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Women engineers panel set for Tuesday, Nov. 11

Successful alumnae and faculty to discuss breaking through in the engineering workforce

Though Lehigh has a much higher-than-average amount of women engineering students (28%, as opposed to the national average of 18-20%), it is missing a place for these young women to interact and create bonds with one another as well as female faculty members.

Lehigh Women Engineers is a group that remedies this problem by connecting first-year engineering females with each other as well as upperclassman mentors. The goal of this annual program is to support women engineers toward academic success, and in the process, retain them as engineering majors.

The group will be holding a panel discussion on Tuesday, November 11, to allow four alumna women engineers and scientists to discuss their experiences in the workplace,  and give advice to the current crop of women engineers who are embarking upon their careers.

These events are important to Lehigh’s female engineering students, some of whom would like to see more female role models at events like this one.

Fortunate Tshirangwana ’18 attended an engineering event earlier this Fall, and there was only one woman there.

"It gave me the impression that it was going to be hard to succeed in the engineering field, because there was only one woman on the panel,” Tshirangwana explained. "She had to justify why she’s a CEO, and for the other men, they didn’t have to justify why they were CEOs. I feel like this sort of event provides a different perspective."

Chandler Coggins ’18, added, "I want to hear from women who are successful."

Lehigh’s women engineers will have the opportunity to hear from several women engineers and scientists, including Chen Lee, who graduated from Lehigh in 2010 with a B.S. in civil engineering and integrated business and engineering, as well as from Purdue University in 2013 with an online Masters in Engineering Management and Leadership.

Hannah Dailey, an adjunct professor in mechanical engineering and mechanics, will also participate in Tuesday’s panel. Dr. Dailey has worked in several other areas, including the Medical Engineering Design and Innovation Centre at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland.

The third confirmed speaker will be Elizabeth Schaub of Air Products, who has a degree in chemical engineering from Manhattan College as well as a masters in chemical engineering from Lehigh. She joined Air Products via the Career Development Program, and is currently the Manager of the Operations Excellence team within Global Operations.

Last but not least, Kathleen Taylor, currently Vice President of the Johnson and Johnson Production System where she and her team are standardizing the manufacturing business process and practices, graduated from Lehigh with a B.S. in industrial engineering. Taylor has worked at J&J for 27 years and has had a variety of roles in the Medical Device and Pharmaceutical sectors.

These women will share their stories, advice and anecdotes with Lehigh women engineers at the Lehigh Women Engineers Panel. There will also be a reception afterwards.

For more information, check out lehigh.edu/lwe.

-- Jacqueline Peterson '16 is a writer with the Dean's Office of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

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