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GineersNow Engineering News Magazine Issue 3

May 2016 Issue No. 003 Women in Technology and Engineeirng featuring supermodel Karlie Kloss. Exclusive interviews: Engineering for Kids, Girls Who Code, Ladies Learning Code, Robomatter, Stemettes, Women Who Code. Special feature stories: Construction, HVAC, oil & gas, petrochemicals, renewables, green energy, information technology, wearable tech, water and wastewater, industrial digitalization, civil, mechanical, electrical, MEP, contracting, mining, electronics, BIM, safety, chemical, aviation, heavy equipment, machineries, software, gadgets and robotics. https://www.gineersnow.com/topics/magazines

May 2016 Issue No. 003

Women in Technology and Engineeirng featuring supermodel Karlie Kloss.

Exclusive interviews: Engineering for Kids, Girls Who Code, Ladies Learning Code, Robomatter, Stemettes, Women Who Code.

Special feature stories: Construction, HVAC, oil & gas, petrochemicals, renewables, green energy, information technology, wearable tech, water and wastewater, industrial digitalization, civil, mechanical, electrical, MEP, contracting, mining, electronics, BIM, safety, chemical, aviation, heavy equipment, machineries, software, gadgets and robotics.

https://www.gineersnow.com/topics/magazines

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1

WORLD’S FIRST ENGINEERING NEWS

FOR YOUNG BADASS ENGINEERS

MAY 2016 ISSUE NO. 003

Women

in Tech &

Engineering

featuring

KARLIE

KLOSS

EXCLUSIVE

INTERVIEWS!

ENGINEERING FOR KIDS

GIRLS WHO CODE

LADIES LEARNING CODE

ROBOMATTER

STEMETTES

WOMEN WHO CODE

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


2 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


3

GINEERSNOW TEAM

Ems Bagatsing

Sales & Marketing Director

Ems@LincolnMartin.com

Robert Bagatsing

Editor-In-Chief

editor@GineersNow.com

Engr. Alice Hernandez

Senior Editor-At-Large

John Vauden

Senior Editor

Asia-Pacific

Hina Sapra

Senior Editor

South Asia

Therese Matheren

Senior Editor

North America

Charity Bagatsing

Senior Editor

North America

Engr. Dion Greg Reyes

Junior Editor

Creative & Layout

Engr. Cielo Panda

Junior Editor

Farrel Pinto

Junior Editor

Raymond Gerard del Valle

Junior Editor

GineersNow is a subsidiary of

Lincoln Martin Strategic Marketing

Level 14, Boulevard Plaza Tower 1

MBR Boulevard, Emaar Square,

Downtown Dubai, UAE

P.O. Box 334036, Dubai, U.A.E.

Mob: +971 50 4289684

www.LincolnMartin.com

Abhishek Tarafder

Matrix Media

Information Technology

Francis Santelices

Graphic Artist

Jaycee Urriquia

Video Editor

Droid Rahl

CRM Jedi

Loudette Fabian

Contributor

Disclaimer: The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or

omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and

views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers.

Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information

contained in this publication, which is provided for general use and may not be

appropriate for the readers' particular circumstances.

The Copyright Law of the United States of America, Chapter 1, Subject 107, called the “Limitations on

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ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


4 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Editor's

Note

Being a woman in STEM (Science,

Technology, Engineering

and Mathematics), I have experienced

my fair share of gender

prejudice throughout my engineering

studies and previous

tech career. At first, I thought

this was normal, that STEM was

a man’s territory, and I was only

trespassing. Soon, I came to realize

that this was not normal

at all, and women all over the

world are experiencing the same

prejudices that I’ve experienced.

This pushes women to either

stay away or give up on pursuing

fields in STEM.

Here at GineersNow, we believe

that women are as significant in

STEM fields just as men are, and

that they too can bring kickass

innovations and discoveries that

will benefit our technological

world.

This month’s issue focuses on

stories about kickass Women in

STEM. Our cover story features

the gorgeous Victoria’s Secret

Model-turned-Coder, Karlie

Kloss. Kloss is a well-known supermodel

who has graced the

covers of world renowned magazines,

but there is one thing not

many people know about her—

until now. She is a closet supergeek,

and she LOVES to code.

While immersing herself in the

world of coding, she decided to

inspire young women to code.

She created Kode With Klossy,

a free summer camp for girls

13-18 years old, where they are

introduced to software engineering

principles and programming

languages. Karlie Kloss is a great

example of a role-model woman

in STEM. Learn more about her

runway-to-coding journey and

be inspired.

We’ve packed this issue with various

women-empowering stories,

exciting facts, and jaw-dropping

revelations that’s sure to

feed your reading appetite. This

issue also includes exclusive

interviews from non-profit organizations,

social enterprises,

and companies that want to empower

children and women to

pursue learning STEM. These

companies include STEMettes,

Engineering For Kids, Girls Who

Code, Women Who Code, Ladies

Learning Code and Robomatter.

Be inspired and we hope you’ll

enjoy this month’s issue.

Engr. Czarina Cielo Santos

Junior Editor


5

CONTENTS

PAGE

TITLE

PAGE

TITLE

06

YES, WOMEN IN

ENGINEERING EXIST

58

EMPOWERING WOMEN

THROUGH ‘KODING’: THE STORY

OF SUPERMODEL KARLIE KLOSS

10

10 REASONS WH

ENGINEERS MAKE THE BEST

GIRLFRIENDS

60

ROBOMATTER

18

THE FEMALE TECH

PIONEERS

64

WOMEN WHO CODE

29

WOMEN IN SPACE

SEEK MORE WOMEN

IN SPACE

68

ENGINEERING FOR KIDS

30

THE UNDERRATED

WOMEN PROGRAMMERS

BEHIND ENIAC

72

STEMETTES

34

STORIES OF WOMEN

IN STEM

74

GIRLS WHO CODE

40

CHERYL YEMBE’S

FASHIONEERING STORY

76

LADIES LEARNING CODE

42

THE WOMEN PIONEERS OF

SCIENCE

84

BADASS WOMEN

WITH CAREERS IN

MOTORSPORTS

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


6 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

YES, WOMEN IN

ENGINEERING EXIST

Unfortunately, not everyone acknowledges that.

by Alice Hernandez

There are still a lot of people who have a

hard time accepting that women exist in the

engineering field. A lot of them would be

surprised if they knew someone was interested

in technology or give a misogynistic

point of view about women practicing the

field. There are even other people in higher

positions who would give these women jobs

that undermine their capabilities.

But here’s a fact.

Women do exist in engineering and a lot of

them are more than capable of doing the job.

Unlike what most people imagine as a geeky

guy with glasses and sweaters, these female

engineers come in all shapes and sizes. Most

of them are so far from what people normally

think of female engineers. They are attractive,

charismatic and sociable women who

are skillful in the engineering field.

Statistics show that for every country, there

are around 25% of women working in the

engineering field. That’s an improvement to

the percentage of women to men in the field

back in the early 2000s – which is around

15%.

Unfortunately, despite the rising number of

women, there is still discrimination in the

field. So, women in engineering have raised

awareness of the gender inequality (and how

women are judged based on stereotypes) in

the public. A she++ documentary was created

to show inspiring stories about how

women excel in their fields and how different

they are from what society expects them

to be. she++ even has a slogan for its cause:

#goodgirlsgonegeek.

Another group of engineers have raised

funds to put up billboards in the past where

they’ve shown engineers – women and

men of different race – with a sign #ilooklikeanengineer.

They want to raise awareness

that engineers in the Silicon Valley are

not just guys who look like Mark Zuckerberg.

Other groups that promote engineering to

women include the Society of Women Engineers,

Women in SET, Robogals and Anita

Borg Institute for Women and Technology.

So this article’s for all the women in engineering

out there, may you prove to everyone

that you can do the job and do it perfectly.

Maybe in the future people would

stop calling you women engineers and just

call you as “engineers.” Run the world, ladies!

Photo by Victor Koen via New York Times


7

STATUS OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING:

IT’S COMPLICATED

WE NEED MORE WOMEN

IN STEM-RELATED JOBS

& DEGREES

The percentage of women present

in careers in science, technology,

engineering and math (STEM) is

still low.

In a recent report delivered by the U.S.

Department of Commerce’s Economics &

Statistics Administration (ESA), there are

still few women who hold STEM-related

undergraduate degrees. Less than 25 percent

of STEM-related job force consist of

women – who earn 33 percent more than

women who have non-STEM jobs. This

report also reflects the data released by

colleges in different states, which shows

that female students only make up around

20 to 30 percent of the student population.

Katia Passerini, dean of the Albert Dorman

Honors College at Newark’s NJ Institute

of Technology, notes that there is still

plenty of room for improvement for colleges

offering STEM undergraduate degrees

for women. According to her, plenty

of women are more likely to enroll themselves

in biology in the Honors College.

Reports have also shown that there are

fewer women who take an interest in

engineering (especially in electrical and

mechanical engineering). Susan Metz,

executive director of Diversity and Inclusion

at Stevens Institute of Technology in

Hoboken, encourages women to apply in

engineering, science, business, technology

programs every summer to give them

preparation for STEM majors. Metz said,

“Women are involved in so many things

now that they should have the same opportunities

as men to pursue STEM-related

majors and, now, they do.” Other

women in STEM careers also encourage

young women to focus on programming

and networking among other women.

With women making names for themselves

in different fields, it’s about time

that they do the same in pursuing STEM

degrees and careers.

WOMEN ARE STILL

PERCEIVED AS UNFIT

FOR STEM FIELDS

According to The Science and

Engineering indicators for 2014,

there are very few women working

in the STEM field.

There have been many movements and

talks about encouraging women to pursue

studies in STEM fields. According to The

Science and Engineering indicators for

2014, there are very few women working

in the STEM field, which comprises to

around 28 percent of employed science

and engineering professionals.

There have been a lot of effort focused

on encouraging women to study STEM

fields, but why is there gender discrepancy

in STEM? Studies have shown that the

general population still perceives women

to be incompatible with science professions.

If more women would be exposed

to the field of science, this may change the

stereotypical perception of the majority.

According to a study published by Linda

Carli, a senior lecturer in psychology at

Wellesley College, people viewed women

as having communal characteristics, like

being caring and giving. Men on the other

hands have traits like competitiveness and

courageousness.

“Common cultural stereotypes about

women, men, and scientists lead people to

see women as incompatible with science,”

Carli said. “Men are especially prone to

this bias, but everyone shares it. This may

result in prejudice (a dislike of female scientists

compared with men) and discrimination

against them.”

WHY WE SHOULD

INVEST IN WOMEN

SCIENTISTS ASAP

We need to have more women and

young girls interested in science,

math and engineering.

We need to have more women and young

girls interested in science, math and engineering.

Most especially since these fields

are underrepresented. The only way to

solve this issue is to encourage young girls

to study this field, and let them understand

the wonders of STEM.

We must not forget about women’s equality,

especially in the field of science. Despite

gender inequality throughout history,

women have made great contribution

to the STEM fields. Without women in

science, we might not have discovered the

structure of DNA, or felt the environmental

movement that lead to the passage of

the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act,

or found the mechanism of how breast

cancer manifests itself in our genes.

It is important to encourage young girls

to pursue studies in the STEM fields and

make them understand their importance

in the fields of science. We need our next

generation of scientists to be impartial,

creative, diverse and open-minded, to be

able to face the realities and issues in our

changing planet.

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


8 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

5 MEN-DOMINATED

FIELDS THAT

WOMEN CAN

BREAK THROUGH

Women have long been

struggling to be accepted as male

equals when it comes to the workforce.

Although the case today is way better

than that of the decades ago, women

still have a lot to prove to be able to

stabilize the gender gap in industries.

Jobs that used to be fit for

men are now being embraced by

women. Fields of interest are now

more accepting to employ women

because of the demand. Here are five

man-dominated fields that women

can join to their liking.

Finance

There is already a growing workforce

for women in the finance industry but

there seems to be a problem: adequate

compensation. Studies show that

about 47 per cent of these women feel

dissatisfied with the way the industry

operates.

But that still doesn’t hide the fact the

job vacancies available for women in

this sector. With the necessary adjustments,

women will be more lured to

engage in this industry.

Photo by The Globe and Mail

Construction

Because construction work requires

physical strength, women are not

traditionally fit for the job. But a representative

from the construction industry

says that they are looking for

females to fill construction jobs. Although

the idea is quite far-fetched,

women in construction roles are actually

fit to sustain operations and not

necessarily for hard labor. Opportunities

for women in this industry will

mean a change in that small demographic.

Photo by Bigger Bras


9

Technology

Emerging technologies also mean

emerging number women in that

field. It’s almost everyday that the

world gives us a new product that will

help ease our life, and no wonder that

women are being welcomed. Opportunities

in technology for women are

increasing to change the 25 per cent

female workforce in computing.

Photo by Bloomberg

Engineering

Organizations like the IEEE Women

in Engineering (WIE) and The Society

of Women Engineers (SWE) promote

women with support, education

and opportunities in the engineering

industry. Female engineers are now

everywhere but still the male counterparts

are still so dominant. With

the right opportunities and changes,

the gender gap in engineering will be

bridged.

Photo by IEEE

Mining

Studies show that mining has the lower

number of women on company

boards in contrast to other industries

in the world. But with an organization

like International Women in Mining

(IWiM), women are encouraged and

supported in this man’s field.

Photo by World of Matter

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


10 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

10

Reasons

Why

Engineers

Make The

Best

Girl

friends


11

by Cielo Panda

The Female Engineer— your more

than average girlfriend. As she works

her way through the engineering

world, she learns a lot of things that

make her different from other girls, a

new persona to complement her own,

she learns to be unique, confident, and

sexy— the engineering way. They can

be the best and most exciting partners

you could ever have, and here’s why.

They’re more Logical

rather than Emotional

Female engineers are trained problem

solvers. They’d rather analyze the facts

and find the root cause rather than

base their judgment on pure feelings.

They can handle

pressure

Oh yes they can. They’ve pulled a

whole bunch of all-nighters to solve

some equation that was never solved

before, or designing a bridge that

could withstand Godzilla’s tail smash,

and still come up with legit answers.

They’ve mastered the

concept of stress

and strain

If ever you have a female engineer as

a friend or girlfriend, you’ll notice

this. When it comes to stress, they

know how to cool down especially

when it comes to their breaking point.

They also know when you’ve come to

yours. They are well balanced and

know when to cope, but beware, if

you push them further than they can

handle… they just might apply some

nuclear physics to your relationship.

They can fix their

things around

the house

If they wanted to follow some furniture

design on Pinterest, as long as

they can manage, they won’t ask you

for any help. They are much capable

of doing their own shit.

They know how to be

one of the guys

After going to school with all the testosterone,

of course they’ve learned to

adapt. No awkwardness, just playing

it cool.

They enjoy playing

video games

A lot of men find females who play

video games or watch nerdy movies

with them sexy. Well, most female

engineers enjoy playing video games

for the thrill of being challenged and

enjoy learning the art of strategy.

They can teach you

all the buttons on the

calculator.

Let’s face it, many people don’t know

the use of EVERY button on the calculator—

except engineers. If you

have the hots for a female engineer,

having her teach you every button can

be a cute conversation starter.

They are self-sufficient

‘Coz they can handle their own expenses,

thank you.

They understand heat

transfer

Trained well in the Science of Thermodynamics,

they understand this

concept pretty well, if you know what

I mean. From sharing a jacket under

the romantic moonlight, to—ahem!

They are good with

their hands

From tinkering the ham radio to creating

a BB-8 model from Star Wars. If

they can do that, what’s stopping you

from imagining what else they can

do with those dexterous hands? Do I

need to say more?

This article may be a bit biased. Some

might agree, and some may not. There

are some mentioned traits that don’t

apply to some, but is a definite match

for others. But one things for sure,

dating an engineer will surely electrify

and rock your world.

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


12 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

A WOMAN

COULD HAVE

TAKEN THE

FIRST STEP

ON THE MOON

by Dion Greg Reyes


13

Jerrie Cobb was

one of the best

candidates to be

the first person

sent to the outer

space, further,

to the moon. But

somehow NASA

did not allow it.

Cover Photo by Wikipedia Commons

Cobb Photos by Getty Images

The date July 20, 1969 marked an important

history for mankind as it was the

day that man first landed on the moon,

through Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin

and Michael Collins. It was a response to

the challenge set by President Kennedy

to put a man on the moon, about eight

years after Yuri Gagarin, the first human

in space, orbited the Earth in April 12,

1961.

How about we tweak a little detail in that

remarkable event? Say, a woman planted

the first step on the moon instead of

a man? The idea was not actually farfetched

as sending women in space was

also a consideration, but somehow NASA

did not push through the plan.

The Mercury 7 team that made the first

manned venture into space – composed

of Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John

Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra,

Gordon Cooper and Deke Slayton – had

some female ‘competition’ that passed

the same physical and psychological

tests at the Lovelace Clinic. The women

candidates were even found by the clinic’s

founder Randy Lovelace to be more

ideal to be sent in space considering their

weight, which will require less fuel to

transport them into space, and their being

less prone to heart attacks than men.

Lovelace also said that the women were

better-suited for the claustrophobic isolation

of space.

Nineteen women enrolled in a Woman in

Space Program, which tested the women’s

qualifications to become astronauts.

All went through the tests only to leave

13, which was known as the Mercury

13 composed of Jerrie Cobb, Bernice

Steadman, Janey Hart, Jerri Truhill, Rhea

Woltman, Sarah Rutley, Jan and Marion

Dietrich, Myrtle Cagle, Irene Leverton,

Gene Nora Jessen, Jean Hixson, and Wally

Funk, who passed the tests ‘with no

medical reservations.’ That was a higher

rate of graduation compared to men who

only had 7.

