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WISE Initiative

What started as a discussion at a NAFEMS Americas conference in early 2017, evolved into a well-attended Women in NAFEMS meeting at the 2017 NAFEMS World Congress. One of the many aims of this initiative is to support the interest of Women in Simulation Engineering (WISE) through networking and education. With CAASE18 just around the corner, we felt that this event would provide an excellent opportunity to try something new. 

What is being Offered? 

Through collaboration with several sponsoring companies, it was decided that rather than accepting additional sponsorship contributions from existing sponsors we would rather have these companies pay a discounted registration fee for selected students (undergraduate or graduate level) to attend CAASE18. This will not only provide these students with the opportunity to learn from the best and the brightest in this industry, but the ability to network with these same individuals.

If you're interested in taking advantage of this student sponsorship offer, please click here

What is Planned? 

We're in the middle of planning CAASE18, but we are considering a special WISE luncheon to take place during the conference, which will include a speaker and panel discussion. Additional details will be provided closer to time. 

We're also developing the "WISE Mentor Program." The concept is to connect mentors and mentees. Individuals participating can range from students or entry-level professionals to mid-career professionals to senior leaders working in the analysis and simulation in engineering space. Furthermore, individuals (e.g., mid-career professional) may act as a mentor (to the students or entry-level professionals) or a mentee (to the senior leaders). 

What was discussed at NWC17 about WIN/WISE? 

The first meeting of WISE, identified as Women in NAFEMS (WIN) at the time, took place at the 2017 NAFEMS World Congress. The following bullet points were contained in a handout shared with those attending NWC17. 

  • There are a number of groups working to encourage more women to become engineers, including using simulation. However, there are still relatively few women in senior technical roles. Why do you think this is? 
  • Are you aware of women who have left engineering simulation roles and if so, why did they?
  • Do you find the lack of senior female role models limiting?
  • Most women who have worked in engineering for some time are used to being in the minority and no longer see it as a problem. Is this a reasonable statement? If so, why does it discourage young women into the discipline?
  • What specific challenges are there for women in engineering simulation that are absent or have less impact on men?
  • Many economies are seeing a shortage of skilled workers. Engineering simulation is no exception. This is a driver to focus on under-represented parts of the population, such as women. Do you consider this helpful or do you think focusing on under-represented groups distracting?
  • Are the other bodies working in the wider area of women in engineering sufficient, do we need a group specifically for women in simulation?
  • Would you like to be part of an ongoing group for women in NAFEMS? If so, what form would you like that group to take, an email discussion group (such as LinkedIn or Google Groups), a regular web-meeting, maybe with an invited speaker, or something else?
  • Would you like an area of the NAFEMS website for topics related to women in engineering and simulation? If so, what would you like to see there?

Recognition

We would like to extend our thanks to Chris Wolfe, Althea de Souza, Marie-Christine Oghly, and Rod Dreisbach for their continued efforts to support the WISE initiative. 

Who do I contact if I have any questions or comments? 

Please email us at americas@nafems.org