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SWE Diverse Podcast Ep 250: Late Career Engineers Living Without Limits

Hear the inspiring stories of these late career engineers who are pursuing advocacy work, plus the advice they would give to their younger selves, on Diverse: a SWE podcast.

In this episode of Diverse: a SWE podcast, Gabriela Coe and Dr. Mary Bonk Isaac of the SWE Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group share important insights from their engineering careers, including their personal experiences with navigating the underrepresentation of women in STEM.

Hear their advice for women engineers approaching late career and retirement — plus, learn about their advocacy work that is encouraging women and girls to pursue engineering.

Hang Loi of the SWE Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group moderates this conversation and shines a light on how SWE’s Affinity Groups unite members with shared identities, interests and goals.

Listen to the episode on SWE’s websiteSpotifyApple Podcasts, YouTube, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Learn more about the SWE Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group and find out about upcoming events and resources.

Speaker: Dr. Mary Bonk Isaac, SWE Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group

Dr. Mary Bonk Isaac headshotDr. Mary Isaac is a dedicated professional with a fervent commitment to normalizing the presence of women in STEM. Drawing on extensive experience, she invests her passion in both practice and research. Her mission is to empower women in STEM fields by fostering communities of practice.

Isaac actively speaks at conferences for renowned organizations like the American Association of University Women (AAUW), SWE, FIRST, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Driven by a desire to give back, she retired early from GE Energy. During retirement, Isaac pursued a doctorate in education along with teaching credentials to add to her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Through and beyond her academic journey, she authored multiple publications that highlight the vital role of female role models in promoting STEM engagement among young women, particularly pre-college. Isaac’s dedication continues to shape the landscape of gender equity in STEM education and employment.

Speaker: Gabriela Coe, SWE Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group

Gabriela Coe headshotAs a Fellow at Northrop Grumman, Gabriela Coe serves as a change agent for her organization driving adoption of systems engineering and software development disciplines across the enterprise. During her time with Northrop Grumman, Coe has worked on a variety of complex projects and held various systems engineering leadership positions supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian agencies of US federal, state, and local governments and international projects supporting the governments of the United Kingdom and Colombia.

She holds a M.S. in Systems Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Miami. Coe was the recipient of the 2019 Northrop Grumman Invention of the Year Award for her work in advancing the adoption of software development best practices. She has received the INCOSE Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) and served as the INCOSE Training Working Group Chair until 2022. She co-presented the INCOSE SEHBV4.0 tutorial which was awarded the INCOSE 2020 Product of the Year.

Coe co-authored a chapter on knowledge sharing as a systems engineering process for the Springer Women in Engineering and Science book “Emerging Trends in Systems Engineering Leadership, Practical Research from Women Leaders” and is the host of the “Keys to the Future” podcast.

Coe served as an active-duty officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Host: Hang Loi, SWE Late Career & Retiree Affinity Group

Hang Loi square headshotHang Loi is an engineering leader, STEM advocate, DEI&B champion and philanthropic board member.

In her 34-year at 3M Company, she led commercialization programs from concept through production-scale manufacturing, bringing to life products that brighten consumer electronics screens, increase pedestrian safety, and facilitate daily life. She is a holder of seventeen international patents and has received industry recognition for her engineering accomplishments and for her advocacy of STEM opportunities for women and underrepresented communities.

Loi holds dual degrees in Chemical Engineering and Music from Case Western Reserve University and is on the Board of Directors for the Case Alumni Foundation.


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