WHAT IS WIM?

WIM stands for “Women in Microwaves” and is the subset of Women in Engineering (WIE) working within the field of microwave engineering and typically active within the MTT society. WIM is also a subcommittee under MGA within the MTT-S AdCom.

October 2023 WIM Column

State of the Industry: Diversity in the Workplace 

I participated in the Women in Engineering (WIE) panel discussion held at the 2022 Design Automation Conference (DAC) last summer, which brought out some wonderful pieces of insight and advice from myself and fellow women tech leaders on the panel on the importance of diversity in the workplace (you can read the article here).

I recently read a report published last fall by McKinsey & Co. for Women in the Workplace in partnership with Leanin.Org that says the needs of women in the workplace are by and large not being met and they are leaving in unprecedented numbers, both older, experienced women in leadership roles and younger women just embarking on their careers. This information is disheartening, especially considering the years of work myself and fellow WIM members have done to promote diversity in our organizations and encourage young women to join the tech force

I’ve written an article connecting the McKinsey Report to the DAC panel female leaders and giving my call to action for the future. Please take a look and join our WIM movement to do more and do it better:

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10183707

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

September 2023 WIM Column

Real Advice for Today’s Women in Engineering 

I’ve written an article for the XX edition of IEEE Microwave Magazine in which I share some salient bits of advice from the 2022 Design Automation Conference (DAC) Women in Engineering (WIE) panel discussion on “Real Advice for Today’s Women in Engineering.” Panelists Radhika Shankar of Synopsys, Greta Pyne of Intuit, myself, and Susanna Holt of Autodesk, as well as moderator Ann Steffora Mutscher of Semiconductor Engineering, discussed the importance of diversity for companies and what we think can be done to foster greater diversity as well as engage young women from an early age to believe that engineering and science are for them.

Details of the discussion and panelists’ insights and advice can be found here:

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10209096

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

August 2023 WIM Column

WIM: Community Building! 

In the July/August IEEE Microwave Magazine WIM column, I interviewed two of our newest
WIM subcommittee members, Marie Mertens and Aurea Edna Moreno-Mojica. These young
women, along with others who participate in the many events that MTT-S has to offer, were
so inspired by their collective experiences that they joined WIM as well as expanded their
involvement to aspects beyond the subcommittee. In this article, they talk about their
academic accomplishments, professional and personal interests, and experiences with WIM.

Learn more about these amazing young women who are the next generation of women engineers:

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10183707

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

July 2023 WIM Column

WiSE at Microwave and Radar Week 2022

WIM is flourishing around the globe! Malgorzata Celuch of QWED Sp/ z o.o., Warszawa, Poland, has contributed a wonderful article to the XX edition of IEEE Microwave Magazine describing the 2022 MIKON Polish microwave conference, part of the Microwave and Radar Week (MRW) 2022 presented by the Polish Academy of Sciences and the IEEE. This was the first time MIKON included a dedicated WIM event within the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) matinee program that included distinguished microwave lecturer talks by Prof. Dimitra Psychogiou in a plenary session and Prof. Jasmin Grosinger in a WIM session, as well as technical presentations and discussions from different perspectives of women in engineering and science. ‘With so many perspectives, the main conclusions of the discussion that followed were common and… WISE: believe in yourself, work hard towards your goals, fight for your truth but take kindly the counsel of the years,” writes Malgorzata.

You can discover more details and many fabulous photographs of the event and the beautiful architecture of the Gdansk University of Technology venue in Malgorzata’s article here:

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10183707

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

June 2023 WIM Column

The Last, But Not the Least

Mohaira Ahmad shares her heart-warming journey in the world of microwaves for the June IEEE Microwave Magazine WIM column. She describes her experiences growing up in Pakistan and trying to pursue an engineering career in a culture that does not value women pursuing technical roles. Fortunately, her family was very supportive, and she was able to attend the National University of Science and Technology, subsequently earning her master’s and PhD degrees while simultaneously raising a family.

Mohaira believes: “Women in any area of the field should start shouting for other women; this will create a wave of good words, and women will get the required visibility. We women should learn the art of surrounding ourselves with positive and supportive people and saying NO to negative vibes. This type of mindset will help us to create a work-life balance, and we will be able to make happy human beings too.”

