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    2016 SPIE Women in Optics Events

    SPIE Photonics West 
    View video of the panel here

    Women in Tech: Evidence, data, and trends
    Monday 15 February 2016 | 5:00 to 6:30pm
    InterContinental Hotel, Ballroom B | San Francisco, CA

    From left to right, Rachel Thomas, Karla Vice, Omoju Miller, Y-Vonne Hutchinson, Lina Nilsson, Maryellen Giger
    From left to right: Rachel Thomas, Karla Monterroso, Omoju Miller, Y-Vonne Hutchinson, Lina Nilsson, Maryellen Giger

    Men and women from the SPIE constituency attended an early evening panel at SPIE Photonics West on the unfortunate trends for women in the tech industry. Only 20% of engineering degrees in the U.S. are awarded to women and 40% of those women end up leaving the field. In the burgeoning tech industry, females make up a similarly low percentage of computer scientists. University engineering departments and tech firms alike are announcing new initiatives in droves that aim to improve these numbers. The session dug into the data and research on female participation in computer science, across engineering fields, and throughout the tech sector in general. They explored questions including: What evidence is there of underlying causes of this gender imbalance?  How can and should it be addressed? Why does it matter?

    The panel was organized and moderated by Rachel Thomas, Software Developer and Instructor at Hackbright Academy, and Lina Nilsson, Biomedical Engineer and Head of Market Development at Enlitic. The session organizers' research and analyses on issues around women in tech have been published in the New York Times and Medium, and have been featured on KQED, NPR, and more. Panelists included:

    Omoju Miller is a computer scientist and a partner at Learners Guild, a network of guild-style professional schools that provide 1-year technology training programs. Before Learners Guild, she co-led non-profit investment in Computer Science Education for Google. During her time in grad school at Berkeley, she founded TEDxEuclidAve and advised the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows, whilst conducting her research.

    Karla Monterroso is the Vice President of Programs for CODE2040, an organization working to close the opportunity gap for Black and Latino technologists. Code2040 has fellowship and tech internship programs for students and also works directly with tech companies to help them attract, hire, and retain diverse talent. Prior to CODE2040, Karla focused much of her professional life in social entrepreneurship organizations aligned with driving youth advocacy and leadership.
    Y-Vonne Hutchinson is a former international human rights lawyer and the founder of Ready Set, an employment policy and recruiting firm that specializes in helping small to medium tech companies attract, retain, and grow diverse talent. Y-vonne has her law degree from Harvard Law School, and has a plethora for experience in law and policy from the U.S. and internationally.
    Refreshments followed the presentation. 

    SPIE Medical Imaging 

    Women's Networking Lunch
    Tuesday 1 March 2016 | 12:10 to 1:20 PM
    Royal Palm Five | San Diego, CA, United States

    Women in the field of optics gathered for informal discussions at the networking lunch on Tuesday.

    Women in Optics Panel and Reception
    Monday 4 April 2016 | 5:00 - 6:30 PM
    Panoramic Hall | Brussels, Belgium

    Moderator, Dr. Sarah Bohndiek of Univ. of Cambridge, and panelists reflected on what makes an inspirational leader and manager, especially for interdisciplinary research teams, and considered the challenges related to female leadership in STEM fields. The panel was followed by a reception.

    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 
    Women in Optics Luncheon
    Monday 27 June 2016 | 12:00 to 1:30 PM
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom | Stirling Suite

    A networking lunch and with an inspiring talk by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. 

    "Careering Through Astrophysics" Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, reflected on a multi-wavelength, multi-role 'career' in and around astrophysics and addressed issues particular to being a female in science at that time.

    Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics - work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor. She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Professor in Oxford, a Pro-Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin, and (the first female) President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh - Scotland's Academy. Much in demand as a speaker and broadcaster, in her spare time she gardens, listens to choral music and is active in the Quakers. She has co-edited an anthology of poetry with an astronomical theme - ‘Dark Matter; Poems of Space'.

    View video of panel here. 

    Women in Optics Panel and Reception
    Monday 29 August 2016 | 5:00 to 6:30 PM
    San Diego, California | Marriott Marquis, Marina F 

    Leopold Green, Stacey Delvecchio, Sonia Zárate, and Renu Tripathi

    From left to right: Leopold Green, Stacey Delvecchio, Sonia Zárate, and Renu Tripathi

    "Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in Science & Engineering"

    This panel discussion featured representatives from groups working toward positive solutions to building diversity in science and engineering.   They shared the details and successes of their programs and took questions from the audience.  A networking reception followed.

    Moderator:  Julia Craven, Sandia National Labs. 

    Panelists: Leopold Green Jr, Board of Directors, Council for the Advancement of Black Engineers (CABE); Stacey M. Delvecchio, Past President and Fellow, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Caterpillar Additive Manufacturing Product Manager; Sonia Zárate, Executive Board Member/Secretary, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS); Renu Tripathi, Delaware State University