The performances of the women were

even comparable to that of the men –

top four women scored as highly as any

of the men. One specific test, called the

sensory deprivation tests, produced

soaring results that favored the women.

The test was to be immersed in a lightless

tank of cold water with an absolute

of 6 hours of tolerance before the onset

of hallucinations. But Jerrie Cobb from

the Mercury 13 spent 9 hours and 40

minutes and could have gone further if

she wasn’t stopped by the staff. Two others,

Rhea Hurrle and Wally Funk, spent

more than 10 hours until terminated by

the staff. That was an extraordinary feat

considering John Glenn of the Mercury 7

only lasted 3 hours.

Mercury 13 could have made it if it

weren’t for the speculations from some

NASA officials that menstruation could

hinder their performance in space. Some

others wanted pilots who had already

experience flying experimental military

aircraft, which was completely foreign

to the women being barred from the Air

Force.

Ultimately, it was these regulations by

NASA that Mercury 13 in the Woman in

Space Program closed in August of 1961.

NASA could have fought for these women

to at least join the first moon landing

or have the title for the first women to

venture in space. But unresolved prejudices

against women in the USA during

the early 1960s were prevalent; until Russia

snatched the title of putting the first

woman in space in June 16, 1963 through

Valentina Tereshkova on Vostok 6.

What NASA could have achieved way

ahead of the Russians only happened 20

years after Russia did it, which was in

June 18, 1983. It was mission specialist

Dr. Sally Ride who was NASA’s first female

in space who did it when it could

have been one from the Mercury 13.

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


14 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

CAREER ADVICE FOR

YOUNG GIRLS FROM

A NASA ENGINEER

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

If you’re interested in something,

go ahead and ask a teacher, ask a

mentor. Read. Research.

As soon as Rebecca Junell graduated from

Kettering University, she wanted to work

with NASA. That she did! She currently

works as a mechanical/test engineer in

John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi,

where there are 3 women working

with 25 men.

It has always been her dream to work with

NASA ever since she was young. She often

asked her father questions that both

of them worked to find answers on. This

led her to pursue her interest in science.

Ever since she was a child, she always

loved solving problems and answering

questions.

Junell said, “NASA is somewhere I plan

to stay for a while. Here I have the opportunity

to use my degree, to be useful, to

really have a good career and keep growing.

This is a position where I’ve been able

to draw on a majority of the concepts

I’ve learned at Kettering. There is always

an opportunity to stretch into something

new.”

As one of the few women who work in her

field, Junell encourages young girls to pursue

their interests in science, technology,

engineering and math (STEM). She advises

them to often talk to girls and encourage

them about how any STEM topic can

be related to any everyday concept.

In her own words? She said, “Don’t be

afraid to ask questions. If you’re interested

in something, go ahead and ask a teacher,

ask a mentor. Read. Research.”

In her pursuit in her career, she has had

many opportunities such as testing rocket

engines before they launch, analyze

and review instruments and have engines

ready to be reused for NASA’s next grand

adventure.

Photo by Kettering


15

Young Women Design

Africa’s First

Private Satellite

Africa’s first private satellite has been designed

by young women from the Meta

Economic Development Organization

(MEDO) space programme in the Western

Cape.

MEDO is a non-profit organization which

is registered in South Africa with a sister

company MEDO London which is in the

United Kingdom. The space programme

was launched by the organization in June

last year, and they aim to encourage young

women to enter Science, Technology, Engineering

and Mathematics (STEM) related

fields.

According to co-founder of MEDO Space

Judi Sandrock, “It is predicted that 80% of

all future jobs are STEM-related, with almost

double the pay of non-STEM-related

careers. So what we are trying to do is to

give these young women the best chance

out there,”

The MEDO space programme was developed

since the organization noticed that

corporations they work with lack skilled

STEM employees, particularly women

employees.

The graduates of the programme built a

prototype satellite of their own design.

They started with idea sharing. Over 20

ideas were at the table, and after discussions,

debate and voting, two ideas were

selected.

Background Photo by SSTL

Photo from Memburn

Photo from Nunnovation

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


16 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

a woman engineer

by Dion Greg Reyes

The greatest feats may

be engineered by men but

it is not yet late.

You cannot rewrite

history anymore but

you can change what’s next.

Be the engineer

that the world wants to notice.

Think. Design. Produce.

Prove to the world that

women are capable of

the things men can do.

Perhaps you can do

even better with your own

gift: intuition.

Women have such gift

that men do not have. Use it

to your advantage.

Be the engineer

who challenges man’s power.

Intimidate them.

Do not think that you

are less of an engineer

‘cause you’re a woman.

What means to humans

the most is what you can do

despite your gender.

Never look at your

kind as the inferior

because that’s absurd.

Take inspiration

from women who waved your flag

to fix prejudice.

They broke the ceilings

and bannered women’s talent

in math and science.

We live in an age

that produced their labor to

prove that women can.

All you need to do

is push limits that you have

never pushed before.

Do not be afraid

to jump out of your comforts:

think outside the box.

Break free from the chains

that hold you from doing things.

Go out there. Work hard.

You are a woman

and you are an engineer.

Take pride you are both.

Photo from Cross Rail


17

by Alice Hernandez

DO NOT

MESS WITH

A BADASS

ENGINEER

CHICK

It is widely viewed that women need to work

twice (or thrice) as hard as men to achieve

what they have. In engineering, women

must compete with men in a male-dominated

industry to the point where they

are bound to have more balls than most of

them. They have been discriminated, harassed

and looked down on yet they manage

to do the work just as good as the opposite

sex can. Sometimes, even better. So this is

a warning to everyone: Don’t mess with an

engineer-chick.

Engineer-chicks pay the bills, cook and clean

the house if they want to, but they definitely

know how to recycle copper from used

printed circuit boards. They raise a family,

take their kids to school, then mass-produce

food products such as the box of milk you

drink from every morning. If you piss her

off, she always has the option to make your

family and friends’ milk taste nasty.

Engineer-chicks suffer from raging hormones

when they have to surf through the

crimson waves once a month but it doesn’t

stop them from finding the right steel products

to use in building skyscrapers. However,

you will receive a lot of snide remarks if

you fail to do your job.

Giving them jewelry won’t be an easy task

either. Make sure you don’t lie about the karat

when you give them the diamond ring.

They know the difference between a real one

from the fake one. If she accidentally punches

you in the face with a real diamond ring, it

would leave an appalling mark on your face.

But hey, at least we’re very sure it’s a real one.

If you decide to mess with an engineer-chick,

I advise you to be wary of your things. She

can tweak them until your things can work

against your favor. An engineer-chick can

build things but they can easily break them

as well. So let me warn you again, don’t mess

with one.

However, if you treat her with utmost respect,

life gets easier with an engineer-chick.

Not only can she bring food to the table, she

can put lots of money in the bank. She can

easily detect real gold and a fools gold. Not

only does she know the difference between

a high quality gadget to a cheap one, she

knows the value of hard work and perseverance.

Again, it is a truth universally known that

an engineer-chick is a fearsome thing to behold.

She is one badass woman so hold on to

her. Never let her go. Do not break her heart,

or else, she’ll break you.

Photo from Getty

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


18 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

The Female Tech Pioneers

by Farrel Pinto

So we just celebrated the International

Women’s Day. It

was definitely more of that girl

power feels and yes, as Queen

B says, they can run the world.

But do you really know what

women can do?

Back then, there were always

women behind men’s backs.

Women come hand in hand

with progress and there were

surely a lot of women participation

in history, if you just know.

Even in the earliest technology

and in early days of computer,

women shared the limelight. As

Charles Babbage was designing

the programmable engine, Ada

Lovelace provided the algorithms

to Babbage’s Analytical

Engine that enabled it to perform

tasks. With her efforts,

Lovelace figured out a science

of music. Such advances needed

people that are a bit visionary.

During the World War II, many

women were involved in munitions

factories as radio operators,

in farms and became lab

technicians.

The story of Grace Murray

Hopper was also notable

during post-war times where

she worked on IBM’s Mark I

computer at Harvard. She became

an admiral in US Navy

developing a compiler that

translates English into a machine

code, thus, the becoming

of the Cobol programming

language.

A group of women also made

history working in the University

of Pennsylvania, as

they developed the world’s

first programmable general

purpose electronic computer,

the Electronic Numerical Integrator

and Computer (ENI-

AC).

Even from Hollywood, famous

actress Hedy Lamarr

lead and co-invented the Radio

Transmitter used in military

communications. She was one

known unsung tech pioneer

that achieved technological

milestones in the 1930s to 40s.

In 1962, as businesswoman,

Dame Stephanie Shirley, who

arrived in the UK as a refugee

fleeing the Nazis, established

Freelance Programmers, consisting

women programmers.

They later founded the FI

Group giving women responsibilities

and had later on change

the policy of equal opportunity

Grace Murray

Hopper.

Illustration

from Inktober

Ada Lovelace.

Illustration from

EE Journal


19

legislation.

Now, gender bias can still be

seen in the computer programming

field which came from

cultural differences and as

such, institutions must instill

Hedy Lamarr. Illustration by Hoe Yen Tam

such equality. There has really

no proof that women can’t be in

technology and it can be even

traced back in history.

Many society groups today are

promoting partnerships to inspire

women to work on computer

jobs, web development

and take interest in digital

technology. Schools must play

a vital role to inspire girls as

education is the foundation of

developing technology.

Recently, celebrity role models

such as Karlie Kloss formed

partnership with New York’s

Flatiron School Pre-college

Academy to encourage young

women to apply for scholarships

in software engineering.

Organizations like the Digital

Cookie platform now allows

girls to create web pages and

code via apps. They partner

with tech companies like Dell

and Visa to build a pipeline of

female technology employees.

It’s really time to bring back the

glorious days of women. They

can make developments. They

will deliver success and make

technological innovations, because

progress, per se, should

not be mutually exclusive.

So yes, for women empowerment.

Women can drive, too,

the technological advancements

of the future.

Karlie Kloss.

Illustration

from Behance

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


20 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

THE WOMEN IN

THE CAR DESIGNING

INDUSTRY

The first thing that comes into mind

when we speak about women and designing

is probably fashion. Rarely would

we think that women and designing can

also be about cars. Yup, lots of women

actually design automobiles, and perhaps

one of these cars that they design is your

ride right now.

It is almost a given that the automobile

industry is a man’s game. But statistics

tells us otherwise as according to Auto

Alliance, women play the leading role in

85% of auto purchases. It means to say

that women are very into cars, who even

overpower men in numbers. But it’s also

possible that the numbers mean that men

just cannot afford cars on their own. Ha!

But undeniably, women are out there in

factories and laboratories designing cars

and systems, other than just being purchasers.

From the initial concept to the

production, and even to the complexities

of the driver interface and the exterior

design, women are already involved in

this industry.

Every car manufacturer in the world already

has women in their team in various

positions, specifically in designing cars.

Here are few of those geniuses who are

breaking ceilings when it comes to automobile

design.


21

Diane Allen

Senior Design Manager

Nissan Design America.

Photo by NDA

Nora Arellano

Toyota Principal Design Engineer.

Photo by Toyota Motor Corporation

Susan Lampinen

Ford Group Chief Designer of

Color and Materials.

Photo by Ford Motor Company

Chigusa Yasui

Mitsubishi Vice Chief Manager

of Color Design.

Photo by Mitsubishi Group

Michelle Christensen

Honda Principle

Exterior Designer for Acura.

Photo by Honda Motor Company

Tisha Johnson

Senior Design Director for Volvo’s

North American Design Team at

Volvo Monitoring & Concept Center.

Photo by The Volvo Group

Helen Emsely

General Motors Executive Director

for Global GMC and User Experience.

Photo by General Motors

Sharon Gauci

General Motors Global Director.

Photo by General Motors

Claudia Braun

Daimler AG Senior Manageer

Color and Trim.

Photo by Daimler AG

Annette Baumeister

MINI Head of Color and Trim Design

and Design Quality.

Photo by The BMW Group

Nicole Fonseca

Nissan Design America Senior Color

and Materials Designer.

Photo by NDA

Christine Lindberg

Volvo Director of Interaction Design.

Photo by The Volvo Group

Rossella Guasco

FCA Head of the Color and

Materials Style Center.

Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


22 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

FACTS YOU PROBABLY

DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT

KALPANA

CHAWLA


23

“The path from dreams to success does exist.

May you have “The the vision path from to dreams find it, to the success courage does to exist. get on to it, and

the May perseverance you have the to vision follow to find it. it, Wishing the courage you to a get great on to journey.” it, and

the perseverance to follow it. Wishing you a great journey.”

The first Indian-origin woman

to go to space—Kalpana

Chawla, could have been

55 years old if she was still

alive. February 1, 2003 marks

the date of her tragic death,

when Space Shuttle Columbia,

carrying her and six other

crew members, crashed just

minutes after reentering the

Earth’s atmosphere.

13 years has passed after the

tragic incident. Here are some

facts that you might not have

known about this aerospace

engineer.

1

2

3

Kalpana Chawla was Born in

Karnal, Haryana on March 17,

1962. She was the youngest of

four sibling. But officially, her

birthdate was officially changed

to July 1, 1961 for easy admission

procedures.

NASA sponsors two students

annually from Karnal’s Tagore

Bal Niketan school—where

Kalpana studied until 10th

grade—to attend a space program

at the International Space

School Foundation in Houston.

The school also awards a number

of scholarships in her name.

She graduated with an engineering

degree in aeronautical

engineering from Chandigarh’s

Punjab Engineering College

(PEC) in 1984. She was one of

the only 4 female engineering

students of the college.

4

5

6

7

She learned Karate when she

was at PEC. According to her

husband, she enjoyed learning

anything that caught her

interest like scuba diving and

Bharatnatyam.

Kalpana earned herself a Private

Pilot License and flew

her private plane in the Rocky

Mountains whenever she had

the time. She was also a Certified

Flight instructor for gliders

and airplanes.

She married Jean-Pierre Harrison

in 1982. Harisson owns a

publishing house in California,

and has authored a book about

Kalapana’s life entitled: “The

Edge of Time: The Authoritative

Biography of Kalpana

Chawla. It was released in 2011.

She got rejected in her first application

at NASA in 1993. The

following year, she reapplied

and was selected for the 1995

batch.

Things that were

named after

Kalpana Chawla

A planetarium in Kurukshetra,

near Karnal.

Photo by Kurukshetra

A NASA Supercomputer.

Photo by NASA

India’s first

weather

satellite, the

Kalpana 1.

Photo by ISAC

An asteroid,

the 51826

Kalpanachawla,

which circles the

Sun between the

orbits of Mars and

Jupiter.

Photo by Explore Scientific

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


24 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

NEVER

UNDERESTIMATE

THE POWER OF

A GAMER GIRL.

YOU DO NOT

KNOW WHAT

WE CAN DO.


25

THE RISE OF

THE GAMER GIRL

There is no question that

playing video games has

become more popular

through the decades—and

it’s popularity is still rising!

From Atari, Family Computer,

Xbox, Play Station, to

android games. Choices of

Game-wares are growing,

and versions of games are

rising. The gaming world

that was once dominated by

men is now being open to

females.

When someone talks of a

typical gamer, the stereotype

that comes into mind

is usually a geeky teenage

boy, who sits in his room

with his face almost glued

to the gaming screen, and

only stops playing when he

needs to pee.

But, recently, statistics have

shown that over half of

gamers are female, and the

number is still rising. With

these statistics, developers

are focusing more on creating

games that would suit

the tastes of women. Some

would say that women are

more interested in playing

mobile games, but recently

a great percentage (42%)

of women plays and owns a

console.

Photo by Gamers Decide

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


26 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

THE FIRST EVER

PICTURE UPLOADED

ON THE INTERNET

With everything that’s going on in the internet

these days, who would’ve bothered

to know anything about its history? Yeah,

history may be boring, but hey! Learning

something new isn’t a boring thing either.

So give your curiosity a chance and read

this interesting piece of history that paved

way for the possibility for your selfies to

be shared on the internet. Do you know

who uploaded the very first picture on the

World Wide Web?

Though clicking and uploading pictures is

done ‘just for fun’ these days, this simple

act created history for the band that had

clicked and shared its photograph on the

internet years ago. It was uploaded by Les

Horribles Cernettes, which was an all-female

parody pop group back then. The

picture was self-labelled “the one and only

High Energy Rock Band” on July 18, 1992.

The all-girl comedy band comprised of

Michele Muller, Colette Marx-Nielsen,

Angela Higney, and Lynn Veronneau who

all were the secretaries and girlfriends of

scientists at the famous particle physics

lab in Geneva, Switzerland.

The uploaded photograph was the

tweaked version of the original photograph

that was clicked for publicity purposes.

It was clicked by the band’s Svengali,

Silvano de Gennaro, who also wrote

songs and played in the group’s live manifestation.

The picture was edited on a

version one of Photoshop on a color mac

and was saved as a .gif before being uploaded

by Tim Berners-Lee, one of the inventors

of the Internet. At the time when

this picture was clicked, Tim Berners-Lee

was working at CERN and had a liking for

Les Horribles Cernettes’ mocking odes to

science.

Twenty years ago, the Internet was still an

infant and had just started to grow. Even,

the concept of file sharing didn’t exist. It’s

these little things that start great waves in

history. Who would’ve thought that the

simple act of uploading a photo on the internet

would give way to the photo-sharing-frenzy

we all now enjoy on popular

social media websites?

