IEEE Women in Engineering Portugal Section was founded in 2010, to promote women engineers and scientists, and inspiring younger generations to pursue STEM careers.
This was our 1st international conference intervention as affinity group members. We participated in a Special Session, presenting our paper “To be or not to be an Engineer? – Perceptions among 3rd cycle basic school students” and as chairs of the workshop “Challenge Equality”.
Our 1st paper allowed us to conclude students have a lack of knowledge about what engineering is about. This is worrying, since in Portugal there is a low number of students to pursue STEM careers, especially among girls The results of our research, which were presented at the special session, show this tendency.
Our paper presentation had a great feedback, since the audience asked a lot of questions and gave wonderful suggestions to continue this kind of work with younger generations.
Our workshop “Challenge Equality” followed critical thinking methodology and we organized in a way to increase awareness among the attendees. From the attendees’ feedback, our goal was achieved and we had new ideas to continue our work. The audience was composed by 5 female and 3 males, from 3 nationalities: Portuguese, Brazilian and German. After presenting WIE-PT work and explaining the workshop activities, participants had 20 minutes of introspection about 2 questions: “What does inspire you?” And “How do you inspire others?”. Their thoughts were written in post-its and in the end, they explain them, putting the post-its in a flip-board. Now, WIE-PT will make a resume about the session and the results will be shared between the attendees to have feedback and to achieve conclusions about “What can we do to inspire others and giving equal opportunities to younger generations?”.
WiE can do anything!
Ana Margarida Trigo, WiE-PT chair
Celina Pinto Leão, WiE-PT co-chair
Filomena Soares, WiE-PT co-chair