With the support of the UFRO Macro Faculty of Engineering and the IEEE WIE, an international organisation dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists, 22 UFRO undergraduate students officially established a group to promote the participation of women in the fields of engineering, science and technology.
With the aim of promoting a greater participation of women in the fields of engineering, science and technology, 22 undergraduate students of the Faculty of Engineering and Science of the university Universidad de La Frontera (UFRO) established an IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) group at UFRO.
With the support of the UFRO Macro Faculty of Engineering and the IEEE WIE, an international organisation dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists, this new UFRO student group will develop a series of activities aimed at contributing to the recruitment and retention of female students in the fields of engineering and technology and, on that basis, at building an active community that uses its talents and scientific and technological skills both to innovate and contribute to the progress of society.
“We wanted to provide a space where young women, who want to pursue a career in the fields of engineering and science, feel protected, supported, empowered and accomplished, where they can discover and use their strengths and skills that will help them in their lives and future careers. That was our main motivation for establishing an IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) group at UFRO. We want our members to get to know themselves and to make them see what they are capable of,” explains Javiera Galleguillos, a student of the program in Industrial Civil Engineering with specialisation in Bioprocesses at UFRO and the current president of this group.
An important factor for the establishment of this student group was that many of its members participated in the programme “Women leaders STEM UFRO” of the Macro Faculty of Engineering at UFRO. Through that programme, they were able to notice how important it is for female students in the fields of engineering and science to have a space of support in the training process.
“In the long term, our idea is to encourage more girls to share their passion for science and technology, and thus inspire each of them. Therefore, we want to carry out different activities, such as workshops, conversations, seminars, meetings and congresses; for the members of this group, as well as for the whole university and the educational community of Temuco. That way, we can share different tools, knowledge, and the enriching experiences that encouraged and motivated us and that might motivate and encourage others, who are interested in a career in this field, as well,” Javiera Galleguillos says.
Ivonne Gutiérrez, the director of the Training Node of the UFRO Macro Faculty of Engineering and a member of the Department of Electrical Engineering, is equally enthusiastic and happy about the first activities of the group. “We believe that this group of and for students will contribute to the personal and professional development of each of its members. Besides, it allows us to bridge the gender gap that is still evident at our Faculty,” she comments.
Meanwhile, within the official establishment of the IEEE WIE group at UFRO, Natividad Novoa, the head of the Student Culture and Civic Affairs Unit of the Office of Student Development at UFRO, also expressed her appreciation for the establishment of this new group, and invites the members to act with responsibility and dedication, and to use this opportunity to develop as an individual and as a group.
Written by: Daphne Bormann Parada