Photo by Techspot


27

The first photo on the Internet is a photograph of an

all-female parody pop group with members

Michele Muller, Colette Marx-Nielse,

Angela Higney, and Lynn Veronneau.

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


28 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Rocket Women:

The Unsung Heroes of the

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

by Dion Greg Reyes

At the time when curiosities about the outer

space surfaced, there were not much of computers

to do the task of calculating necessary data

in propelling men outside the Earth. The lack of

digital devices urged NASA to employ humans,

mostly women, to do the job.

In the early years of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

(JPL) were women regarded as its computers.

They were tasked to do the hefty job of performing

calculations needed for the male engineering

staff to design rocket engines, calculate trajectories,

and related tasks.

These women were the key people in JPL’s first

important projects like missiles and satellites, including

United States’ first, the Explorer 1. The

laboratory soon became part of NASA and so

were the women, which were instrumental to the

early spaceflight projects of the space station, including

the Ranger series of lunar missions and

the Mariner missions to Venus and Mars.

With the advent of electronic computers, women

at the laboratory were challenged to compete

only with their slide rules, logarithmic tables,

and simple calculators. This shift enabled them

from doing calculations to writing codes – they

have become computer programmers from being

computers. Eventually, as women are more

accommodated to industries, they have become

engineers and managers at the lab.

These stories of the women almost unappreciated

at the time they were at the peak are outlined

in the book Rise of the Rocket Girls written by

Nathalia Holt. She narrated the personal experiences

of these women from the inception of JPL

almost up to the present day. The book features

the essential contributions of women in the development

of spaceflight that were not acknowledged

in the past.

More women in the modern age have become

part of NASA’s laboratories especially JPL but

history books don’t tell us about their involvements

– and that includes the stories of the Rocket

Women, the unsung heroes of the Jet Propulsion

Laboratory.

Photos by NASA


29

Women In Space Seek

More Women In Space

by Farrel Pinto

As we live in an age where media is highly influential,

having positive models will allow a

game-changer phase to let the young people see

that pursuing engineering and technology fields

is attainable by anyone.

Natalie Panek

This strong sentiment is what Natalie Panek, a

mission systems engineer in robotics and automation

at Canada’s MDA Corp., firmly believes.

A wider perspective is necessary, which looks

at the statistics regarding women advancing in

their careers into leadership, director-level, and

board-level positions according to her.

As a child, watching TV shows like Star Trek

and Stargate SG-1 inspired her to a life’s calling-

Space. She just not designs rovers but also

aims to inspire women to pursue their dreams

and see their reflections in the industry. She

also pointed out resolving problem on retaining

women in STEM fields throughout their careers.

Women must not be hindered to rise up

and advance in their careers, she implied.

Natalie Panek is a rocket scientist and an explorer,

as she calls herself, who dreams to become

an astronaut. Now, she works with her

team to build chassis and locomotion system

for the European Space Agency’s 2018 ExoMars

Rover. She was recently named as Canada’s Top

100 Most Powerful Women by the Woman’s Executive

Network.

She is a vocal advocate for woman in technology

according to The Financial Post and named

under Forbes 30 under 30 in 2015.

Photo by Miupr

Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz

Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, an astronomer at the

Adler Planetarium in Chicago, also sees that diversity

in her industry is imperative. Thus, conducting

more research is needed to back this up.

She also argued on a report on recruiting women

into technical positions by the Anita Borg

Institute that there are consistent blind spots in

recruiting and hiring practices. There are hiring

processes that are implicitly biased lacking organizational

infrastructure to support diversity

efforts.

It recommends to take up steps like blind resume

screening process, showing technical

women during the interview process and that

every technical position has a viable female candidate.

She was inspired to pursue her field upon

her interest in chemistry and physics in high

school. Wanting a career consisting both, she

participated a research program at the New

York Academy of Sciences. Someone suggested

astronomy and brought her to work with a professor

in New York University on chemistry of

planetary atmospheres. From there, she immediately

was fascinated in the field.

Now, as an astronomer, she works both on

research and public education. Lucianne currently

works on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

project which she says the flagship observatory

for the next decade.

Photo by Miupr

Vinita Marwaha Madill

As a consultant in space engineering and STEM

outreach and founder of Rocket Women, Vinita

focused on women and space. She aims to encourage

more women to enter the field.

Vinita Marwaha Madill works as engineering

manager leading the Intelligent Transportation

Systems Team in Canada. She also stints as an

International Space Station operations engineer

at the German Aerospace Center.

She works on a diversity of designing smart

roads and spacesuits, proposing parabolic

flights and the likes.

Vinita found her fascination in space back in his

childhood days in London where she learned

about Helen Sharman, a chemist and the first

British astronaut, who flew to Mir. At the age of

6, she was fond of the space as her parents took

her planetarium and space centers.

She suggests that to encourage more women,

they should think about careers in space, science

and other equivalent fields that would focus

impact of technology to mankind.

From here, we see that women as equals can

also advance in science and technology. Nothing

should hinder them as they could positively

influence the young people to pursue their

dreams and express themselves in their chosen

paths.

These young professionals indeed are gems of

the womankind.

Photo by King’s College

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


30 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Photo by Wikipedia Commons

THE UNDERRATED

WOMEN PROGRAMMERS

BEHIND ENIAC

by Dion Greg Reyes

Modern computers would not be what it

is right now if it wasn’t for the Electronic

Numerical Integrator And Computer

(ENIAC). It started from a project tasked

to the Army during the World War II to

calculate trajectories of ballistic missiles by

hand. With only differential calculus equations,

the Army had to figure out how to

use target weapons. But each equation took

30 hours to complete – the Army needed

thousands of them.

That was where the Army employed more

than 100 women calculators. The Army

had to find women because men were occupied

with duties. But this system did not

come out as fast as they think it would be,

so they had to think of a better solution.

Lo and behold, the concept of ENIAC was

born.

It was worked on and programmed by six

women in the 1940s who had no working

knowledge about programming at all.

These six women are Francis “Betty” Snyder

Holberton, Betty “Jean” Jennings Bartik,

Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli,

Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Ruth Lichterman

Teitelbaum, and Frances Bilas Spence. They

developed the first all-electronic digital

computer but sadly to no recognition.


31

Computer textbooks tell that it was engineers

John Presper Eckert and John W.

Mauchly who invented the ENIAC. True

enough, they designed it, but they were

not able to make it work. The six women

programmers, who were randomly chosen

out of the 100 Army workers or so, worked

their way to figure out the wires, tubes, cables

and switches to make a computer.

They were only given logistical diagrams of

ENIAC’s 40 panels made by the engineers

and started from there. They also had the

firing table equations they knew so well.

They had to perform those without programming

languages or compilers up their

sleeves.

The process is as complicated as we think it

is: the women had to break down a mathematical

problem into very small steps that

the ENIAC could perform by hand-wiring

the entire machine. It’s a wonder how only

six women were able to work through that.

But completing the ENIAC didn’t make it

through the end of World War II. Only six

months later, on February 14, 1946, was the

debut of this amazing computer through a

public relations extravaganza. Being the

feat that it is, ENIAC hit the newspaper

headlines as a great milestone in modern

computing; but with no mention to the

women programmers who made it work.

Although some of the women had appearance

in photographs at the time, the people

assumed they were just models. Of course

it was a heartbreaker for the six women

who contributed to the success of the ENI-

AC.

The government ran a post-war campaign

for women to leave their jobs so returning

soldiers could resume with their old jobs.

But no returning soldier figured out how

to program the ENIAC so the Army didn’t

want to let the six go. The women stayed.

The six women are rightfully credited as

the first professional programmers, the first

teachers of modern programming, and

the inventors of tools that paved the way

for modern software. They produced the

80-foot long, 8-foot tall, black metal behemoth,

which contained hundreds of wires,

18,000 vacuum tubes, 40 8-foot cables, and

3000 switches.

It was just that the rampant discrimination

with women in the past discrediting woman’s

achievements is our modern-day cry.

Photos by US Army

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


32 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

WOMEN’S CODE RATES

BETTER THAN MEN

Researchers found out that

women code better than men,

but still face gender bias in job

acceptance today.

Photos by Computer History

Researchers from the United

States, that conducted a largescale

study of gender bias,

found out that women have

better written codes than male

programmers. However, they

get rejected in job employment

once gender is revealed especially

in online jobs.

Other findings also suggest

that female programmers may

be better in doing what their

male counterparts do but lack

the attitudes within the software

community to be accepted.

They would be recognized

unless they have known contributions

or associated with

collaborators or either hide

their gender.

The study of the gender bias

in the world of an open source

programming from California

Polytechnic State University

and North Carolina State University

analyzed behaviors on

the massive code repository,

GitHub. The community consists

10 million users with 1.4

million apparently revealed

genders in profiles.

Results show that pull requests

from a female programmer

whose gender is not identifiable

has 71.8 percent acceptance.

But once gender is revealed,

acceptance rate drops

at 62.5 percent.

They said that it is a serious

trend to examine further in

understanding interaction

between genders. The results

are troubling although they

suggest a larger scale study for

these trends.

In 2014, a breaking news from

GitHub was reported when Julie

Ann Horvath, a high profile

female programmer, quit after

experiencing harassments and

claiming it to be a toxic workplace

for women.


33

UNDERREPRESENTATION OF

WOMEN IN ENGINEERING

AND COMPUTING FIELDS

Up to this day, researchers find it very

challenging to understand the complexities

that explain gender inequality.

Up to this day, researchers find

it very challenging to understand

the complexities that

explain gender inequality. In

Frontiers Media, an academic

publisher of peer-reviewed

open access scientific journals,

a research topic in Frontiers in

Psychology wants to address

the “under-representation of

women in engineering and

computing as a complex, but

solvable problem,” as stated

on the website. Their research

topic wants to share with the

world about understanding

this situation and focusing on

what can enable change.

“This Topic will promote fresh

perspectives, innovative methodologies,

and mixed method

approaches important to accelerating

the pace of change.”

The post stated.

Research has been attempting

to explain the gender gap for

more than 40 years, yet engineering

and computing professions

continue to be overpowered

by men. In the USA,

women comprised 12% of the

engineers and 25% of computer

professionals in 2015. On

the other hand, women comprise

47% of the total labor

force, and 52% of managers

and professionals.

COMPUTER SCIENCE

NEEDS MORE WOMEN

Opportunities for computer science

in the next years are high and it will

need more people, especially women.

In an effort to encourage women

be involved in computer

science, The Centre for American

Progress and Google

co-hosted an event that also

discussed making computer

science a part of core curriculum

in elementary school.

It is backed by President

Barack Obama with a $100

million budget inclusion for

school districts and $4 billion

for states to expand K-12

computer science classes. The

program he called Computer

Science For All, which is in essence

in the title in itself: - it

will give students an opportunity

in America to start early

in learning the skills to get

ahead in the new economy.

Google officials said that by

2020, there will be 1.4 million

new computer science-related

jobs in the U.S. If the trend of

high school students entering

computer science will keep

steady, there won’t be enough

for the future demand; as computer

science graduates right

now fill only the 32 percent of

that number.

Women are very much invited

to join computer science to cut

the stigma of women being in

computer science and technology.

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


34 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

STORIES OF WOMEN IN STEM

Kristin Fraser

Mechanical Engineer

turned Holistic Nutritionist

There is always a little chance of

us taking a “not-so-apt” career

decision. Once taken, we might

comfortably continue pursuing

it until one fine day there’s some

situation popping up to make us

realize, “Hey! This is not what

you are meant for.”

The story is same with Kristin

Fraser who holds a Bachelor of

Science Degree in Mechanical

Engineering but is now a Holistic

Nutritionist in Red Deer,

Alberta. Kristin was working as

a mechanical engineer in Red

Deer and depression struck her

so hard that she became weak

and had to take a leave of absence

from work. At that time,

her boyfriend suggested her to

see a nutritionist who recommended

her to “cleanse” up everything.

The recommendation

looked weird to Fraser at first

but later the entire idea changed

her life.

A simple step to alter her diet,

lifestyle and taking yoga classes

led to a massive improvement

in her. She, in fact, started being

so happy that she opted to

learn more about nutrition.

And so, she enrolled herself in a

program in Natural Nutrition at

the Canadian School of Natural

Nutrition in 2009. In 2013, she

completed her six-month Natural

Foods Chef Training program

in New York City.

A member of CAHN-Pro (Canadian

Association for Holistic

Nutrition Professionals), Kristin

has completed her certification

in Spiritual Living Foods Instructor

in Patagonia, Arizona

at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation

Center under the instructions

of the well-known Dr. Gabriel

Cousens, the author of “Conscious

Eating” and “There is a

Cure for Diabetes”.

A corporate wellness speaker

and consultant on natural

health, Frazer conducts 8 week

“Get Your Glow” challenges in

collaboration with corporations

and yoga studios, offers one on

one coaching, cooking classes,

and retreats. She has also

launched her own nutritional

consulting, corporate wellness

and healthy cooking business,

Inner Glow Nutrition, where

she delivers and shares everything

she has learned from personal

experience.

Frazer highly believes and emphasizes

that it’s possible to eat

your way to better health. She

highly advocates a diet low in

sugar, processed fats, caffeine

and alcohol, and high in natural

“living foods,” including raw,

leafy greens whether someone is

suffering from diabetes, hypertension

or depression.

She writes a bi-weekly column,

“Something to Chew On”, which

has also been dubbed as the “Sex

and the City of Nutrition”. The

column offers an informative

and down to earth approach on

health topics that are not always

thought about.

Kristin highly believes in

healthy living. We hope she goes

a long way in making people believe

that food is the basis of a

healthy life!

Photo by Romy Young Photography

Farah Shamout

Computer Engineering

Student Determined to

Find the Cure for Cancer

Motivated by the death of her

significant others due to cancer,

Farah Shamout, a computer engineering

student at New York

University Abu Dhabi, seeks to

find the cure for cancer through

her own ways. She contributes

to the research in treating cancer

by applying her engineering

skills into the field of biomedical

engineering.

Ms Shamout spent four months

of work with a lecturer at the

Imperial College London to research

ways in delivering medicine

to diseased cells using ultrasound.

It was published in the

Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine

and Biology with an aim to

create non-invasive methods in

treating cancer and heart diseases.

“There is a lot of research being

put into this area and I just

wanted to contribute to it, regardless

of whether the results

of my research will be employed

in two, five or even 20 years,” the

21-year-old engineer said.

Two of Shamout’s uncles and

her grandmother suffered from

cancer that led to their deaths

two years ago. It is where this

engineer was inspired to find

the long overdue cure for cancer.

Photo by The Tab


35

Vandana Kabilan

Indian Stereotype Breaker,

W i f e a n d M o t h e r

Many times in our lives we ask

ourselves about our identity. We

ask what we want to do or what

direction are we treading in this

walk of life. Sometimes we are

filled with hopes and velvety

dreams sometimes we are at

crisis. However, life may give us

signs and callings.

Vandana Kabilan is an Indian

woman who ardently strove to

build her identity and purpose.

Back in her early years, she aspired

to be an engineer. However,

that time, women as engineers

are not a popular feat by

its societal standards. Her father

got a lot of discouragements in

enrolling her in engineering.

She really wanted to be a computer

scientist from the moment

she first saw a picture of a computer

in a magazine in the late

80’s. Fortunately, she managed

to get a slot in electrical engineering.

She used it as a steppingstone

for her career and

focused on taking computer

electives and courses from computer

science.

Vandana faced a lot of struggles

even from her professors

at the university. She was being

discouraged that she was just

wasting an engineering seat. She

faced gender discrimination in

her first interviews.

“Sorry, we can’t hire you, since

we do not intend to hire a bodyguard

for you.”

Such remarks made her question

who she was and what she

could do. She maybe a qualified

electrical engineer with a predilection

for computers, but not

good for anything, she thought.

Just then, an opportunity found

her as she was offered an apprenticeship

in a software development

consultancy firm.

There, she spent a few months

learning and working finally

with computers. From there,

marked the beginning of her

computer programming career.

Upon following Indian traditions,

Vandana got married

and took a hiatus from work.

She and her husband moved to

Sweden, as her husband had a

job there. For a period of time,

the only identity she knew was

as Mrs. so and so. She felt frustrated

as she did not dream to be

only just that. Being a foreigner

who did not know how to speak

Swedish did not make the situation

easier. Thriving a career

as a software professional was a

struggle.

But she overcome the said trials.

She pushed herself to learn

the language by taking Swedish

courses and ended up writing

to a renowned professor at the

Royal Institute of Technology.

She requested to be a doctoral

student which the kind professor

granted. She started her new

five-year venture in the field of

research where she met her colleagues

and became an adviser

to students taking up master’s

degree in different courses.

Now, she works as a solution architect

and loves every moment

of her life as she finally established

her own identity through

achieving heights and overcoming

challenges. Looking back,

she has become many things, a

good wife, a good mother, and

an established professional who

learned to ride along the ups

and downs of life. We can be

who we want to be, just learn to

grow and be motivated, as life

offers a multitude of diversity

and opportunity.

She did not end there, as she

achieved more in acquiring a

position at Accenture, a global

professional services company.

Although she had linguistic differences

from the majority her

competent research background

enabled her to solve problems

and challenges that crossed her

path.

Photo from Twitter

Aisa Mijeno

Invents Lamp That

Runs on Saltwater

“To light up the rest of the Philippines

sustainably” was Filipina

engineer Aisa Mijeno’s vision

and so she and her brother invented

the Sustainable Alterative

Lighting (SALt) lamp. The

SALt lamp is an alternative light

source that runs on saltwater,

which makes it environment

friendly and is suitable for people

who live in areas near the

sea.