Read about Mohaira’s experiences as a woman microwave engineer in Pakistan.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10121517

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

May 2023 WIM Column

Johana Yan and Jasmin Grosinger kindly contributed an article in the May issue of IEEE Microwave Magazine informing IMS2023 attendees about Women in Microwaves (WIM) events being hosted by MTT-S. The traditional WIM networking reception will continue on Tuesday, June 13 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. This year’s reception will celebrate “Women in Leadership in Industry, Academia, and Government” snd will emphasize building a network among women engineers while while offering informal mentoring with young professionals.

There will also be a joint panel session of female tech leaders and entrepreneurs of the WIM and Young Professionals (YP) organizations discussing what YPs need to be successful in the industry. The panel will be held on Thursday, June 15 starting at 2:00 p.m int e Young Professionals Pavilion and will feature five WIM speakers.

Learn about the details by reading Johana’s and Jasmin’s article here and visiting the WIM web page here.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10098999

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

April 2023 WIM Column

The Rich History of Women in Tech

In my January WIM column in IEEE Microwave Magazine, “IEEE MTT-S MGA WIM Subcommittee: Who We Are and What We Do,” I mentioned two WIM promotional videos that have been developed to educate and inspire women in engineering. In my April WIM column, I delve into more detail on these videos, hoping to encourage all of you to take a couple minutes from your busy day to watch them.

The first one, “History of Women in Tech/MTT-S” (three minutes) tells the stories of great American women engineers who made meaningful contributions beginning in the mid-1920s. It includes profiles on physicist Betsy Ancker-Johnson, actress and inventor Hedy Lamar, engineer and IEEE Fellow Zoya Popovic, electrical engineer and first female IEEE MTT-S president Dominque Screurs, and engineer and first MTT-S female president of color Rashaunda Henderson, to name a few.

The second video, “WIM Sizzle,” (just over a minute) highlights the challenges of being women in a man’s industry and inspires women engineers to keep pushing, supporting each other, sharing our knowledge and experiences, and guiding and mentoring those coming through the ranks.

To learn more about the rich history of women in tech, check out my April column.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10058773

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

March 2023 WIM Column

Why I Am an IEEE Senior Member

The march issue of IEEE Microwaves features in our Women in Microwaves column an article,”Why I Am an IEEE Senior Member,” by Janine Love. Janine has been a longtime editor at publications such as Microwave Journal, Microwaves & RF, and Signal Integrity Journal and is now technical marketing program manager at Samtec, Inc.

When Janine received an invitation to become a senior member of IEEE, she reflected on how much she has enjoyed being part of the organization. She has met fascinating people and been able to further her passion of supporting women engineers. Perhaps of she became more involved, she could do even more to help other women, as well as further her recognition in the field, increase her networking, and likely improve her career advancement.

Read the full article to learn what is required to become a senior member and the many benefits Janine has experienced.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10035790

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

February 2023 WIM Column

Distinguished Microwave Lectures: An Enriching Experience for MTT-S Members and Speakers

The February Women in Microwaves column in IEEE Microwaves Magazine spotlights the IEEE Microwave Theory and Technology Society (MTT-S) Distinguished Microwave Lecturers (DML) program, which enables chapters to host speakers who are experts in their fields. The women who contributed to this article noticed in the summer of 2022 that the DML schedule for 2023-2025 was the tenth program since 2009 to offer an all-male slate of speakers and that only five women had been speakers since 2009. This is due, in part, to a lack of nominations of female candidates.

Learn more as Dominique Schreurs, Jasmin Grosinger, Dan Jiao, Mona Jarrahi, and Natalia Nikolova elaborate on the nomination process and share their experiences as female DMLs.

Here is the complete article:

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=10004799

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2023

January 2023 WIM Column

The MTT-S MGA WIM Subcommittee: Who We Are and What We Do!

The IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Women in Microwaves (WIM) Subcommittee is dedicated to building a network of women in microwaves that attracts, scales, and connects. We do that by promoting women engineers/scientists in the microwave community, attracting women graduate students and professionals to join MTT-S, and increasing the visibility of women within MTT-S. In an article published in IEEE Microwave Magazine in January, I introduce the members of our committee and talk about the objectives we set out to accomplish throughout 2022 through print, events, and digital. You can catch up on all the details here.

In the print area, we had a WIM column appear in every issue of IEEE Microwave Magazine, as well as a two-part special focus column in February and March highlighting the research being done by 21 women within MTT-S. We welcome our readers and MTT-S members to reach out to us to contribute a column.

To support our second goal pertaining to events, whether live or virtual, the committee regularly organizes, presents at and/or simply attends a variety of WIM activities held at numerous conferences and technical events throughout the year.

