Chairperson and Panelists Announced for A New IWCS Panel Discussion
The 71st IWCS Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum, taking place October 10–13, 2022 in Providence Rhode Island, USA, will feature a new event component—panel discussions that allow industry experts to share their experiences and opinions related to specific topics and trends. For those who are familiar with the annual IWCS event, the format of the new panel discussions will be similar to the Executive Panel Discussion.
The first new panel discussion, titled “Women in Cable & Connectivity”, will open in the afternoon of Wednesday, October 12 as part of the Technical Symposium. Sponsored by Dow, the Women in Cable & Connectivity Technical Symposium Session recognizes the plethora of contributions women have made to advance our industries. Multiple technical paper presentations will be presented by distinguished female authors to kick off the session. The second half of the session will include the panel discussion, in which influential female members of our industry will speak about their career accomplishments, resources that have aided their success, and discuss what it is like to work in male-dominated industries. The panel discussion will include a question-and-answer period that allows the audience to engage with the panelists.
Dr. Bianca Hydutsky, Global Technology Manager for The Chemours Company, will be the session chairperson and moderator of the panel discussion. “I think it’s exciting to bring together some really strong women who have built a variety of career paths.” says Bianca. “I am proud to accept the invitation from IWCS to be the chairperson for this session and I hope it will be motivational for other women who are looking to start their career or who are already in their career.” Joining Bianca for the panel discussion will be Sue Welsh, President of WCMA; and Kikie Kunplin, Sr. Product Manager – Fiber Systems at Belden. Additional panelists will be announced prior to the October event.
In a historically male-dominated industry, many IWCS stakeholders—authors, presenters, students, event attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors—are women. As we look through the IWCS Technical Paper archives, we see a sizable amount of papers from female authors; and IWCS is committed to continuing to increase female participation. According to the most recent occupation report published by National Science Foundation/National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), we learn that only 29% of Science and Engineering (S&T) jobs are occupied by women. A common theme of striving to balance the employment gender gap is prominent throughout the world, and influencers specific to science and technology industries, including IWCS, are hyper-focused on this initiative.
A scholarly article regarding equality for women in STEM fields notes the importance of education, “Research has highlighted the importance of the educational process in increasing the representation of women and URM [underrepresented minorities] in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).” Part of IWCS’s mission is to develop industry professionals through education and scholarships, and IWCS recognizes the importance of doing its part to help young women pursue technical degree programs to prepare themselves for successful careers. In fact, in the two most recent years IWCS scholarships have been awarded, women have represented 46% of IWCS scholarship recipients.
IWCS encourages the upward trajectory of female representation in Cable, Connectivity, Telecom, Chemicals, and Materials industries. Help empower and celebrate our female colleagues by attending the Women in Cable & Connectivity Industry session at the 2022 Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Register to attend at iwcs.org/attend.