This device also functions well

in remote areas. All you need

is two table spoons of salt and

one glass of water, and this lamp

can run for eight hours. You can

even charge your smartphones

with the lamp.

“It is made of tediously experimented

and improved chemical

compounds, catalysts, and metal

alloys that when submerged

in electrolytes will generate

electricity,” Mijeno said in an

interview.

Because of this ground-breaking

invention, this SALt lamp

has received numerous awards

in the Philippines, Singapore,

Japan and South Korea. This

invention also won several competitions

in the Philippines and

abroad.

Safe Alternative to Kerosene

Lamps

The science behind the SALt

lamp is dependent on the chemical

conversion of energy. It uses

the almost the same principle

as the galvanic cell, but instead

of using electrolytes, the SALt

lamp uses saline solution, which

is hamless and non-toxic.

Other people make use of kerosene

lamps which can cause

fires, and other accidents,

whereas the SALt lamp doesn’t

have and components and compounds

that could cause a fire. It

also doesn’t emit toxic gases.

According to Mijeno, her experience

working with an environmental

organization has inspired

her and made her see the

need for an alternative source of

light especially in the rural areas

of the Philippines.

“I used to be part of Greenpeace

Philippines and did personal

immersions/volunteers across

rural communities, and there I

learned so many things. Most

of these people are so poor and

underprivileged that they endure

long hours of walking just

to get kerosene for their lamps,”

Mijeno said.

“Our main focus is on the island

communities that do not

have access to electricity and

have no financial capacity for

acquiring alternative source of

electricity,”

For every SALt lamp that is

bought, they give one lamp to a

selected family.

Photo by Trending News Portal

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


36 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Amelia Gandara

Ballet Dancer turned

Chemical Engineer

Amelia Gandara started her

professional life as a ballet dancer,

and while studying chemical

engineering at the University of

Louisville (KY), she worked as a

co-op student at two ironically

two different industries—an oil

refinery and an alternative energy

research center.

Today, she works as a community

developer for General Electric

(GE) FirstBuild program in

Louisville, this is the company’s

in-house accelerator for developing

new appliances. She is

in a team that stimulates feedback

from consumers instead

of letting the products be kept

in storage until launch. And if

you’re curious—Yes, GE funds

their projects on websites like

Indiegogo.

According to Amelia: “Often

when you’re working on a new

consumer product, you’re working

in an R&D department with

engineers behind closed doors.

The old way was to be first to get

the patent, but the new standard

is really speed to market.”

FirstBuild’s first product was

called Paragon, an induction

cooktop with a sensor and optional

smartphone app. It was

funded and tested on Indiegogo,

and raised more than $300,000

for Paragon using the site.

Amelia credits the dedication

and work ethic she developed

while she was studying ballet

for helping her get through the

tough life of engineering school.

With the confidence she gained

from years of performing and

applying it in her line of work,

she has become the successful

woman that she is now

Amelia co-host a monthly hardware

meet-up at work, where

students, entrepreneurs and local

business people can practice

making pitches and learn about

jobs.

Though Amelia stands out now

as a business model, she still

manages to keep in touch with

the ballet world.

Photo by Will Cravens

Photography

Alexandra Voltini

Creates the UBER for

Journalists and Freelancers

BLAMEET.COM, the new concept

of community platform

where citizens freely publish

opinions through compliments

and criticisms, has initiated

a system (only by invitation

during the initial launch phase)

whereby journalists/freelancers

can earn money based on a new

economic model.

Alexandra Voltini, 19 years old,

founder of the site: “This is a

win-win approach. On the one

hand, the site increases its readership

and on the other, contributors

earn income, anywhere

from extra cash to serious revenue.

To note, this “Uberization”

for journalists and freelancers

is not in competition with any

profession, rather it’s a helpful

service to many. So, no dangers

of protesters on the horizon...

LOL!”

ID of the concept:

BLAMEET presents itself as a

“Journal of public interest, written

by citizens for citizens,” with

the goal of becoming an evolving

ecosystem of free thinking

and opinion-sharing to improve

lives and serve communities of

interests.

BLAMEET is a diverse forum

for opinions as well as a rich

provider of captivating and entertaining

content (fun, practical,

cultural, educational, editorial,

etc).

BLAMEET combines the “convenience”

of Facebook, the

“brevity” of Twitter and the

“connectivity” of LinkedIn to

publish opinions, comments,

moods, invectives, convictions,

complements and criticisms to

improve the lives of our citizens.

Business model: the site’s business

model has the rare particularity

of not only being based

on advertising but also on paid

services by companies, institutions

and the media.

Subjects: three levels of functionality...

Editorials, opinions, debates,

open forums, hats off, entertainment,

evaluations, etc. by way of

Blames and Compliments (presented

in the form of posts)

Self-promotion for freelance

writers and journalists, with

an author Profile and personal

Journal (possible subscription

to Journals)

Real improvement of everyday

with CAP, Community Action

Plans (generated from Blames

published on the site)

Audience: all ages, from children

to seniors, whatever their

interests: sports, politics, fun,

brands, sex, technology, people,

health, music, art, fashion,

news, religion, etc.

Access: everyone; registration is

free.

Official launch date: in France

and the US (but the UK site is

already operational), February

2016 (soon to follow in other

“free-thinking” countries)

Origin: “Blameet” results from

the merger of “to blame” (-) and

“to meet” (+)

Features:

Interactivity between countries:

ability to write notes in other

countries (the flag of the country

of origin appears next to the

author name in this case)

Sophisticated management of

keywords, filter system and

search tool allow “à la carte”

selection of posts, according to

tastes and moods

Promotional posters are available

from the website (bottom

left), but only if the screen is

large enough to present the 3

columns (if not, just 2 columns)

Photo from Facebook


37

“I choose crazy, I have been,

and I still will.” Cassandra

Cole, a third year Mechanical

Engineering student tells her

audience as she inspired them

with her enthralling journey as

a female mechanical engineer.

There were a lot of lessons to

be learned from her short yet

meaningful talk, but if they were

to be summarized, it would be

into three main lessons: Take

risks, face your fears, and Keep

moving forward.

Cassandra talked about how

surprised her family, friends

and professors were when they

found out that she wanted to

take Mechanical Engineering

as her college course. After all,

she was the typical feminine

embodiment. She took dance

classes, she was a model, and

she collected shoes! Mechanical

Engineering might be the last

thing she might want to take up

in the university but, she had a

passion for Math, Sciences, and

Workshop. So regardless of the

stereotypes thrown at her, she

decided to take the risk and follow

her passion.

After some time in the university,

Cassandra suddenly acquired

a serious disease. She

had to stay in the hospital, and

her parents were told to prepare

for the worst. While being treated,

a friend of hers visited her

and shared an idea that would

help her live her life to the fullest—

make a bucket list. With

the help of family, friends and

amazing doctors, she was soon

completely treated and was able

to be discharged from the hospital.

Cassandra left the hospital

with her bucket list and new

found life waiting for her.

Cassandra Cole

Mechanical Engineering

Student and Formula

Racing Team Member

Cassandra’s near death experience

gave her a sense of realization

that life was short and

that she should take risks and

live life to the fullest. She took

her bucket list and crossed out

some of the goals listed. She

went skydiving, co-drive with

a famous rally driver, be a flag

girl for her favorite racing

team, and travel to different

countries.

She then continued her

schooling and joined the formula

team in their university.

She took the risk, challenged

herself to learn a new skill and

volunteered to design their

team’s race car chassis. As they

finished the design, Cassandra

felt a sense of achievement,

yet she felt that something

was missing. She missed her

feminine side, and so she went

back to taking dance classes

and continued her modelling.

She then decided to take

a sexy photo shoot together

with their team’s race car.

Their university didn’t agree

to this action, and they didn’t

take this action lightly either.

Their team was suspended,

and Cassandra felt crushed.

She stopped schooling and got

depressed. This was her rock

bottom.

It was a while, but Cassandra

soon realized that she had to

take the risk and face her fears.

All she had to do was take the

first step. She took a deep

breath and continued going to

school. Even though everyone

would look at her differently,

she faced her fears, learned

from her mistakes, accepted

her punishment and worked

her way back into the world

where she was once before— except

now she was stronger.

She would not have achieved

this if she didn’t have a solid

support system. Her family,

friends and university professors

pushed her to take one

day at a time and keep moving

forward. She took their pieces

of advice and continued to

take risks, face her fears, keep

moving forward, and always to

choose crazy!

Most of us, if not all, have gone

through different experiences in

life similar to Cassandra’s. A lot

of them will vary but, it is safe

to say that the lessons learned

from her story can apply to almost

everyone. Let’s not forget

to life to the fullest and take necessary

risks to help us grow as a

person— physically, emotionally,

and even spiritually. Also,

whenever we have doubts and

make mistakes, let’s be brave

enough to take one step forward

and face our fears. Always remember,

when life throws rocks

at you, keep moving forward. It

doesn’t matter how long it takes.

Just keep moving forward and

with that being said, here is an

excerpt from Cassandra’s speech

that will leave you inspired:

“Will you cruise through life

missing those opportunities…

missing those chances? Or will

you take those risks, take those

chances, will you scrape your

knees on the ground, and take

those risks to take you… take

yourself where you wanna be?”

Screengrab from YouTube

Nergis Mavalvala

Contributes to

Gravitational

Wave Discovery

Among the almost 1,000 scientists

working for what Albert

Einstein had told us about gravitational

waves a century ago,

Pakistani quantum astrophysicist

Nergis Mavalvala is quite a

woman worth emulating.

Dr. Mavalvala is an expat MIT

professor and a member of

the US-based LIGO Scientific

Collaboration. She is one of

the brains at the Laser Interferometric

Gravitational Wave

Observatory. What’s so special

about her?

After the feat had surfaced the

social media, her efforts were

very much credited at her home

country Pakistan. Hundreds of

comments on Facebook posts

had attributed her success to her

Pakistani roots, the Parsi community

she belongs to and her

schooling at Karachi’s Convent

of Jesus and Mary.

The Pakistani community is indeed

proud of her achievements

despite not being able to go

back home for almost 30 years.

But Dr. Mavalvala wants her

countrymen to be inspired by

her story of perseverance. She

encourages people that anybody

should be able to succeed regardless

of gender, religion, and

sexual preference.

Photo by Cambridge

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


38 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Jordan Hartzell

Organizes Conference

with an Aim to Fix Gender

Imbalance in Physics

A conference held in Bucknell

University, organized by

16-year-old, wants to bring

awareness to the gender imbalance

in STEM. Seven accomplished

women speakers were

invited to the event with an aim

to fix the slices of the pie with

the involvement of women in

STEM especially in physics.

According to the National Girls

project, only about 19% of bachelor

degrees in physics were attained

by females and about

7% of mechanical engineers are

women.

“The gender imbalance in physics

has gone on for a long time,”

Hartzell said. “It needs to be

corrected. I wanted to create

awareness of an issue while

showing that physics is amazing

for everyone.”

The event on April 2 was attended

by 80 people, mostly high

school students, with an almost

1:1 male and female ratio.

Hartzell was featured in the

Huffington Post for her insights

on the Laser Interferometer

Gravitational-Wave Observatory,

following the validation of

Albert Einstein’s theory about

gravity’s travel across spacetime.

Photo by Daily Item

Nina Freeman

Creates Games

About Her Sex Life

Meet Nina Freeman, a 25-year

old Game Designer who designs

games based on her hot relationship

adventures, exhilarating

experiences and sex life.

For around five years, Nina has

been working with teams of

programmers and graphic artists

to be able to create exceptionally

personal games about

relationships and sex. She came

into the limelight with a game

called “How Do You Do It”. The

game is all about a little girl who

plays with her Barbie dolls while

her mom is out, trying to find

out how do grown-ups “do it”,

the player will be controlling

this event of course. Nina also

created a game called “Ladylike”,

where you try to control a conversation

between a teenage girl

and her mom, during a drive to

a mall. Anything you say about

boyfriends, school, sex and

clothes, the mom would always

disapprove—clearly a different

game to play, even in real life.

According to Nina, these games

were all based on her true to

life stories. How To Do It and

Ladylike were games that had

been inspired by her childhood

experiences. For her, gaming is

like poetry.

“When I started making games,

my main inspirations were poets.

Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “In

the Waiting Room” was my main

inspiration for making Ladylike

and How Do You Do It?, which

are games about my childhood.

Once I started making games,

though, I discovered other game

designers who were also interested

in these vignette-style

games. Games like Dys4ia and

Radha Lohar

Tweets to Save

Co-Passenger From

T r a f f i c k e r s

Gone Home are two of these

games that really inspired me

to make more vignette games

about very human, honest characters.”

Nina said, when asked

on an interview who she was inspired

by when she says gaming

is like poetry.

In November 2015, Nina released

a new game named “Cibele”.

It’s an intimately personal,

multilayered narrative game

that has caught the intrigue of

many. It is a game based on a

true story about love, sex, and

the internet. The player will

be playing a role of a 19-year

old girl who became close to

a young man whom she met

through an online game. The

two becomes closer and their

relationship heats up with each

phone call and private chat.

This game, of course, was based

on one of Nina’s experiences. It

all started when she was 16. She

met an older guy named Blake

through Final Fantasy—a popular

online game—gaming community.

After numerous phone

calls, flirty chats, and sexy selfies,

Blake flew across the country

to turn their online fantasy

into a reality in Nina’s New York

dorm room.

Nina is very passionate about

incorporating her personal experiences

into her game design.

She wants to be able to create

and add a more feminine touch

to her video games. By sharing

stories about her sex life, she

hopes to be able to define her

sexuality, career and inspire

other women to be able to be

the hero of their own life stories.

Photo by The Guardian

A 19-year old girl was rescued

from the traffickers after her

co-passenger tweeted and informed

the Ministry of Railways.

The rescue operations

were played out real time on the

social networking site and help

arrived within just a few hours.

The story goes like this:

Radha Lohar was on the train to

Hyderabad when she managed

to hand over a letter to one of

the fellow passengers. The letter

revealed that she was being

taken over forcibly to Delhi.

The co-passenger who got the

letter handed over the letter to

a relative Divyansh Khuntera.

Divyansh tweeted the photo of

the letter to the Indian Railways.

As soon as the Tweet reached

the Railway officials, they alerted

the Railway Protection Force

Personnel. They board the train

at the Ramagundam Station and

rescued Lohar.

Lohar had been working with a

job placement agency and was

being forcibly taken to Delhi.

Later she was helped by a local

NGO to get back home.

This type of instant redressal has

helped many railway passengers

previously. Railway Ministry

joined Twitter in July 2014. It

has deployed a team to monitor

the social networking site and to

respond immediately to passenger

complains.


39

Jackie Birdsall

Automotive Engineer at

Toyota North America

This story will definitely put any

sexist to shame. With so many

women breaking barriers for

other women, Jackie Birdsall

can definitely inspire young

girls into pursuing an awesome

career in engineering.

With her love for the Fast and

Furious movie and modifying

cars as a way of having fun with

her friends when she was young,

this intelligent 32-year old automotive

engineer’s got one of

the best jobs in the world. She’s

a senior engineer at the Toyota

North America in charge of the

hydrogen fuel tanks in her area.

What does she do? Well, there

are days when she has to shoot

a gun at these hydrogen tanks in

the wilderness - oh well, just to

check if they explode. Kaboom!

Growing up, she had the habit

of tearing one thing apart and

putting it back together. Clearly,

she’s got an engineer’s gene

within her. This led her to a

career all engineers dream off

(even though she was clueless

about the field when she was

younger).

“My friends who worked on cars

really worked on cars. I was so

far behind them. I worked on

friends’ ATVs and changed oil

every time I could. I bought an

’87 Camry and started tinkering

around with that. And I read

Esther Wanjiku

Hones Skills at Kenya’s

New Rail Project

Esther Wanjiku knows the importance

of hard work, since she

grew up in a low-income suburb

in Nairobi. Through diligence and

patience, the 28-year-old was able

to land a job as an engineer at the

China Road and Bridge Corporation

(CRBC) for its project to

build a standard gauge railway

(SGR) line in Kenya.

According to the civil engineering

graduate, working at the modern

railway project has been fulfilling

professionally and psychologically.

For her, challenges didn’t

hinder her dream of becoming a

successful civil engineer and im-

automotive histories and biographies.

I dragged The Reckoning,

David Halberstam’s 752-

page overview of the American

and Japanese auto industries,

around in my backpack. I love

the sound of cars. I love driving

cars. I love drawing cars. I love

the smell of tires—the best smell

in the world. I’d sleep in a tire

rack if you let me.” said Birdsall.

How did she end up studying

automotive engineering then?

Well, when her teacher told her

father that her knowledge in

math is clearly undeniable, she

submitted her designs to General

Motors Design School and

got a response like this:

“Have you ever thought of becoming

an engineer?”

She then enrolled in Kettering

University and the rest is history.

So what’s next for this young

rockstar-like engineer? Well,

she’s moving to Japan. She’ll be

working on the next iteration of

the fuel cell.

Oh, to be young, adventurous

and remarkably intelligent. She’s

definitely making a mark in the

world of automotive engineering

and inspiring other women

to follow their dreams.

Photo by Toyota

proving her family’s living standards.

Her one-and-a-half years’ working

experience with this Chinese

company did not only provide her

with a steady income, but it also

honed her professional skills as a

civil engineer.

The SGR line being built in Kenya

by the CRBC will run from Mombassa

on the eastern coast to the

western border town of Malaba.

This will replace the narrow-gauge

track built over a century ago

during the British colonial rule.

