The Women in Engineering Panel Discussion at the 2018 IFAAP conference in Hiroshima took place during lunch time on May 29th. It was chaired and moderated by Prof. Michelle Dolgos (Oregon State Univ., USA) and Prof. Chikako Moriyoshi (Hiroshima University, Japan). The IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to promoting women engineers and inspiring girls and women all around the world to follow their interests and pursue a career in engineering and research. The Panel Discussion aimed to raise awareness about ways to create inclusive work environments in engineering in which women could effectively contribute to and lead productive teams. Key issues discussed during the Panel were how women can advocate for themselves and each other, how women can engage men to help their future success, the kind of things men should advocate for, and how all these efforts can increase innovation. Panel members were selected from academia, industry and government: Prof. Barbara Malic (Institute Jozef Stefan, Slovenia), Dr. Kazumi Kato (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan), Dr. Shoko Yoshikawa (Navico, Inc., USA), Dr. Lauren Garten (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA) and Prof. Brady Gibbons (Oregon State University, USA).
Following the panel, there was a lively discussion based on Q&A from the audience. Some of the question topics were: how to find a mentor, how to train elementary teachers to encourage young girls to engage in science and math, and are there any differences in the views or approaches to diversity in academia versus industry.
The reports on IFAAP 2018 were authored by Dr. Marco Deluca (Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH, Austria). Dr. Takuya Hoshina (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan), Prof. Michelle Dolgos (Oregon State University, USA), and Mr. Vignaswaran K. Veerapandiyan (Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH, Austria) contributed to this report.