This week, Wednesday March 8, 2017 was designated "A Day Without Women", allegedly worldwide. On this day, women were supposed to honor themselves by staying home from work and not doing any form of work traditionally associated with women. Ladies were also not to participate in any consumer activities, e.g., not make any purchases. Sounds more like a union strike than a positive event, but be that as it may. As such, the goal of all this was to show how important and necessary the contributions of women are to society.
The Day Without Women event is actually a variation of International Women's Day, which was initially dubbed International Working Women's Day and celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the movement for women's rights. There is a rich history of events leading to this commemoration, which would be too lengthy to delve into here.
It's no secret that women have taken positions of great importance in every occupation from politics to the private sector and beyond. Engineering and the related sciences is no exception and Sensors Expo has made one of its goals to encourage more women to enter the highly creative world of electronics engineering. With all of the emerging technologies – IoT, Virtual Reality, Medical Applications, Robotics, and more – the opportunities are many.
At Sensors Expo 2016, for the first time, we initiated and hosted the Women in Sensor Engineering (WISE) Breakfast. Deemed a major success and a breakthrough, the breakfast was enhanced by presentations from Rogue Valley Microdevices Founder and CEO Jessica Gomez and several other women executives in the Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and sensors industries. Other speakers included Susana Cardoso de Freitas, PhD, senior researcher, INESC Microsystems & Nanotechnologies, Petrina Zaraszczak, director, Industrial Vertical Market, Sensor Solutions, TE Connectivity, Margit Harting, PhD, director, PST Sensors, and Mary Ann Maher, CEO and founder, SoftMEMS.
The speakers explored greater and diverse professional opportunities for women in the MEMS and sensors industry. They also discussed and challenged the reasons why women represent under 12% of electrical and mechanical engineers as well as sharing insights on what women bring to the table in engineering professions.
At Sensor Expo 2017, you can expect to see more women presenters in a number of educational tracks, all experts in their respective fields with much to offer. For men and women involved in any aspect of current technology, it would only be in your best interest to attend these events, as well as the come and see what the plethora of exhibitors have that will undoubtedly change your future. Come and get WISE.
About the Author
Mat Dirjish is Executive Editor of Sensors magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].