Photo by Xinhua Net

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


Cheryl Yembe’s

Fashioneering

Story

40 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


41

Cheryl Yembe, a fashion lover,

business woman and a fresh graduate

of Construction Engineering

from University of Houston

proved that being in a tough degree

should not set the limits of

pursuing one’s passion. As owner

of the fashion blog nowuseech-er.

blogspot.com, Yembe is still doing

a follow through of her fashion

retail business while waiting for a

work in line with her engineering

degree.

According to the young entrepreneur,

she is continously inspired

by so many people ranging from

celebrities like Victoria Beckham

and Katy Perry, to regular people.

Although most of the time, she

chooses what to buy or wear by

trial and error until she achieves

a combination that suits her taste.

When it comes to designers, Yembe

said that she does not really

follow designer works or have a

favorite. When it comes to purchasing,

she rathers pay attention

to colors and textures rather than

who made the piece of clothing.

Yembe may not have a favorite

designer, but she sure does have

a favorite piece of clothing--a pair

of jeans. And it’s true when she

reasoned out that a pair could be

worn with any other set of clothes.

Photos by Style Vitae

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


42 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

The Women

Pioneers

of Science

Perhaps during the first few

years that you have learned science,

you noticed that almost

everything was discovered and

invented by the male species.

While this may have left you an

impression that science is a man’s

world, it is definitely not exclusive

to one gender alone. Women

have had discoveries and inventions

that were underrated just

because they are women.

Women being outnumbered by

men in science limited the contributions

of women in science

history. But the following breakthroughs

are important revelations

that women can definitely

do science, and most likely could

have done more if it weren’t for

the prejudices during their time.

This list only includes eight of

the many women pioneers in

science. Ada Lovelace, Margaret

Knight, Rosalyn Yalow, Shirley

Ann Jackson, Temple Grandin,

and Frances Arnold are worthy

in this list but these eight women

are chosen in relative fame in the

technical community.


43

Emilie du Chatelet

(1706-1749)

Born Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, she is

the first one to employ innovative techniques to measure

kinetic effects of motion and published papers in philosophy

and science. Emilie du Châtelet demonstrated

and publicized an experiment by Dutch scientist Willem

Gravesande by dropping balls from different heights

into a sheet of soft clay. This proved that the impact displacement

is proportional to the square of the velocity,

which further supported Gottfried Liebnitz’s similar

proposition and defying Isaac Newton’s suggestion.

Photo by Emilie (Play)

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44 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Marie Curie

(1867-1934)

You have probably heard of this woman before in your

chemistry class but forgot what she has done: together

with her husband Pierre Curie, she isolated radioactive

elements including radium. She also focused on uranium

as a radiation source, which induced electric conductivity

in the surrounding air. She earned two Nobel

Prizes in science, the first person in history, in 1903 for

Physics and in 1911 for Chemistry. She is credited for

the Element 96 in the Period Table of Elements in honor

of her scientific contributions, which is Curium. Her

cumulative work with radiation, however, caused her

health to deteriorate and soon died from aplastic anemia

caused by bone marrow damage.

Photo by Wikipedia Commons


45

Lise Meitner

(1878-1968)

Lise Meitner is arguably regarded as the most significant

woman scientist in the 20th century. Other than the the

Element 109, Meitnerium, which is the heaviest element

known in the universe, she and Otto Hahn collaborated

in studying radioactivity which soon paved for the element

Protactinium. She also discovered the radiationless

transition known as the Auger effect, but credited to

Petter Victor Auger who advanced the effect two years

later after Meitner discovered it. She is also responsible

for the advent of nuclear fission which physical explanation

was published along with her nephew Otto Frisch

which is her nephew. But Hahn was merited for Meitner’s

research by getting the Nobel Prize for Chemistry

in 1944. It was later partially corrected in 1966 when

Hahn, Meitner, and Strassman were awarded with the

Enrico Fermi Award.

Photo by Perce Pogelatto

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46 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Emmy Noether

(1882-1935)

This is who the Noether’s Theorem came from. Being

the master of abstract algebra in mathematics, Emmy

Noether developed the general theory on commutative

rings and discovering the connection between symmetry

and conservation in physics. She joined the Mathematical

Institute in Gottingen in 1915 and started working

with

prominent mathematicians Felix Klein and David Hilbert

on Einstein’s general relativity theory. Three years

later she proved two theorems that are basic to elementary

particle physics, one of which is the theorem coined

to her name. Emmy Noether come from a prominent

family of scientists.

Photo by Getty Images


47

Grace Hopper

(1906-1992)

The Common Business Oriented Language or COBOL

wouldn’t be what it is now if it weren’t for the computer

programming genius Grace Hopper who helped in the

development of a compiler. She was a Navy reserve officer

who worked with the Mark II and Mark III computers

as a researcher in Harvard. Hopper also popularized

the term ‘computer bug,’ after a moth was found to have

shorted out the Mark II. She jumped into the private industry

with the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation

and Remington Rand where the development of the first

compiler for computer languages started. It was a precursor

for COBOL which is a widely adapted language

around the world.

Photo by Shorpy

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48 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Hedy Lamarr

(1914-2000)

You may recognize Hedy Lamarr as a sexy film actress

during MGM’s ‘Golden Age,’ but she’s more than just a

beautiful face. This Austrian-American actress is also a

scientist who worked on an early technique for spread

spectrum communications, which is significant in modern

wireless communications. It was during her career’s

peak that she earned recognition in science by receiving

a patent for an idea of a radio signalling device, which

was known as the Secret Communications System. It

was a means of changing radio frequencies to keep enemies

from decoding messages that was meant to be used

in military communications against the Nazis.

Photo by Forbes


49

Rosalind Elsie Franklin

(1920-1958)

It was Rosalind Elsie Franklin who provided the world

with the basic structure of the DNA. Through her Cambridge

University doctorate, she learned crystallography

and x-ray diffraction, the key techniques that she

applied to DNA fibers. She and her student Raymond

Gosling paved the way for the DNA structure by taking

pictures of it and discovered that there were two forms

of it: a dry “A” form and a wet “B” form. The critical evidence

in identifying the structure of DNA which is the

Photograph 51 came from one of the their x-ray diffraction

pictures of the “B” form.

Photo by UC Press

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50 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Mildred Dresselhaus

(1930-present)

Mildred S. Dresselhaus is a living legend with incredible

studies in the discovery of buckyballs and carbon nano-tubes.

Apart from that, she deciphered the electronic

structure of graphite, the lowest-energy solid-state form

of carbon. She is a professor in MIT and its Lincoln Laboratory

for more than 50 years now. She has made extensive

research contributions and fundamental discoveries

in condensed matter physics.

Photo by Alchetron


51

CODE: DEBUGGING

THE GENDER GAP

Who would’ve thought computer

code could be used as a catalyst to

bring out ones creativity? This is

exactly how a new documentary is

hoping to inspire girls to enter the

world of computer science.

Danielle Feinberg, director of photography

at Pixar, will be the star of

this documentary entitled, CODE:

Debugging the Gender Gap, a look

at the lopsided nature of the tech

industry and increasing need for

computer science graduates, particularly

women. “The combination

of art and tech is my favorite thing

in the world,” Feinberg says.

“This film is all about giving young

girls a different perspective and

showing them you can do so much

more than just write an app, or

[work on] banking software, which

is what people typically associate

with programming,” She added.

“The reality is, you can make movies,

you can make anything really.”

Women engineers and coders from

different companies like Yelp, Facebook,

Google, Twitter, Pinterest,

Strava, Pandora, GitHub and Pivotal

will be opening up in the documentary,

they will be voicing out

their frustration over stereotypes,

and sharing their feelings with regards

to the topic.

Photos by Financial Review

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52 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Glasgow Students Travelling

to Africa to Inspire Girls

into Engineering

Glasgow University, fourth year biomedical

engineering student Ellen Simmons

set up a group named FemEng to inspire

and encourage girls into STEM (Science,

Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects.

Together with a team of Rwandan counterparts,

the group will be travelling to

Rwanda, Africa to inspire young girls to

pursue courses in the engineering field.

According to Simmons: “It is usually

when pupils get to about 16 that they are

encouraged away from STEM subjects,

both at home and by teachers in school.

“Higher Physics, for example, is predominantly

male and that will stop a lot of girls

from studying the subject.

“But in Rwanda the situation is further

complicated by the fact girls are expected

to stay at home and take on caring duties.

Perhaps not in the cities but certainly in

more rural areas.

“Travelling to university or living away

from home is prohibitive and also there

can be a lack of access to sanitary products,

which means girls are missing school

one week in four.

“It’s very hard for them to keep up.”

FemEng Rwanda has receved backing

from companies like Western Ferries,

Dyson and CH2M. The University College

Dublin also loaned them a 3D printer.

Their team hopes to raise £4000 for the

trip, which will help them support their

Rwandan peers to be able to stay on at the

university while the project is ongoing.

Photo by Herald Scotland

Robogals Encourages

Female Youth To Pursue

STEM Profession

“If you ask someone to picture an engineer,

many people will picture a big dude

in a hard hat and overalls”.

This is how May Hane, Vice President

of Robogals Newcastle from Newcastle

University responded when asked about

gender distribution in engineering. And

sadly it has always been the case for a long

time now. In the ancient civilization, they

were the builders, the hunters and providers

while the women are associated with

domestication, child bearing and activities

that involve taking care of other people.

So we cannot entirely blame if someone

is thinking the same stereotypes, because

it started with our ancestors. However,

times are changing and a lot of females

are evolving into having professions that

were originally just for men. And it is

about right that everybody else open their

minds into accepting women in the science,

technology, engineering and mathematics

(STEM) fields--a mindset that is

aligned with Robogals Newcastle’s goals.

Robogals is a worldwide organization

that is dedicated into increasing the

number of women who pursue studies

related to STEM. They believe that every

female child deserves the opportunity

to strengthen her STEM side by engaging

themselves into activities or toys that

could hone their thinking skills. They

should not be limited into cooking toys,

doll houses and other things associated

with typical female activities. And as part

of their vision, the group conducted a robotics

workshop at Toronto Library which

they believed inspired the girls into going

into engineering.

Photo by Georgia Tech

Engineering Schools Must

Improve Representation of

Women and Minorities

Diversity has always been an issue in engineering

colleges, especially in the United

States.

In UCLA, most of the engineering students

enrolled are men, around 25 percent

of the engineering population are women.

As for the minority groups, they make up

around 10 percent or less. This is the case

for almost all engineering schools in the

United States.

Jayatha Murthy, the dean of the Henry

Samueli School of Engineering and Applied

Science, game her thoughts to address

the matter. She stated that she plans

to improve the representation of these

groups in the engineering school by developing

mentorship programs and support

resources.

This initiative though, is easier said than

done. What’s most important is that the

attitude of people in engineering schools

need to change. Studies show that gender

and racial aggression have shaped the

experiences of different minority groups

in engineering courses. The engineering

ethics classes need to be reviewed to deal

with this kind of problems in a professional

manner.

There is no permanent solution to improve

diversity. But if we work together,

diversity will improve.


53

Engineering Students

Hosted ‘Introduce A Girl

To Engineering’ Program

Ask Cal Poly Pomona’s Women in Engineering

Program (CPP WE). Last February

22, they hosted an event called

Introduce A Girl To Engineering. It became

such a huge hit that they’re hosting

the event again on February 29 for a new

batch of middle school girls. This event

allows these girls to have a first-hand experience

of being part of the engineering

field.

“It is to get them interested in STEM field

and to teach them that engineering isn’t

the picture that every female sees. It is to

open their eyes to engineering and a better

understanding what engineering is about”

said the event’s coordinator, Nicole Gutzke.

100 girls from Washington Middle School,

South Pointe Middle School and other

schools from the Downey Unified School

District signed up for the event. Activities

included creating simple homopolar

motors, cantilevers out of spaghetti and

pneumatic cranes. Each activity was held

25-30 minutes. These activities will allow

the girls to have an experience in different

fields of engineering such as manufacturing,

chemical, industrial and civil.

Photo by Andres Torres via The Poly Post

Calculus Subject

Kicks Women Off

in Engineering

How confusing really is the subject Calculus?

Confusing enough to kick women off

significantly in engineering.

Jessica Ellis of Colorado State University

found in a study that 1 in 6 women drop

plans to continue with a sequence of calculus

courses required for engineering

careers. This is in contrast with men who

have a dropout rate of 1 in 8.

It is identified through survey responses

that it isn’t the lack of ability to proceed

that women are discouraged to pursue a

career in engineering, but the lack of confidence

instead.

Ellis highlighted one survey question that

spelled the difference between the gender:

“I do not believe I understand the ideas of

Calculus I well enough to take Calculus

II,” wherein 32 to 35 per cent of women

said yes while only 14 to 20 per cent of

men agreed.

The researcher also discovered from a

group who disclosed grade information

that 48% of those women who switch

from engineering have an A or B grade,

while 42% of the men have the same grade

and yet choose to switch. This proves that

women have a confidence issue upon taking

the Calculus subject.

WE NEED

WOMEN

IN STEM

AND

WE NEED

THEM TO

STAY.

Illustration from IU News Info

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54 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

WHY WOMEN

AREN’T BECOMING

ENGINEERS OR

SCIENTISTS

Even though women do better that men

in high school math and science classes,

and get the same ratings in college-level

science courses, they still remain underrepresented

in Science, technology,

engineering and technology fields. This

is the same as will in computer sciences.

But the big question is why?

According to a new study which is published

in the Psychology of Women

Quarterly, researchers tried for figure

out if stereotypes about women prevents

them from working in STEM fields.

According to the research, there is

“some evidence [that] suggests people

perceive scientists to be more like men

than women,”

Aslo, according to the study, “Women

may be at a disadvantage in science because

people hold different stereotypes

about women than they do about men

and successful scientists, particularly in

scientific fields where women are less

prevalent,”

So what is the solution? The best way to

solve this problem is to be aware that a

bias does exist, and to encourage women

instead of feeding the stereotypes.


55

WE NEED TO

CHANGE THE

WAY WE THINK

ABOUT WOMEN

IN TECHNOLOGY

All it takes for women to bounce

back in technology is our change

of perspectives.

Photo by Women in Tech Africa

Despite given the freedom to choose

whatever career women like to venture

into, there is something that stops

them to enter STEM. A fact that women

only hold around one in four of all

STEM jobs prove that something is

wrong – mostly with the way we think

about women in technology.

There is already so much progress

about women getting jobs in the private

sector but gender inequality is

still visible and gaps are worsening.

Only 18% of computer science degrees

in the US are earned by women,

a drastic slide from a high of 37% in

1984. So what has been wrong?

Mostly, cultural barriers that scream

sexism is a key issue when in the

workforce. They become the minority

in startups and boardrooms from

New York City to Silicon Valley. There

are biases that limit women’s leadership,

thinking that they to conform

to certain image before they can get

a step higher in the ladder. Issues regarding

race and socio-economic circumstances

are also huge factors that

impede human to be in STEM.

To increase the diversity, we have to

think that women in tech can also be

leader even when they are not developers

or engineers. It closes a lot of

doors to them when we think that

way.

It will take a lot of overhauling mindsets

to transform our culture to ensure

that women are given equal opportunities

not only in technology,

but in other fields. And it has to start

with you.

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56 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

EMPOWERING WOMEN

THROUGH ‘KODING’:

THE STORY OF

SUPERMODEL

KLOSS

ARLIE

BY ALICE HERNANDEZ

Karlie Kloss for H&M Lookbook

(Summer 2014) Photo Shoot.

Photo from Celebs Venue.


57

She’s got style; she’s got grace; and,

more importantly, she’s got brains.

She’s a supermodel on a mission to

inspire young girls to run the world

through coding. Her name is Karlie

Elizabeth Kloss.

The 23-year old former Victoria’s

Secret Angel has walked the

runways of the fashion world’s stellar

powerhouses, including Versace,

Louis Vuitton and Balmain; has graced

the cover of world renowned fashion

magazines; and is a member of Taylor

Swift’s #girlsquad. She became a muse

to famous fashion designer John

Galliano, and has starred in various

global ad campaigns. You would

think she’s just a typical snobby model

chased after by the paparazzi while on

a night out with her famous friends

and colleagues, but that’s where you’re

wrong.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Kloss rose

to fame when she was “discovered at

a local benefit show”. Endowed with

talents, Karlie immediately captured

the attention of the fashion world’s

powers that be, and was even named

by Vogue Paris as one of the top 30

models of the 2000s.

But despite Kloss’ meteoric rise to

stardom, she was not content with

just fame, beauty and a tremendous

popularity on social media. In 2015,

Kloss gave up her Angel wings to

pursue her love for coding. Normally,

models quit school to pursue

modeling, but Karlie went against

convention.

While it is no longer a novelty to hear

of famous people being notably smart,

it’s not every day one encounters the

story of a model feeling excited about

her first day in NYU - exhilarated with

the prospect that she could expand

her brand through computer science

and software engineering. Kloss is

that kind of girl, and she loves sharing

her experience to all her followers -

millions of them - on her social media

accounts.

CODING IS COOL

Amanda Southward and

Leilani Jones were two of

the 21 girls chosen to study

coding under the scholarship.

They decided to take the step

forward, not discouraged by

the stereotypes associated

to anyone who studies

programming. Stereotypes

include being nerds, geeks and

basically someone who wants

to commit “social suicide”. But

as soon as they started the twoweek

course, they considered

the experience as one of the

most wonderful they’ve ever

had. The atmosphere inside

the classrooms and workshops

made them realize the

importance of programming

in today’s society.

PHOTOS

Kloss for L'Oreal Paris (Left);

Kloss for FLARE (Right)

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


58 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

How it all began

It was love at first sight.

