support for one another. To learn more about the African American Affinity Group, please check out our Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

WE21 session # 0546_0777_000841


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  • Vanessa Li

    Vanessa Li is a SWE African American Affinity Group volunteer. She currently works at Novelis as a Process Leader and is a site champion for the Women in Novelis (WiN) ERG. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering in STEM outreach events and introducing students to manufacturing careers.