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WE15 Wraps Up A Successful Conference and Career Fair
October 30, 2015

The Society of Women Engineers commemorated a successful 65 years as the world’s largest advocate for women in engineering and technology with WE15, the annual conference and career fair held this year in Nashville, Tenn. Oct. 22-24, 2015. More than 9,000 attendees gathered this year for education, celebration and inspiration. WE15 featured more than 350 educational and professional development sessions, more than 300 career fair exhibitors interviewing for open positions, an assortment of networking opportunities, a variety of engineering competitions, and awards presentations to 60 individuals for their impact on their peers and their industry.

“We saw a record number of attendees in Nashville as we celebrated the accomplishments of our dedicated members and encouraged our collegiates and professionals to Reach Out to Reach Up,” said Colleen Layman, president of SWE. “Whether it meant being a role model to peers, contributing to the community or bettering the engineering profession as a whole, the amount of inspiration and accomplishment present at WE15 was remarkable. As the society grows, SWE remains a lifetime influence in the professional and personal journey of these women and the partners that support inclusion.”

The celebration kicked off with a keynote speech from Nicola Palmer, senior vice president and chief network officer at Verizon Wireless, discussing finding the confidence to succeed in engineering along with the importance of work and life integration. Attendees at WE15’s outreach event for young girls, Invent It. Build It, heard from Sylvia Acevedo who was named one of the top 100 American Women in STEM by “U.S. News and World Report”. Acevedo discussed her career path, what helped her succeed and how engineering has been a rewarding career for her. The conference wrapped up with words from Maria Fernanda Mejia, a recognized global leader named one of the 50 most powerful women in Mexico. Maria has been recognized by “Fortune Magazine” as one of the top 50 Latin women executives. She had much to share on her experiences in working with diverse cultures and the important role her family played in her success.

More than 350 girls, 200 parents and 150 exhibitors attended WE15’s featured outreach event, Invent It. Build It, created to encourage more young girls to understand and explore a future in STEM. Hosted by PBS Design Squad’s Deysi Melgar, the event allowed the girls to participate in hands-on engineering activities and learn more about how engineering impacts everyday life.

WE15 also set the stage for the conclusion of many engineering competitions that members and non-members have been working diligently on throughout the year.

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