In 2015, Kloss took a crash course

in coding, and immediately found

herself in love with it. She further

gravitated towards coding, that she

could talk about it like it was one of

her obsessions.

On her website, kodewithklossy.com,

Kloss shared how it was like starting

with coding:

“Before my first coding class, the idea

that I could build something with

code seemed practically impossible.

Within a couple of classes, I was

working with my classmates to

program a small drone. I realized that

code is about creativity — just like art

and fashion — and that women who

have these skills have the power to

shape our future.

Decided on pursuing further studies

on the field, on September 2015, she

enrolled herself in NYU’s Gallatin

School of Individualized Study. Kloss

spoke about her love for coding on the

sidelines of a British Vogue fashion

shoot in December 2015:

“Call me a nerd, but I love coding, the

language of computers. Understanding

coding is a superpower. I met some

tech entrepreneurs and they are

billionaires through learning this

stuff. I’m so competitive with myself,

and I am fascinated by the language

of technology, so I decided to be part

of the conversation... I think it’s sexy

to learn this stuff; it enables and it

empowers both sexes. About two

years ago I started to think about what

happens to me next. I’m a 23-year-old

model and I want to think less about

my looks and more about my future,

and that involves my brain. I want

to run companies, have a business

future.”

Photo by Karlie Kloss Org


59

A Role Model for

Young Women

Kloss uses her extensive following on

social media to let the public know of

the importance of coding in today’s

society. Kloss inspires young girls to

code, and she wants other women to

follow her footsteps. Speaking to The

Guardian, she said: “I think it’s crucial

that young women learn to code as

early as possible to ensure that we

as young women have a voice and a

stake in what the world looks like.”

In an interview with FLARE

magazine, she further explained her

insight about the need for young girls

to embrace their inner geeks: “There’s

a big misconception that coding is

strictly mathematical; it’s actually

incredibly creative… Code runs

everything around us, and young

women are so important to defining

the future.”

In line with her aspiration to introduce

coding to a greater number of women,

she launched her latest project, Kode

With Klossy In an interaction with

Mashable, she explains in greater

detail:

“Since taking my first coding class two

years ago, I’ve learned how creative

and versatile coding is…. I decided

to launch Kode With Klossy to help

expand access to computer science

courses and teach young women how

to harness and apply the power of

code to their personal passions.”

Last year, in collaboration with

Flatiron School, an educational

institution focused on web and

mobile development, Kloss awarded

scholarship grants to 21 young girls

between 13 and 18. For two weeks,

the girls immersed themselves in the

world of coding, along other young

coding enthusiasts.

On top of blowing kisses to her

fans, she wants to let them know

how important it is for women to be

creative, innovative and inclined to

computer science. Kloss embodies

beauty and brains, and she wants the

young women who look up to her to

follow her as well.

The pilot scholarship program was

such a smashing success. Last year’s

initiative attracted 600 applications

from all over the globe. Out of the

chosen 21, 14 had no experience in

coding at all! But, at the end of the

program, a batch of real-deal software

engineers emerged. So, for a second

collaboration with Flatiron School,

Kloss is offering a new batch of girls

a chance to learn the wonderful ways

of coding through the 2016 Kode with

Karlie Scholarship.

“I was truly inspired by all the

applicants for the Kode With Karlie

scholarship, said Kloss through the

Kode with Karlie website. “Their

depth, creativity and thoughtfulness

is a testament to how these young

women will change the world through

code. It was incredibly difficult to

select the recipients as there were

many qualified and incredible

candidates.”

A full-time course, which covers the

ins and outs of software engineering,

is offered to all the scholars. By

the end of two weeks, they would

have learned Ruby - the awesome

programming language used for bigtime

apps, such as Twitter. As for the

output each scholar must produce,

they must build web apps, together

with their classmates.

Would you like to take part of this

awesome scholarship program? Get

ready for Summer 2016.

Similar

Initiatives

Aside from the Kode with Karlie

scholarship program, there are nonprofit

organizations, such as Girls

Who Code and Ladies Learning

Code that offer programs for young

women. These organizations aim to

give women a chance to create and

innovate through computer science

and to provide an opportunity to

compete in a field usually dominated

by men.

Through Kloss’ enthusiastic posts

about her love for coding, projects

involving programming and girls,

and offering scholarship grants,

younger women are encouraged to

be informed about the opportunities

waiting for them when pursue a

career in computer science. This also

provides an avenue to address gender

inequality issues in the workplace.

More with

#KodeWithKarlie

on YouTube

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60 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

ROBOMATTER:

A Global Leader in

STEM Education

Robomatter is a private company that focuses

on STEM Education and was founded

in 2003 by researchers at Carnegie Mellon

University. The company’s mission is

to prepare students to compete in the developing

economy. Their well-researched,

proven methods and educational technology

allows them to offer high quality

STEM education, which prepares their

students to excel in the future.

According to their website, they use “motivational

effects of robotics to excite students

about computer science, science,

technology, engineering, and mathematics.

ROBOTS and ROBOTICS integrate

math, science, engineering, and technology

in ways that motivate and excite students.”

GineersNow was able to get an exclusive

interview with Robomatter Inc.’s President

and CEO, James “Skip” Smith.

THE PRESIDENT AND CEO

GN: Introduce yourself.

SKIP: James “Skip” Smith, President and

CEO of Robomatter, Incorporated.

I grew up in a small town on the east coast

of Florida, in the shadow of the Kennedy

Space Center. In fact, my first job was

working as a computer operator at the

Kennedy Space Center. I worked with a

group called Launch Process Support and

our job was to help support space shuttle

launches.

GN: How many years have you been working

in your industry?

SKIP: I got my first job in technology in

1986 and have been working in the industry

ever since. I have spent a good deal of

my time working in financial technology

(FinTech), which enabled me to see, first

hand, the need for quality technology education

at all levels. Working in FinTech,

I became aware of the critical skills that

are needed by employers, and the gap that

often exists with employees entering the

workplace. In today’s world, technology

skills aren’t optional – they’re essential,

and it’s surprising how many people are

lacking in basic, essential skills.

I joined Robomatter in early 2015, and

before joining Robomatter, I was the

President of iCarnegie Global Learning,

which provided educational strategy to

governments, businesses, and institutions

around the world. I’ve found that one of

the most rewarding things about working

with educational technology (Ed Tech) is

being able to educate the youth and make

a difference in their lives. While visiting

one of our customers in India, I met with

a group of students who had been using

our STEM curriculum. During our conversation,

one of the students said to me,

“Because of what I learned using your curriculum,

I believe I can be an astronaut.”

Moments like that help to clarify the importance

of what we’re doing.

GN: Tell us some personal stories that engineers

will like to hear. Tell us what other

people don’t know about SKIP.

SKIP: One of the first programs I wrote

as a professional was a program for a

mainframe computer that had been programmed

to boot from a card deck. The

program I created replaced the card deck

and enabled the mainframe to boot from a

magnetic tape instead. While that sounds

like such old technology now, it’s interesting

think about how much technology has

progressed in the last few decades, and

how much it will progress in the decades

to come. That’s one of the reasons that

STEM education is so important.


61

ROBOMATTER

GN: What is Robomatter? What does it

do?

SKIP: Robomatter is a K-12 STEM education

company that provides complete,

research-based, STEM solutions that focus

on the “T & E” (technology and engineering)

aspects of STEM. Our computer

science and robotics curriculum is

based on research and best practices from

the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

and the University of Pittsburgh Learning

Research and Development Center.

Using unique and engaging tools, technology,

and teaching methods, we teach

kids foundational concepts, processes and

principles, not just facts to memorize. In

addition to teaching skills and concepts

in computer science, we also emphasize

the soft skills that are so critical to students’

success – things like computational

thinking, programming, problem solving,

teamwork, and creativity.

This is very different than traditional education.

But, we’re reacting to what students

need to succeed, not just today, but

20 years from now. Innovation is critical

in today’s world, and will only continue

to become more critical. Our curriculum

is designed to help develop the next

generation of innovators who will create

the products and processes that drive our

future.

GN: How did the concept start? Describe

the “Aha!” experience

SKIP: Robomatter was founded in 2003 by

researchers from the Carnegie Mellon Robotics

Academy. The Robotics Academy’s

mission is to use the motivational effects

of robotics to excite students about science

and technology, and Robomatter was

started with the goal of operationalizing

the research and educational technology

developed by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics

Academy.

We began by selling individual, online

courses to teach introductory programming

and engineering skills. However,

because we’ve seen how important STEM

education is, and because we also seen

how important teachers are to the success

of STEM education, we have grown

to provide full, turn-key solutions that are

designed to help any teacher easily implement

a STEM program, even if the teacher

has no prior STEM experience. We like to

say that STEM education is critical, but it

doesn’t have to be complex. We take the

complexity out of implementing a STEM

computer science or robotics program by

providing the training, materials, and support

they need to feel empowered in their

STEM classroom.

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62 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

GN: What are the special features of your

solution? Describe the specs, features and

benefits to the consumers.

SKIP: There are three features that really

distinguish us from other STEM education

solutions:

- Our curriculum is research-based.

The curriculum and courses

we create are informed and shaped by research

from the Carnegie Mellon Robotics

Academy and the University of Pittsburgh

Learning Research and Development

Center. That means the technology and

teaching methods we use are founded on

principles about the most effective STEM

teaching methods and practices.

- We offer complete, turnkey

solutions. That means our classroom-ready

curriculum and tools are

designed to help any teacher implement

Robomatter’s STEM solutions, regardless

of their experience.

- We empower teachers to be

successful in their STEM classrooms. We

know that implementing new curriculum

can be difficult, and that’s why we provide

comprehensive training and support to

help teachers achieve success in adopting

new technology and curriculum.

GN: What are the current statistics of beneficiaries,

installations, teachers, projects,

etc…?

SKIP: Our educational solutions are used

by millions of kids around the world, in

over 16,000 educational institutions. And,

we’ve trained over 11,000 teachers in how

to successfully teach STEM Robotics and

Computer Science.

GN: How big is the social impact? Can

you provide a qualitative and quantitative

data?

SKIP: We’ve been a part of STEM and

Computer Science initiatives around the

world, from local school districts in Pittsburgh,

to school systems in Malaysia. It’s

great to see our curriculum touching the

lives of so many students across the globe.

THE COMPANY

GN: Are you an educational institution,

social enterprise, non-profit or private

company?

SKIP: We are a private company with

about 40 employees, primarily located in

our headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

However, our team spans the globe

with employees in California, Colorado,

Florida, and the Netherlands.

GN: Describe your mission, vision and

values.

SKIP: We’re committed to making sure

students are prepared to succeed in a

global, emerging economy. That means

creating students who are more than just

consumers of technology – they’re innovators

and producers of technology. That’s

a fundamental difference between what

we do, and what you find in traditional

education.

GN: Describe your company work culture?

SKIP: Because we’re focused on preparing

students for success 20 years from now,

we need to be able to adapt to the ever

changing demands of technology, before

the changes have even happened. This

requires agility and dedication to innovation,

two things that are woven into, and

drive, everything we do.

We use an Agile development process,

which helps us quickly adapt to feedback

and new circumstances. We also have

a great team of smart, and enthusiastic

people who are really committed to and

believe in what they do. And, because we

have such a collaborative process, everyone

has a voice in the process, and ownership

in the final product, which makes

for a great development experience, and

an even better end product.

GN: Where is this company headed?

What’s your future expansion plans? Describe

briefly your strategic goals (10 years

to 20 years plan)

SKIP: We’re focused on changing the way

STEM education is taught and how it’s

integrated into students’ everyday lives.

Technology affects every aspect of our

lives, and education needs to adapt to that

fact. Robomatter is driving innovation in

STEM education, in terms of pedagogy,

implementation, and educational technology.

This is because we want to change

the way STEM is taught across the globe.

Our goal is to make the classroom of the

future a reality. 20 years from now, we will

be able to look back and say that STEM

education is fundamentally different because

of Robomatter.


63

THE ORGANIZATION

GN: How many engineers, scientists and

mathematicians do you have in your company?

SKIP: About 50% - 60% of our employees

are engineers or computer science professionals.

We also employ a number of

educational experts and work closely with

teachers to understand the realities of the

classroom.

GN: How do you motivate your employees?

SKIP: They’re innovators and producers

of technology. That’s a fundamental difference

between what we do, and what you

find in traditional education.

ADVICE TO THE

YOUNG ENGINEER

GN: Please give advice and words of wisdom

to our young, global audience. What

would you like to tell the young engineers

or teens that are currently taking engineering

or recently graduated from engineering

university. Any inspiring words

that you can give to those young engineers

who want to become entrepreneurs

like you?

SKIP: My advice to young engineers and

innovators is to think bigger. When you’re

inventing and developing something,

make sure you’re doing it right, so that it

can perform at scale.

It’s also important to not build your product

in isolation. I’m a big proponent of an

Agile approach, which means getting a

minimum viable product (MVP) to market

quickly, so you can quickly get feedback.

And finally, it’s critical that you learn the

business that you are in. I began my career

as a techie, but my thought process about

how to design solutions changed dramatically

when I learned about the business

side of things. It’s important to make sure

your creating something that is going to

make a positive impact for your organization.

Don’t get caught up in implementing

technology for technology’s sake.

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64 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Inspiring Women to

Excel in TecH

Women Who Code (WWCode) is a global

non-profit organization based in the U.S.

who are dedicated to inspiring women to

excel in technology careers. They believe

that the world of technology will be better

if women are equally represented, and this

has been their guiding principle.

According to their website their key initiatives

are Education, Development,

Advocacy, Community, and Consulting.

With their team of Board members, Advisors,

and their volunteer leadership teams

around the globe, they work hard to be

able to meet their goals to inspire more

women to pursue and continue careers in

tech.

GineersNow was able to get an exclusive

interview with Women Who Code.

WOMEN WHO CODE

GN: What is Women Who Code? What

does it do?

Women Who Code (WWCode): Women

who code is global non-profit dedicated to

empowering women to excel in their technical

careers.

GN: How did the concept start? Describe

the “Aha!” experience

WWCode: Women Who Codes started

as a community organization in San

Francisco, where a group of engineers got

together, wanting to create a space where

they felt they belong in the industry. As it

turned out, they found many women, who

wanted the same space in San Francisco,

and created events week after week to

make a space of belonging where women

can excel in their careers. Soon enough,

we realized we’re working hard to make

this opportunity happen in San Francisco,

and its added value to our lives and value

to our friends. We’re advancing in our

careers and we’re exceling. We wanted to

bring that experience to women all over

the world.

GN: Describe your journey with the company…

your experiences, struggles and

achievements.

WWCode: I’m knocking on a warehouse

door trying to get into an office space in

mid-market San Francisco on a Tuesday

evening. I’ve never been there before and

I’m a little bit nervous. Someone answers

the door and it’s as if they were expecting

me. They walked me into a room that is

surrounded by people—who identify as


65

women on laptops, and collaborating.

They’re young, they’re old, they’re employed,

they’re also jobless, they’re short,

they’re tall, and they welcomed me with

open arms, and they introduced themselves,

and I introduced myself. They

asked me what I’m working on, rather

they tell me what I’m working on and they

ask how I can help. They helped me get my

development environment set up, and we

get started. I come back week after week

every Tuesday, rain or shine, on bus, train

or car—regardless, I show up. I show up,

because it’s fun. I leave each event smarter

than I did when I came in. Fast forward

3 years, that’s what the same experience

looks like for 50,000 people in 60 cities.

Recreating that very experience all around

the world that creates that feeling of belonging

in the tech industry is one I’ve

been very fortunate to be a part of. As an

organization, we’ve been able to achieve

this through our members and leaders,

and it’s been a wonderful experience.

GN: Why do women need Engineering,

Science, Tech, Coding, and Math? What’s

the importance?

WWCode: Really, the question is: Why

does tech need women in it? There are

a number of reasons, many of them are

purely economic. Having the disparity

in tech hurts the technology companies.

Women make up at least half of the users

of technology products and websites.

Further, women are the biggest consumers.

Some analysis show that they account

for 4.3 trillion of the total US consumers

spending of 1.9 trillion. Another reason,

is that there are not enough jobs to fill in

this industry, there are 1.4 million software

engineering jobs that will be available in

2020. 1 million of those jobs are expected

to go unfilled by just traditional avenues.

In the next 10 years, 77% of jobs will be

related to coding. This means there’s a

huge opportunity for everyone, especially

women, to be a part of the technical workforce.

Another reason is that companies

that hire for diversity are more successful.

They have strong female leadership generated

in return in equity to 10.1 per year

versus the 7.4 of those without.

On top of the economic reasons for global

economy, the truth is, working at a technology

company is lots of fun. As an engineer,

you’re constantly collaborating with

different team members to solve problems

together. Built iterate, design, test. You’re

always running experiments to figure out

if the way you solved a problem was the

right one. It’s very collaborative, it’s high

paying, and has extremely flexible hours.

It’s super great, especially for mothers who

need the flexibility to manage being a parent

and having a career.

GN: How big is the social impact? Can you

provide a brief qualitative and quantitative

data of your social impact?

WWCode: Rather, I’d like to point out

which problem we’re focusing on right

now. Currently, 56% of women are leaving

tech mid-career. This is within a 5

year period. Men on the other hand are

leaving at a much lower rate. Of the 56%

leaving tech, 39% of those are engineers.

Why are they leaving? 24% of them are

leaving to take on non-technical jobs in

different companies, 22% are becoming

self-employed, 20% take time out of the

workforce, and 10% go to work at a startup

company. At women who code, we’re

working to make sure we retain women

in tech, they become leaders, and we also

want to make sure that those women who

left tech can re-enter into the industry.