Our third goal has to do with our always-on presence that can be found on our mtt.org site using the quick link mtt.org/wim. On this site you can find everything to do with Women in Microwaves, including background information on the organization and subcommittee members, as well as recent and archived WIM columns appearing in IEEE Microwave Magazine, monthly blog posts, upcoming events, recent news, and more.

Reflecting back on 2022, I’m very excited by the hard work, enthusiasm, energy, and ideas that the WIM community at large works toward in support of the goals of the WIM subcommittee. Looking forward into 2023, we will continue to grow and support our MTT-S women engineers through print and digital, as well as expanding our presence at MTT-S conference and events. Stay up to date on our latest articles, blogs, videos, and all future events by regularly visiting mtt.org/wim. Lastly, if you’ve not yet connected with a WIM member, reach out today and help us continue to grow our community of women within MTT-S.

Here is the complete article:

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9966382

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

December 2022 WIM Column

‘RWW 2023 WIM Event: Distinguished Women in Microwaves’

The December 2022 Women in Microwaves (WIM) column in IEEE Microwaves Magazine featured an article by Jasmin Grosinger giving us a sneak peek at the exciting WIM event being planned for the 2023 IEEE Radio & Wireless Week (RWW) being held the week of January 22 in Las Vegas. Three distinguished women professionals who have considerably advanced the fields of microwave theory and technology and automatic radio frequency (RF) techniques will be spotlighted. Dr. Malgorzata Celuch, QWED, Warsaw, Poland, will present “Modeling-Based Characterization of Materials from Microwaves to Millimeter Waves.” Prof. Rhonda R. Franklin, University of Minnesota (UMN), Minneapolis, USA, will present “Advances in Wired and Wireless Interconnect Technology for Microwave and Sub-Millimeter-Wave Applications.” Prof. Qiaowei Yuan, Tohoku Institute of Technology, Miyagi, Japan, will present “Direction-of-Arrival Estimation and Array Antenna Beamforming With Mutual Coupling.”

Be sure to check out the full article at https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9933983, which describes in detail the topics these outstanding women will discuss.

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

November 2022 WIM Column

‘IMS2023: Perspective from the Top’

Gayle Collins has written an insightful article for the IEEE Microwaves Magazine WIM column on some of her experiences as a woman engineer and how much she is looking forward to the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2023 in San Diego: “it will be the coolest show.”

The IMS2023 organizing committee is made up of a diverse group of people in the microwave community, reflecting a wide range of topics and ideas for 2023, including themes such as “Microwaves in Latin America,” “Model-Based Systems Engineering and Digital Twins,” “Space,” and “Biomedical Applications.”

“So make sure that you attend and see what kind of wily deeds occur!” Gayle admonishes.

You can read her complete and thoroughly entertaining article at https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9910228

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

October 2022 WIM Column

‘Innovative Competition at IMS2022 Showcases the Next Generation of RF/Microwave Designers’

I had the honor for the fourth year in a row of being the moderator for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in June of this year. Now in its sixth

year, at IMS, this unique event challenges engineering Ph.D. candidates and young professionals to stand up in front of a roomful of people and panel of judges and make a presentation appropriate to a nonspecialist audience in three minutes or less using a single static slide.

This year’s winners were Connor Rowe of the National Institute of Scientific Research, Ajibayo Adeyeye of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Alexander Poßberg of the University of Duisburg-Essen.

This the combination of soft skills and solid technical knowledge is becoming more and more valued by employers who are now looking for negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, and people management skills in addition to technical ability. Competitions like IMS 3MT are a great way for our future technology leaders to hone their skills in these vital areas. Read the details of this year’s competition in the October issue of IEEE Microwave Magazine.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9877794

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

September 2022 WIM Column

Fauziahanim Binti Che Seman is featured in the September issue of IEEE Microwaves Magazine discussing her experiences as a woman in microwaves, where she believes the keys to success include networking, making connections, reputation, and mentoring.

 

She states that networking starts within a small circle of people linked by mutual interests and meaningful communication, strengthened within the workplace, community, and beyond. Making connections comes through personal contacts, during external meetings, at conference, and at professional associations. Women should consistently participate in professional associations and events, doing something to create a positive reputation. When others become aware of your presence, continue to be active and grow your reputation. Finally, women’s mentoring is especially important for career success because mentoring relationships are more likely to be available to men than women in fields where men are predominant. Women generally have a higher commitment to the family; hence, they are looking for women mentors who understand these issues.

