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Building a Women in Microwaves Network That Attracts, Scales, and Connects

The in-person restrictions of the pandemic have affected people in many ways, not the least of which is our natural need for in-person interaction. This has certainly been a challenge for the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Women in Microwaves (WIM) subcommittee, the 2020 goals and objectives of which were to build a network that attracts women, scales to meet ever-changing needs, and connects women with each other and the IEEE MTT-S. We’ve been focusing on promoting science, technology, engineering, and math women in the microwave community and increasing their visibility as well as furthering awareness and attracting women graduate students and professionals to join WIM.

The subcommittee devised some creative ways in 2021 to continue to virtually raise awareness of WIM activities and attract and retain women to our group. The organization has expanded to four subcommittee executives and 15 regional coordinators covering the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific areas. We have also established a global calendar of live and virtual events that continues to grow and is distributed via an e-newsletter so all WIM members know about upcoming events and other WIM activities. Our regional coordinators are working to establish quarterly virtual meetups to reach out and maintain regular contact with members across the globe. You can learn more details in my December 2021 article, “Building a Women in Microwaves Network That Attracts, Scales, and Connects.”

We now have a regular column in IEEE Microwave Magazine in 2022, with articles for January and February already published. You can read my interview with Prof. Rashaunda Henderson, our second female president of the Society and the first female of color to take on this challenging role, in the January issue and “Decades of Perspectives on Women In Microwaves” by Kiki Ikossi, American Association for the advancement of science (AAAS) Science and technology policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation, in the February issue.

I invite you to keep up with our upcoming events and articles by visiting the WIM page at mtt.org/wim and we hope to see you in person at an upcoming live event in 2022—perhaps IMS2022?

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2021