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66 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

THE COMPANY

GN: Are you an educational institution,

social enterprise, non-profit or private

company?

WWCode: Women who code is a global

non-profit

GN: How big is your company?

WWCode: Women who code is global, we

are in 20 countries, 60 cities and have over

50,000 members

GN: How many engineers, scientists, and

mathematicians do you have in your company?

WWCode: Women who code members

include 1% executive, 35% engineers, 20%

front end developers, 5% entrepreneurs,

5% junior engineers, and 34% learning to

code and reentering the workforce.


67

ADVICE TO ALL

THE GIRLS

GN: Please give advice and words of wisdom

to our young global audience. What

would you like to tell to the millennials

and teens? Any inspiring words that you

can share?

WWCode: Being in tech has been a great

privilege for me. I get to solve exciting

problems with dynamic teams who cared

just as much about the problem as I do.

We solve problems by talking, thinking,

drawing, writing on white boards,

reading, laughing, and programming. I

couldn’t ask for a better gig. I encourage

you to explore your passion and your

curiosity, whether it’s software, robotics,

science, math or anything else. Just remember,

you belong in this industry, and

when you grow up there will be more role

models who look like you.

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68 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

ENGINEERING

FOR KIDS

Inspiring the Next

Generation of Engineers

Science, Technology, Engineering

and Mathematics (STEM) education

is one of the most trending topics in

the academic field. Schools are looking

for different ways to integrate

STEM programs into their curriculum,

making it one of their top priorities.

Engineering For Kids, a Fredericksburg,

Virginia-based franchise

offers a range of learning-based

classes which includes after school

programs, camps, evening classes,

in-school field trips, workshops and

even birthday parties! Not only do

they focus on teaching engineering

skills to young children, but also

highlight the potential success the

children can have in engineering

fields in the future.

GineersNow got the chance to interview

Dori Roberts, the founder and

CEO of Engineering For Kids.

The Woman Who

Started It All

My name is Dori Roberts, and I’m

the founder and C.E.O. of Engineering

For Kids. While I was born

in Texas, I have lived in Northern

Virginia since the age of fourteen

and call it home. I was the middle

of three siblings growing up, and

I was very much a hands on kid. I

always got satisfaction out of fixing

things and putting things together. I

remember helping my friends when

they needed their bikes repaired or

when my mom needed help repairing

her sewing machine. My Mother

was a stay at home Mom, and my

father is an entrepreneur, owning

several businesses in the field of construction.

I am married to an attorney and

have two kids, ages thirteen and

fifteen. My kids mean so much to

me, and their passion for engineering

helped inspire me to start Engineering

For Kids. My son, Matthew

wants to be a software engineer and

loves our EFK Electronic Game

Design, Robotics, and Minecraft

camps. He is also a sports fan and

has been playing baseball since the

age of 4. My daughter loves science,

specifically Biology and wants to

combine her love of science and animals

and someday be a large animal

vet. She spends her free time riding

horses and volunteering at a local

Therapeutic Riding Program. As a

family, we love family game nights,

watching Survivor, going to sporting

events and supporting our local

Washington DC teams!

Project Overview

Prior to starting Engineering For

Kids, I taught math, science, and engineering

courses for eleven years. I

earned a Bachelor of Science degree

in Math and Science Elementary/

Middle School Education in 1997

and a Master of Science degree in

Technology Education in 2000.

While teaching at a local high school

in Virginia, I began gathering students

each year to compete in events

in technology and engineering at

the local, state, and national level.

In 2007, I brought my then six-yearold

son, Matthew, and eight-yearold

daughter Kaley, along to a few

of the competitions. Matthew and

Kaley were mesmerized by all of the

engineering projects created by my

high school students. They wanted

to compete too! After looking for

Engineering clubs geared toward

kids their age, I was surprised to

find that there weren’t many offerings.

This was a major “aha!” moment

for me as it was the experience

that inspired me to start an engineering

education program for kids.

When I asked Matthew if he knew

what an engineer was, his response

was one many children have: “someone

who drives a train,” he chimed.

Once I explained what engineers do,

his response was a delighted, “Cool,

I want to be an engineer!” Matthew

and Kaley soon became the test subjects

for my curriculum. Matthew

and Kaley loved the projects and

wanted more! This inspired me to

teach an after school engineering

class at their elementary school. I

was surprised to find out how quickly

the class filled up. The first class I

offered was a Civil Engineering class

in which the student built model

bridges. The feedback from parents

was overwhelmingly positive!


69

Shortly after, I started Engineering

for Kids and began offering summer

camps, birthday parties, after-school

programs, and evening classes at local

community centers and schools.

At its core, Engineering For Kids

brings science, technology, engineering,

and math (STEM), to kids

ages 4 to 14 in a fun and challenging

way. We are proud to inspire

children to build on their natural

curiosity by teaching engineering

concepts through hands-on learning.

Engineering is, after all, one of

the fastest growing industries in the

world!

One thing that sets our program

apart is that we encourage parents

to enroll their children in EFK programs

as early as four years old.

Between the ages of four to six,

kids have not developed that “boys

play with this, girls play with that”

thought process. They do not yet

know about stereotypes or gender

roles, and if we can reach them at an

age where do not have preconceived

notions of gender roles, we can inspire

them to continue their journeys

in learning more about math

and science.

EFK offers a proprietary curriculum

that is extremely diverse with many

opportunities to learn S.T.E.M.

through content and technology

based programs. Some examples

of content-based programs include

aerospace, mechanical, environmental,

civil and chemical engineering.

Technology-based programs

include robotics, electronic game

design, software and hardware engineering.

While other programs

in our space focus on LEGO kits,

students enrolled in EFK’s aerospace

engineering programs design

and build rockets, parachutes and

lunar landers. Students enrolled in

mechanical engineering programs

design and build rollercoasters, sails

and catapults.

Engineering For Kids

Although Engineering For Kids basically

started as an after school program,

the company has since been

franchised and boasts over a hundred

locations internationally. I started

running EFK out of my home in the

summer of 2009, using local organizations

like the YMCA to conduct

programs in. We opened our first

brick and mortar corporate location a

year later, and two years after that we

began franchising.

The Engineering For Kids mission

and vision has remained simple and

unchanged since our inception. Our

vision is engineering education for

every child. Our mission is to provide

fun and educational engineering

programs to children to inspire

them to pursue engineering careers.

The availability of youth engineering

education is so important because it

shows children that an integrated, cooperative

approach to learning from

our failures is important to their education

and the future success of our

nation. Children are our future, and

by giving them the tools and the passion

for S.T.E.M., we equip them to

not only develop fulfilling and successful

careers, but set them up to

find solutions for both the problems

we struggle with today, and the ones

we will encounter down the road.

Having a positive company work culture

is very important to me. Engineering

activities are supposed to be

fun, so I try to stress that attitude in

all areas of the company. One way I

do this is by setting aside time off for

team building and small celebrations.

We can never do it often enough but

we try to get out of the office to celebrate

birthdays or other evens to drive

home the sense of community in the

office. We have had costume contests,

gone to a ropes course, played frisbee

golf, laser tag, etc.

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70 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

The Organization

Engineering For Kids is currently

comprised of just under 150 locations

and 1000 employees. Most of

our owners come from a teaching or

engineering background so I would

consider them all engineers! As

previously mentioned, I put a very

strong emphasis on team building,

as it really helps unite us as we try to

make our vision a reality.

Advice to the

Young Engineer

My main piece of advice is always

to follow your heart and realize

that your dream is your dream for

a reason. If you feel led to dream it,

why not make it a reality? It’s also

important for young engineers to

ask lots of questions and never stop

learning. Fortunately, this comes

naturally to most engineers as engineering

at its core is all about challenging

what you know and figuring

out different ways to do things.


71

For the Young Engineer:


Follow your

HEART

and realize

that YOUR

DREAM

IS YOUR

DREAM FOR

A REASON.


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72 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

What is a Stemette?

Stemette (n):

a female who has the

capacity to go into

one or more of the

STEM fields

Inspiring UK’s Girls

to Join STEM

One Step at a Time

by Cielo Panda

Many people around the world have tried

to find reasons why women don’t go into

Science, Technology, Engineering and

Mathematics (STEM), as well as find

ways to combat this. Stemettes is a group

of volunteers from the STEM industry

who are doing what they can to combat

the lack of women in STEM. They are an

award-winning social enterprise who are

inspiring the next generation of women

into pursuing the fields of Science, Technology,

Engineering and Mathematics.

In their 3 years of operations, 7,000 girls

from the UK, Ireland, and other countries

in Europe have already been inspired and

became involved in STEMettes.

According to their website, STEMette’s

mission is “To inspire the next generation

of females into Science, Technology,

Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields by

showing them the amazing women already

in STEM via a series of panel events,

hackathons, exhibitions, and mentoring

schemes.”

Anne-Marie Imafidon is the Head STE-

Mette and cofounder of STEMettes. She

has always been interested in business,

maths and technology since she was a

child. Some of her many achievements include

passing two GCSEs (Mathematics &

ICT) at the age of ten; holding the current

world record for the youngest girl ever to

pass A-level computing, which she got at

the age of 11; a Guardian ‘Top 10 women

in tech you need to know’; and being one

of the youngest to be awarded a Masters’

degree in Mathematics and Computer

Science by the University of Oxford, aged

20.

She is also the co-founder of Outbox Incubator:

The world’s first tech incubator

for teenage girls.


73

Advice for All Young Girls

As a final piece of advice for all the young

women who want to pursue the world

of science, technology, engineering and

math, here’s what Anne-Marie has to say:

“Seek forgiveness, not permission. It’s really

easy to say you might need permission

to do this, or ask someone if it’s okay before

you do stuff. A lot of this is exploration,

so if you ask people—they say no. So

it’s better for you to go out and explore and

then say you’re sorry if it doesn’t work, because

chances are it’s going to work if it’s

something new that you’re discovering,”

“It has done really well for me and the

only thing I say is “you do make mistakes”,

which is what a lot of teenage girls are worried

about, if they’re going to mess things

up or do something wrong or end up with

failure. You’re going to fail, but failure is

not the person—it’s what happened. A

lot of great things have been made from

a mistake. Your failure is definitely a good

thing, so learn to learn from that and what

you did to get that. So that’s my few main

pieces of advice.”

Importance of

Teaching Women STEM

“It’s not teaching, it’s inspiring,” Anne-Marie

told GineersNow.

“In the UK, women and girls are taught

alongside boys and men in schools.

They’re all taught sciences and math and

now they’re taught coding. And the importance

of inspiring girls and imparting

knowledge to make that choice is to

actually increase the digital and technical

worlds,” she added.

According to Anne-Marie, if we’re going

to be solving any problems, we need

to see the bigger picture from different

perspectives to be able to solve it. So we

can’t rely on only one gender to solve these

problems. We also can’t assume that all

the knowledge and the skills for problem

solving reside in men.

“Fully, it comes into showing that even

in the UK, girls outperform boys when

it comes to knowledge and understanding

science and math. So why would you

not encourage, inspire or empower them

[women] to explore that or discover new

things or create new products or solve

extra problems,” The head STEMette explained.

“So it’s not just for the women, it’s for everyone,

it’s in everyone’s interest that we

empower women for this. We all have

problems; we have problems with water,

we have problems with pollution, we all

have these social problems, all kinds of

problems. And so we need the best brains

and as many as we can to solve those

problems.”

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74 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Empowering

Girls to

Pursue STEM

“In middle school, 74% of girls express

interest in Science, Technology, Engineering

and Math (STEM), but when choosing

a college major, just 0.4% of high school

girls select computer science.”

Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization

that believes in the importance of

closing the gender gap in technology. They

aim to inspire girls to pursue computer

science. They engage web developers, engineers,

executives and entrepreneurs to

teach and empower the next generation.

GineersNow interviewed Emily Reid, the

Director of Education at Girls Who Code.

THE DIRECTOR

OF EDUCATION

GineersNow: Introduce yourself (where

are you from? Your designation in the

company, describe your family life & kids,

growing up, and other personal things

you wanted to share)

Emily: My name is Emily Reid and I am

the Director of Education at Girls Who

Code. I grew up in Wallingford, CT, a

small town about halfway between Boston

and NYC.

GN: How many years have you been

working in your industry (tech, engineering,

education)?

Emily: I’ve been in the tech industry

for over 7 years. I started my career as a

cyber-security engineer at the MITRE

Corporation, where I create courses on

our security technology and developed a

strong interest in education. I moved on

to get a Masters in Computer Science at

Columbia University while working at

CU’s Teacher’s College, where I discovered

Girls Who Code. I have been a fulltime

director at Girls Who Code for about

year and a half.

GN: Tell us some personal stories that engineers

will like to hear. Tell us what other

people doesn’t know about you (trivia, interesting,

funny stories).

Emily: I was definitely not your typical

tech geek growing up. I loved math and

science, but I was also choir and theater

geek. I was not the kid pulling apart computers

and putting them back together. I

ended up finding computer science and

programming when I was in college,

and it was an unlikely lesson that really

hooked me: my first theoretical lecture

on the Church-Turing thesis and lambda

calculi.

Photo by Knight Foundation

THE JOURNEY OF

GIRLS WHO CODE

GN: What is Girls Who Code? What does

it do?

Emily: Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit

organization working to close the

gender gap in the technology and engineering

sectors. With support from public

and private partners, Girls Who Code

works to educate, inspire, and equip middle

& high school girls with the skills and

resources to pursue opportunities in computing

fields.

GN: How did the concept start? Describe

the “Aha!” experience

Emily: Our founder and CEO, Reshma

Saujani, was running for Congress in

2011. She’d constantly visit schools and see

classrooms of boys learning to code with

the hope of being the next Steve Jobs or

Mark Zuckerberg, but she rarely saw girls

in those classrooms. Her question “Where

are all the girls?” became an obsession

that lead her to start Girls Who Code.

GN: Describe your journey with the company…

your experiences, struggles and

achievements.

Emily: I got started with Girls Who Code

as a Summer Immersion Program teacher

when I was finishing my Masters in

Computer Science. It was a life-changing

experience. The change that I saw in my

class of 20 high school students over seven

weeks, in terms of their confidence and

their technical ability, was a change that

personally took me years. As an Education

Director, the biggest challenge in my

role has been to create a curriculum that

is scalable and accessible, and to build a

team of amazing CS educators as the organization

grows.


75

GN: Why do women need coding?

Emily: It’s not just women who need to

learn how to code; everyone should learn

to code. Using technology everyday but

not being able to code is like being able

to read but not able to write.

GN: How big is the social impact? Can

you provide a brief qualitative and quantitative

data of your social impact?

Emily: We have 10,000 alumni of our

Summer Immersion and Clubs Programs.

90% of our Summer Immersion Program

alumni have declared a major in computer

science or a related discipline, and 77%

had a different intended path before Girls

Who Code. This is significant because the

U.S. Department of Labor projects that by

2020, there will be 1.4 million computer

specialist job openings. Currently, US universities

are expected to produce enough

graduates to fill 29% of those jobs.

GN: Are there other important topics that

you want to share?

Emily: The White House recently announced

its #CSForAll initiative, which is

a program to give all students in our country

the chance to learn CS in school. While

this is a historic step, it’s not necessarily

sufficient, as many girls and women in the

computer science field choose not to stay

because they feel isolated and unsupported

in their pursuits. If we want girls to succeed

in CS, we need to help them connect

coding to their passions and create a support

system of role models and mentors

for them to keep at it.

WHAT GIRLS WHO

CODE IS FOR

GN: Are you an educational institution,

social enterprise, non-profit or private

company? Describe your company (structure,

history, board or advisers)

Emily: Girls Who Code is an education

nonprofit organization with the support of

public and private partners.

GN: How big is your company? (number

of manpower and locations)

Emily: We have 45 full-time employees

with offices in New York City and San

Francisco.

GN: Describe your mission, vision and

values.

Emily: Our goal is to debug the gender

gap in technology and empower women to

pursue their passions. Our vision is gender

parity in computer science, period.

GN: Where is this company headed?

What’s your future expansion plans? Describe

briefly your strategic goals (10 years

to 20 years plan)

Emily: We are creating the largest pipeline

of female engineers in the US with the

hope of teaching 1 million girls to code by

2020. Our #HireMe campaign is a partnership

with top US companies who have

pledged to hire girls from our programs.

THE TRENDS IN

CODING

GN: Tell us about the recent changes,

trends and forecast in your industry (Coding,

STEM education, robotics, computer

or technology).

Emily: Barack Obama has called for $4

billion to be spent on computer science

education in 2017. This is a historic event

to ensure that the supply for careers in

computer science and engineering are met.

Now, more than ever, there’s a need for

Girls Who Code. As access to computer

science expands, we need more role models

than ever.

ADVICE TO ALL

THE GIRLS

GN: Please give advice and words of wisdom

to our young global audience. What

would you like to tell to the millennials and

teens? Any inspiring words that you can

share?

Emily: “I thought we were going to be

paired up with people of similar abilities.”

That was what my Intro to Computer Science

lab partner, Gerald, said to me, 10

minutes into my first ever CS lab. This

phrase has stuck in my head for over a decade.

As a student with no CS background

and a big dose of doubt and isolation in a

class of 20 boys, these words crushed me.

I almost walked out right then and there,

leaving computer science and my jerk of a

lab partner in the dust. Today, I am a computer

scientist and the director of curriculum

at Girls Who Code. If I had listened to

Gerald ten years ago, or my own internal

naysayer, I would never have been able to

say that. Learning to code – or learning

any profession – takes persistence. It won’t

always be easy and people will constantly

challenge you, especially if you’re good.

