For the fifth consecutive year, women in engineering and technology from all over the world will gather in March to celebrate, promote, highlight and inspire one another.
“The Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering and Technology was created to connect women in engineering and technology across disciplines, experience levels, ages and employers for inspiration, information and networking,” said Nan Mattai, senior vice president of engineering and technology at Rockwell Collins. “It’s the only event of its kind.”
Mattai is serving as one of the two honorary chairs of the 24-hour global event that will run March 10 and 11.
In her role, she’s charged with leading the global effort and encouraging participation among the engineering community around the world. Mattai will host a kickoff event at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and is also presenting a segment on Rockwell Collins’ approach to the challenges facing women in the engineering field.
“Jobs requiring engineering and scientific degrees continue to increase, but the number of students preparing for these careers remains static and women are still underrepresented,” she noted. “In fact, in the aerospace and defense industry, women make up about 12 percent of the engineering workforce.”
The Global Marathon, targeted to both college age and professional women, as well as young women in middle and high school, features 48 activities, including webcasts, live events, Internet chats, teleconferencing and pre-recorded sessions. All will be available to a worldwide audience.
While Mattai is most excited about the global aspect, she also wants to make sure local women, teens and girls get involved. Rockwell Collins, for example, is hosting an event for area educators that will be rebroadcast during the Global Marathon. “The purpose is to share information about engineering with these educators so they may reach out to the young people that they serve and encourage them to consider engineering careers, “Mattai said.
That is after all why she is so passionate about this event. “I have experienced the personal satisfaction and rewards that can be earned through an engineering career and have a personal passion for sharing information about the exciting opportunities in engineering with young people, especially women,” Mattai said. “The Global Marathon will expose young women to a large number of role models, women who have been successful in their fields and who are changing the image of engineering. These women are eager to share their experiences and the impact they are having on improving the health and well-being of people, society and the environment.”
To find out more about the Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering and Technology, including listing of local events and online seminars, visit the Web site at http://www.eweek.org/EngineersWeek/GlobalMarathon.aspx.
By Katie Mills Giorgio, for Gazette Special Sections