Hopefully, these four essential topics will help inspire IEEE women in engineering to shine by keeping, joining, and staying in their fields.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9847650

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

August 2022 WIM Column

This August edition of Microwave Magazine features a question-and-answer session with me and Charlotte Blair, “2021 MTT-S President’s Task Force on Mentoring, Diversity, and Inclusion: A Conversation Between WIM Members”

Charlotte and I discuss our involvement with the 2021 MTT-S task force and talk about the strides that have been made in the past decade to expand awareness of and involvement in the Women in Microwaves (WIM) and Women in Engineering (WIE) groups within MTT-S and what we are working on presently to align with and implement the WIE Pledge: “IEEE WIE pledges to work towards gender-diversified panels at all IEEE meetings, conference, and events, including our own.”

We have been making a concerted effort to grow the WIM organization globally and expand the subcommittee through a diverse group of students, younger and older professionals, members of government and academia from Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas. We worked hard during the pandemic to foster virtual meetings and events as well as to implement regular communications through an expanded website to keep members engaged despite the lack of opportunities to meet face-to-face at conferences.

As I conclude in the interview, every journey starts with a first step, and we have made huge progress in implementing inclusion and diversity within MTT-S. But of course, there is a long way to go. Please read the article to learn more about these important activities and get involved by signing up for our mailing list.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9819844

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

July 2022 WIM Column

The July WIM column features a recap by Prof. Rodica Ramer, who organized the very successful WIM event at the 2021 APMC conference, which was to be held in Brisbane, Australia, but because of health restrictions, became a virtual event.

The hour-and-a-half event featured seven virtual speakers from around the world discussing their research, including Rodica (University of New South Wales, Sydney), Prof. Rashaunda Henderson (University of Texas, Dallas), Linda Katehi (University of California, Davis), Asimina Kiourti (Ohio State University), Daniela Dragomirescu (Institut National Des Sciences Appliquees, Toulouse, France), Alessandra Costanzo (University of Bologna, Italy), Zlatica Marinkovic (University of Nis, Serbia), Ye He (Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China), and Stephanie Smith (CSIRO Space & Astronomy, Australia).

Despite the virtual limitations, the presenters and attendees celebrated the outstanding contributions of women in electrical and electronics engineering from the U.S., to Europe, to Asia. You can read Prof. Ramer’s article here to learn the fascinating details of these outstanding womens’ research.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9724657

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

June 2022 WIM Column

As we head into IMS2022 and the 2022 IMS Women in Microwaves (WIM) event, I wanted to reflect for my WIM column in this June edition of Microwaves Magazine on how far we’ve come since my first WIM event back in 2010, gosh 12 years ago!

From a cocktail party in 2010, which, thanks to the hard work of myself and my team getting the word out, had more than 75 attendees (more than double the previous year) we have grown to events across the globe that have featured half-day technical tracks and panel discussions in addition to the traditional social event. This year’s event will take place at Denver’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House and will offer some unique activities thanks to the event committee headed by Prof. Prof. Zoya Popovic of the University of Colorado, Boulder that included not only her daughter but also numerous graduate students (both men and women).

WIM continues to blossom as the committee doubles down on efforts to attract more women who are realizing the value of mutual support, networking, and mentorship.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9769738

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

 

May 2022 WIM Column

The Women in Microwaves (WIM) column in this May edition of IEEE Microwave Magazine features candid thoughts from members of the IMS2022 WIM event committee, comprising Prof. Zoya Popovic ́ of the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) and her graduate students, both male and female. For this interview, I wanted to understand not only what motivated these women to write their article, but also why Prof. Popovic ́ chose an all-student committee, why the women students on the committee have chosen a career in the male-dominated field of microwaves, and what kinds of gender issues they have encountered as students at CU.

Prof. Zoya Popovic ́, her daughter Nina Popovic ́ Basta, and student Laila Marzall recently wrote an article for this magazine promoting the WIM reception at IMS2022, but also reflecting on the history behind gender imbalance in the industry in a humorous, lighthearted way. Included in the article are some amusing (or not so amusing, depending on your point of view) quotes from a 1952 document titled “How to Handle Women,” which reveals that apparently women were difficult to work with back then. The authors then solicited some anonymous quotes from well-established male colleagues on how they feel about working with women in 2022.