When you have those moments of selfdoubt

and fear, remember that you’re not

alone and by pushing forward you have the

opportunity to become the role model that

you wish you had.

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76 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Ladies

Learning

Code

Empowering Women

(and Everyone Else)

It all started with a tweet. Heather Payne,

one of the organization’s founders, wanted

to learn how to code on her own. As

soon as she asked her friends who felt

the same way like she did, she organized

a workshop for an Introduction to

JavaScript five years ago. The tickets to

the said workshop was sold out and fast

track to 2016, the organization that came

to be, Ladies Learning Code, is on its way

to becoming the “leading resource for

women and youth to become passionate

builders” in their community.

What makes Ladies Learning Code,

Toronto-based, a little extra special is its

aim to provide learners of all ages to be

given the opportunity to learn coding and

“feel the joy and satisfaction of making

something from scratch.”

Get the chance to know more about Ladies

Learning Code in this exclusive interview

with Melissa Sariffodeen and Laura Plant,

co-executive directors of the company.

THE EXECUTIVE

DIRECTORS

GN: Introduce yourself.

Melissa Sariffodeen and Laura Plant -

we’re the Co-Executive Directors of Ladies

Learning Code based in Toronto, Canada.

We both started out as non-technical

with backgrounds in business and HR

but it was through our desire to learn

critical technical skills that we started the

organization.

GN: How many years have you been

working in your industry?

We’ve been running Ladies Learning Code

for 5 years this July!


77

LADIES

LEARNING

CODE

GN: Who/What is Ladies Learning Code?

What does it do?

Ladies Learning Code is a not-for-profit

organization with the mission to be the leading

resource for women and youth to become

passionate builders - not just consumers - of

technology by learning technical skills in a

hands-on, social, and collaborative way. From

workshops to courses to camps, we offer our

communities fun, accessible ways to learn

about coding and other digital skills!

GN: How did the concept started? Describe

the “Aha!” experience

Ladies Learning Code started with a tweet.

One of our four founders, Heather Payne,

knew there had to be a better way to learn to

code than struggling on her own. She wasn’t

the only one. So she took to Twitter and issued

a call out to her community to see who else

would be interested in coding workshops for

women. The response was immediate and

enthusiastic. The founding team - Heather

Payne, Laura Plant, Melissa Sariffodeen and

Breanna Hughes launched our first workshop,

an Introduction to JavaScript, on August 6th,

2011 and tickets sold out in a day. So they

planned another workshop. And another.

Shortly after starting Ladies Learning Code,

we realized that it wasn’t going to be enough.

If we really wanted to have an impact on the

number of women in tech, we would need to

start younger. So, in early 2012, we launched

Girls Learning Code, which offers workshops,

camps and other events for 8- to 13-year-old

girls. Hundreds of girls in Toronto have already

participated in Girls Learning Code programs,

and we’re now expanding the program to new

cities.

A year later, due to overwhelming demand

from parents, we launched Kids Learning

Code - co-ed workshops, camps and events for

8- to 13-year-old boys and girls.

Most recently, we launched the code:mobile

- Canada’s first coding truck that will drive

across the country in the Summer of 2016

teaching kids to code.

GN: Why do women need coding?

Digital skills, which include coding, are

powerful tools for building a thriving career

that is both intellectually and financially

rewarding. Even if you don’t use coding every

day in your job, being able to speak that digital

language and interact with others who do

use technology in their every day roles will

set you apart and help you progress in your

career. Plus, as we said, it really is just another

language! And the great thing about learning

another language is that it helps expand your

perspective and encourages you to think in

new ways about the world.

GN: How big is the social impact? Can you

provide a brief qualitative and quantitative

data of your social impact?

Now, four years after being founded, Ladies

Learning Code operates in 22+ cities across

the country and has had over 25,000 learners

attend one of our workshops. We have reached

the point in our life as an organization where

participants who started as learners coming

to our programs -- both adults and youth

-- have now become volunteer mentors and

instructors. It’s really inspiring to see the

community grow and mature in this way.

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78 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


79

WHAT LIES AHEAD

GN: Are you an educational institution,

social enterprise, non-profit or private

company? Describe your company.

We are a not-for-profit organization with

a small core team of five people and we

are supported by a volunteer board that

includes leaders in the Canadian tech

industry. Outside of our core team, we

have a network of 50+ Chapter Leads who

run workshops in their communities,

as well as a large network of volunteers

(including our amazing mentors and

instructors!).

GN: Describe your mission, vision and

values.

Our mission is to become the leading

resource for women and youth seeking

to learn the skills that will enable them

to become passionate creators -- not just

consumers -- of technology. We believe in

imparting those skills in an environment

that is is social and collaborative and that

encourages hands-on learning. A big part

of creating this environment is our 4:1

ratio of learners to volunteer mentors

at every workshop. While the volunteer

instructor leads the course, mentors

work one-on-one with learners to help

them when they get stuck and provide

encouragement and feedback as they

move through the workshop. We want our

learners -- of all ages! -- to feel the joy and

satisfaction of making something from

scratch.

GN: Where is this company headed?

What’s your future expansion plans?

Describe briefly your strategic goals

(preferably your 10-20 years plan)

Inspired by our mission to become the

leading resource teaching women and

youth to become passionate builders --

not just consumers -- of the technology,

Ladies Learning Code has a bold goal:

to reach 200,000 learners by 2020. This

includes the learners that we reach

every year through our National Learn

to Code Day initiative (September 26),

where learners from coast to coast take

part in simultaneous coding workshops!

Additionally, we are currently piloting

code:clubs, a coding education resource

tool for educators, and we are about to hit

the road with our code:mobile which is

travelling across Canada over the summer

of 2016 teaching thousands of youth how

to code!

GN: How many engineers, scientists and

mathematicians do you have in your

company?

We have STEM professionals from all

sorts of industries among our thousands

of volunteers across Canada!

ADVICE TO ALL

THE GIRLS

GN: Please give advice and words of

wisdom to our young global audience.

What would you like to tell to the

millennials and teens? Any inspiring

words that you can share?

Coding is a beautiful tool that can allow

you to create anything you dream of and

more. It’s not always easy and you’ll fail a

lot along the way but building some from

scratch and seeing it out in the world

impacting the lives of others is really

awesome and totally worth it.

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80 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Fixing the

Gender Gap in

Engineering

Faculty Hiring

Since the rise of the fields in science,

technology, engineering and mathematics,

it has been a struggle to balance

the opportunities in such fields

between the male and the female.

The male has always outnumbered

the female – with this demographic,

women keep on struggling because

of the prejudice which hinders them

to perform. Faculty hiring is no exception.

A study presented at the peer-reviewed

International World Wide

Web Conference in Montreal,

Canada showed that in the hiring

of computer science tenure-track

faculty members, only about 15%

are women. Although the bias is

not that blatant, the authors found

that women involved in trainings

are not given much attention which

poses gender-associated differences

in productivity, postdoctoral experience,

and institutional prestige of

degree-granting institutions.

Brian Keegan, a research associate

at the Harvard Business School and

non-author of the study weighs in,

“This is evidence that gender doesn’t

stand by itself; it’s baked into all

these other processes.”

Efforts towards hiring more female

faculty members in STEM seem to

not work on its own as women remain

in the small slice of the pie

among faculty members and at the

top levels of education. There is no

quantitative and qualitative data to

explain this imbalance yet, because

it requires an in-depth study of

the underlying reasons. It could be

tricky, too, because of the variety of

factors needed to be considered.

The absence of the science in explaining

this gender gap prohibits

it to solve the problem. To change

it to how it should be, we need to

trace the real problems through the

required. But definitely, for now,

women’s involvement in graduate

programs in STEM is a great start

while data scientists are still figuring

it all out.

Engineering

Universities

to Boost

Recruitment

of Women and

Minorities

Rice University is among the many

engineering schools that have programs

to recruit and advance women

and other underrepresented students.

Which is why Rice University

stood out among Sydney Gibson’s—a

Rice University bioengineering

Ph.D. Student—list of grad school

choices. As an African-American

woman, she was impressed by the

university’s efforts to recruit women

into a mostly white male domain by

utilizing social activities, mentoring

opportunities and professional development

programs.

Now, women earn more than 3- percent

of engineering graduate degrees

in this university, compared to the

national average which is around 23

percent.

In the engineering field, women

comprise only 15% of the workforce,

while black, Hispanic and American

Indian workers account for only 1 in

10.

Last year, around 150 engineering

deans pledged to create plans on

how to boost recruitment and retention

of underrepresented students

and faculty.

This will go a long way in encouraging

students, especially women, to

keep them committed to the progam.

Photo by Townnews


81

10 Popular Graduate

Engineering Schools

Filled with Women

A report in 2015 from the National

Science Foundation indicates that

the portion of women in engineering

has increased at all degree levels,

but mostly at the master’s and

doctoral levels. From 1993 to 2012,

a significant increase of 142 per

cent has occurred in the number of

women earning master’s degrees in

engineering.

The University of North Carolina-Chapel

Hill topped the list of the

graduate engineering schools filled

with women which earned a 60.7%

of female students in their program

during the fall of 2015, the highest

in the US. It is way higher than the

second highest which is the University

of Texas Health Science Center-San

Antonio with 41.5%.

SCHOOL

University of North Carolina-

Chapel Hill

University of Texas

Health Science Center-San Antonio

Santa Clara University (CA)

Tufts University (MA)

Tulane University (LA)

% OF

FEMALE

STUDENTS

60.7

41.5

37.8

35.3

34.7

TOTAL

FEMALE

GRAD

STUDENTS

68

44

336

218

33

TOTAL

GRAD

ENROLLED

112

106

888

618

95

Here is the complete list of the 10

engineering schools with the highest

percentage of women enrolled

at the master’s and doctoral level in

both full-time and part-time programs

in the fall of 2015. Some unranked

schools that didn’t meet the

criteria were not included in this list.

Photo by Georgetown

North Carolina A&T

State University

Prairie View

A&M University (TX)

34.1

33.5

143

58

419

173

Yale University (CT)

32.3

91

282

Duke University (Pratt) (NC)

32.1

342

1,067

Howard University (DC)

31.9

22

69

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


82 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

Using the

Gemasolar

Thermosolar

Plant as

the Runway

by Alice Hernandez

A long straight stage can be a boring

place for a model to show off

her clothes. The clothes may be

gorgeous but without an interesting

background, the fashion show

wouldn’t be very memorable for

an industry that thrives on the ever-constant

changes of the trends.

So, this model wants her fashion

show to be an event people would

talk about – not just in the fashion

industry but also to everyone who

supports the green energy movement.

Meet Jessica Minh Anh. She’s a

model, entrepreneur and a fashion

show producer, who transforms

popular places into phenomenal

catwalks. She has made catwalks

out of places such as the Eiffel

Tower, One World Trade Center,

Petronas Twin Towers and Londons

Tower Bridge.

What an awesome way to make a

mark in the fashion world.

For her 10th year in making extravagant

productions, she chose

the famous Gemasolar Thermo-


83

solar Plant in Seville, Spain. Who

would have thought that this power

plant can be made into an awesome

cinematic backdrop for the J

Summer Fashion Show 2015?

Wearing a red flamenco dress,

Minh Anh strut the catwalk located

in the main road at the center

of the power plant, followed

by other models wearing maxi

dresses. The show’s audience sat

on both sides of the catwalk while

drones flew around on top. These

drones filmed the whole show and

featured how the sunlight gives

a stunning effect on the power

plant’s surroundings.

Thanks to Jessica Minh Anh’s catwalk

stint last July 2015, it inspired

other people in the creative world

to pay attention to green energy as

well. In an interview, Minh Anh

how Gemasolar inspired her to

take her extravagant show to this

power plant:

“Gemasolar took my breath away.

It represents a rare modern beauty,

which sees the best of designs and

sustainability efforts in one place. I

would consider this show my most

challenging yet exciting project so

far.”

With Minh Anh’s ambitious creative

side, where will she take her

fashion show next? Would it also

involve the theme of renewable

energy in her next projects?

All Photos by JModel Management

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


BADASS WOMEN

WITH CAREERS

IN MOTORSPORTS

84 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


85

Photo by Female Racing News

When it comes to fast cars, we usually

associate it with men. A lot of people just

don’t see women and cars mix - even more

impossible for them to join any Grand

Prix, right?

But that’s where these people are wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, a lot of women

do love to play the game and Susie Wolff

is here to inspire other women to do the

same. Susie Wolff is the first woman to

join in a Formula One weekend during

the 2014 British Grand Prix in 22 years!

While that is a remarkable feat for a driver

like her, she’s had herself busy with a new

organization. Working with British Motor

Sports Association (MSA), they launched

a non-profit group called “Dare To Be Different”

that encourages women to join a

career in motorsport.

In a career dominated by men, launching

the project may have been hard for her

but surprisingly, 100 young school girls

(8-12 years old) attended the event and

participated in different events. These

included workshops on diet and fitness,

taking a spin in karts, playing challenges

and learned a lesson or two about media

guidance from Natalie Pinkham, a Sky F1

presenter.

“The format of the day was basically for

us to change perceptions slightly in getting

girls to the kart track, the first time

for most of them, then opening up every

aspect of the sport, not just karting… It

isn’t about getting young girls interested

in motorsport, it is actually opening up

the sport to them because motorsport is

seen as something very inaccessible and if

your family isn’t into, let’s say, motorsport,

or your father isn’t mechanically minded

or your mother isn’t, how do you then get

introduced to the sport?”

In this project, Susie Wolff wants young

girls to be encouraged to join the motorsport

group of careers:

“There are lots of women behind the

scenes in F1 but do you know what the

percentage is? It is very low. At Williams

when I was in the simulator two out of six

engineers I was working with were female

but the percentage overall was below 8%

and that is small. So as much as we all say

our perception is there are lots of women,

it is under 10% still so not a lot.

I never dared to be different, I have just

done what I was doing but the truth is we

are in the sport and that is our perception.

Everybody outside sees it in a different

light and that is why, for me, we all haven’t

dared to be different, but the perception

for everyone else out there is that we have.

So we have got to change that perception.

We have got to spread the message and

make sure that it is possible. For me, it is

about taking some of the spotlight that I

managed to gain, because Formula One

is so much in the media, and shine it on

other women.”

Other women involved in this project

included Alice Powell, Rachel Brookes,

Clare Morden, Nathalie McGloin and

Victoria Guppy - women actively participating

in the field of motorsport. Victoria

Guppy, the data engineer for Power

Maxed Racing in the British Touring Car

Championship even said:

“Why have I dared to be different? My

mother brought me up on her own, so I

have always had the ethos that a female

can do anything a male could. I’ve never

seen myself as different, just going through

life the way I want to and not letting what

other people think get in my way.”

Photo by NY Daily News

Photo by Deccan Chronicle

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


86 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

3D MODELLING

BOOBS TO

FIND YOUR

PERFECT BRA


87

If you are having problems in finding the perfect bra for

those irregular-shaped boobs of yours – the bra is either

too loose or too tight – there’s no need to fret now because

the answer is here: 3D-modelled boobs to make you a better

bra.

Yup! Because standard sizes of bras do not conform to

most of the ladies’ breasts, 26-year-old Mona Zhang developed

custom bras in her own company called Bra Theory

– she even quit her job as a software engineer for it. She

thought of extending the limits of bra fitting to the present

variables, band measurement and cup size, and ventured

to a more mathematical approach to bras.

This is where the 3D-modelled boobs come in – she creates

a 3D model based on a certain number of measurements

to take of a bust or chest to figure out what shape

that is. She then flattens it out into a bra that fits.

Calling herself “Founder and Head Bra Engineer,” Zhang

explained that three women could have the same cup

size and band measurement, and yet breasts could still

be positioned in three different ways across their chest.

Differences in boobs are the core of this innovation, like

being broad and far apart, or narrower and closer together.

There’s also the saggy.

The variations with breasts. Source: Bra Theory

No breasts are perfectly symmetrical, a study says, which

means that you can be a ‘rightie’ or a ‘leftie.’ The customized

bras by Zhang will somehow help you deal with this

body asymmetry.

Who said boobs, bras, and math can’t mix? Definitely not

Mona Zhang.

Illustrations by Yo Props

ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING


88 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

NATIONAL WOMEN IN

ENGINEERING DAY

JUNE

23

The Launch of

National Women in

Engineering Day 2016

The first day of April marked the launch

of the National Women in Engineering

Day (NWED) 2016. It is an international

awareness campaign to raise the profile

of women in engineering and to highlight

the career opportunities to girls in the

field. NWED is celebrated annually on

June 23 and now on its third year.

The NWED this year is backed by Cummins,

Prospects College of Advanced

Technology, Yorkshire Water, the National

Structural Integrity Research Centre

(NSIRC), Sheffield Hallam University,

University of Surrey, Elsevier, the Royal

Academy of Engineering, FM Global, The

Institution of Engineering and Technology

and Building Engineering Services Association

(BESA).

An important sub-theme activity of this

year’s NWED includes the first 50 Women

in Engineering List being coordinated by

the Daily Telegraph. It will be announced

on the celebration day, but nominations

will be open in early April through the

Women’s Engineering Society website.

Moreover, there’s also the Sparxx campaign,

to keep up with the NWED fever

during the off-season of the events. It will

serve as a support for those students who

express an interest in STEM and keep

them inspired at those months where

NWED is not celebrated.

For updates, check the NWED website.

http://www.nwed.org.uk/


ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

89


90 ISSUE NO.003 WOMEN IN TECH & ENGINEERING

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COVER

www.GineersNow.com

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