IEEE SPS President Rabab Ward Attends 2017 IEEE Women in Engineering ILC

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IEEE SPS President Rabab Ward Attends 2017 IEEE Women in Engineering ILC

Earlier this year, IEEE Signal Processing Society President Rabab Ward attended the 2017 IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference. The annual event, held every May in San Jose, California, USA, drew over 1,500 attendees from around the world for networking events, professional development activities, technical sessions, and more. Dr. Ward recalls her experience below:

This past May, I attended the 2017 IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference (WIE ILC) and was inspired by the outpouring of knowledge, vision, support I experienced from the organizers and attendees alike. The event was upbeat, friendly, energetic, and inclusive – the attendees spanned technical fields, ages, career stages, and professions from around the world, ranging from bright young professionals to seasoned, established leaders.

It was an honor to connect with women from across the globe to learn about and celebrate their successes. Dr. Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College in California, spoke about the university’s commitment to increasing representation of women engineers, resulting in women accounting for nearly half of their 120-person computer science and engineering graduates. One woman, a young professional from Jordan, recently launched a startup in California. Another, from Tunisia, is an IEEE WIE leader in the United Arab Emirates Section planning an IEEE WIE Leadership conference in Dubai in 2018. 

The IEEE WIE LIC conference provides a venue not only for women to network and connect, but to learn valuable professional development and soft skills – whether it be negotiating a salary, stress management techniques, or leadership training, the program was designed with helpful, informative content that can benefit all professionals throughout their careers. Tailoring such content to women, and being sensitive to their experiences, is particularly rewarding.

Each track – innovation, empowerment, executive leadership, disruptive technology, and entrepreneurship – explored the boundless ways women are spearheading and contributing to engineering fields, technology, and business, and how those, together, are being used to spark innovation in medicine, in philanthropy, in tackling climate change, in education, and the infinite ways we all interact with engineering and its impact.

Despite the distance between us, there are many parallels in our struggles and successes alike. It was an honor to embrace and celebrate our shared experiences at the 2017 IEEE WIE LIC. I look forward to attending future events and encourage SPS women to attend future iterations of the event and get involved with our own Women in Signal Processing activities.

For more information about IEEE Women in Engineering, visit their website at Interested in getting involved with activities for SPS women? Contact the Women in Signal Processing Committee to learn more!

Event highlights (Left to Right):

Rabab Ward, Paulina Chan Maria Klawe, Rabab Ward
Rabab Ward, SPS President, Dr. Pauline Chan Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College, Rabab Ward, 
SPS President


Karen Bartleson, Rabab Ward Nita Patel, Rabab Ward
Karen Bartleson, IEEE President, Rabab Ward,
SPS President
Nita Patel, Chair of IEEE WIE ILC 2017, Rabab Ward,
SPS President


Karen Bartleson, Rabab Ward
Rabab Ward, SPS President, Karen Bartleson, IEEE President


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