You can find the committee’s candid answers to my interview (here) and the article “Men and Women Together Make RF/Microwaves Better) by Prof. Popovic ́, Nina Popovic ́ Basta, and Laila Marzall (here). Take the time to read both, you’ll be glad you did.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9724657

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

April 2022 WIM Column

Our April WIM article on Women, STEM, and South Asia was contributed by Tayyaba Farooqi, who is with the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. She wondered when she was invited to contribute whether the problems faced by women in technology in developing countries could be understood by an international audience because the unique ingrained social norms, or unconscious biases, within developing countries have made gender discrimination seem so normal that it goes unnoticed and is acceptable by both men and women. She explains that this is because in her culture education of male offspring is prioritized over that of females and parents instead encourage their daughters to attend female institutes, however, STEM courses are not offered in those schools. For females who are able to take technical courses, the majority of teachers in technical areas are male, leaving a communication gap between them and their female students. An additional hurdle for women is that the culture sets expectations that women should let their male counterparts take the lead in projects, so often the contributions of women go unseen. All of these factors serve to dissuade women from pursuing careers in technology.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9724657

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

March 2022 WIM Column

Valentina Palazzi of the University of Perugia, Italy has written an insightful article in this March issue of IEEE Microwaves Magazine on the positive impact the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) has had on her personal and professional growth.

She has taken part in this competition twice—in 2019 and 2021, and explains in her article that, at first, she thought it would be impossible to not only explain her research in three minutes, but also to avoid technical jargon.

“The beauty of a 3MT competition,” she says, “lies in the simplicity of its rules, which also makes it so tough: all contestants are given a maximum of three minutes to describe the results of their research to a nontechnical audience, with the support of just a single static slide. There is no room for shortcuts: only you, with your words and gestures, must succeed in catching the attention and the interest of a varied audience in less than three minutes.”

Valentina explains that her journey removed her misconceptions and disbeliefs and helped her embrace the concept that everything is relatable to any kind of audience in a given time—the key lies in planning and asking the right questions. She discusses in her article that competition had a profound effect on her in that it helped her understand a different way of expressing concepts and gave her a new perspective on how to communicate her results and prepare her lectures.

As moderator and Master of Ceremonies for the 2019 event, I was very impressed with this young woman and gave her my special MC award. You can read my blog from that competition, “Innovative Competitions Inspire Next Generation of RF/Microwave Leaders,” where I discuss the importance of 3MT and other IMS competitions that help jump start young engineers’ careers.

I was pleased to see Valentina competing again in 2021. This time, a fellow finalist invited her to help with the IMS2021 WIM session, which resulted in her making connections with some of the most well-known women leaders in IEEE and becoming part of the WIM community.

Be sure to read the details of Valentina’s experiences with both 3MT and WIM here.

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

February 2022 WIM Column

Our February IEEE Microwave Magazine WIM column features an article from Dr. Kiki Ikossi, an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation (NSF). As she points out in her introduction, Kiki and I have known each other for years and I’ve been encouraging her to share her wealth of experience as a woman in microwaves. Through this article, “Decades of Perspectives of Women in Microwaves,” Kiki tells us where she is now and how she got here, including her struggles to graduate from the National Technical University of Athens during a military junta and to earn her MS and PhD degrees in a male-dominated environment while raising a family.

Kiki recounts that NSF is where discoveries begin. AAAS- STP Fellows work across NSF on projects that shape the future of science and engineering with an eye towards promoting not only science, but diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields.

After enjoying the summary version in the magazine, be sure to read on here for the longer, complete story of Kiki’s fascinating life, education, professional career, and research.

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022

January 2022 WIM Column

Happy 2022!

With the new year comes a new IEEE MTT-S president—Prof. Rashaunda Henderson, our second female president of the society and the first female of color to take on this challenging role. I had the pleasure of chatting with Rashaunda about her motivations for deciding to run for society president in the first place as well as pivotal points in her career along the way that have helped to shape the person she is and her success in the field of microwaves.

Throughout the interview, Rashaunda shared many wisdoms she has internalized over the years that span her childhood through today. There were several phrases that resonated with me and perhaps will with you as well:
•  Not making excuses
•  Philosophy of serving others
•  Bring ideas to the table
•  Push through the fear

I encourage all of you to learn more about this truly inspiring person and her vision and goals for the Society which address educating our youth and young professionals, collaborating with other IEEE societies and mentoring all we meet along the way to ensure continuity of the community and future years of success.

Click here to read my interview of Professor Henderson in the January 2022 issue of IEEE Microwaves Magazine: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=9632505.

-Sherry Hess
WIM Chair 2022