WomEngineers Day returned to UT for its third installment on April 13, bringing together students, speakers, and invited guests for a day designed to help engineering students of all genders navigate leadership, inclusion, and work-life balance.
“It was great to see all the people come out for this year’s event,” said Jess Ossyra (ChemE, ’19), who helped plan and coordinate the conference. “We had a lot of interesting and important discussions, ones that should continue beyond the scope of just this particular gathering.”
The conference—one of the first major events in UT’s newly-opened Student Union—kicked off with a breakfast and keynote address by Barbie Bigelow (MS/CS ’85) and included workshops, networking opportunities, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. More than 200 people took part.
The ever-popular breakout sessions offered three topical choices per session. This year, those included negotiating salaries, career planning, overcoming bias, and communication skills, among others.
It was great to see all the people come out for this year’s event. We had a lot of interesting and important discussions, ones that should continue beyond the scope of just this particular gathering.”
WomEngineers Day, held biennially, began in 2015 after students at the time attended a national conference and noticed the level of support other engineering colleges were giving their students.
Although the number of women studying engineering at UT has steadily grown in recent years and is on par with the national average, the college is still behind where it wants to be, so events like WomEngineers Day prove doubly important by not only helping students with personal growth, but also by building a sense of community that can lead to better retention and both personal and professional success for students both before and after graduating.