IEEE WIE ILS 2018, the 2-day leadership summit of IEEE WIE was held at the picturesque locationof the Le Meridian Hotel, Cochin, Kerala, India, in the presence of an eminent group of dignitaries,delegates and leading lights of the society, along with various national & international establishments,on September 7th and 8th 2018. For the summit, IEEE Kerala Section selected the theme ‘EMPOWERING TOGETHER’ in the light of its relevance in the global push to improve women’srights, at the anniversary of the #TimesUp movement that swept across the world.
IEEE is the world’s largest fraternity within the engineering community, with over 400,000 members in 150 countries around the world. IEEE is mandated with several important scientific and technical responsibilities including creating and maintaining technical standards; providing publishing servicesfor scholarly papers; organizing technical conferences; providing technology for humanitarian andsocial purposes; and providing professional services for members. IEEE WIE remains the largestnetwork of female engineers in the world with over 90,000 active members world wide. It was with this foreground that IEEE WIE ILS 2018 started off in Kerala.
IEEE WIE International Leadership Summit Kochi 2018, hosted by WIE Affinity Group, IEEE Kerala Section was inaugurated on 7th September 2018 by Ms. Soumini Jain, the Hon. Mayor of Cochin Corporation, marking a milestone for IEEE Kerala Section WIE. Prof. Lillykutty Jacob, the General Chair, welcomed the chief guest, the 30-odd eminent speakers, 150+ delegates and other invited participants. She acknowledged the tremendous support from various sponsors for the successful execution of the event: UST Global, GE, Cochin Shipyard, CISCO, Allianz, Kerala Startup Mission, NeSTIT, and the IEEE Societies – IAS, PES, APS, and CS. She also specially mentioned the appreciation for IAS sponsoring 38 student delegates including their stay. The two-day Summit was the meeting point of researchers, engineers, students, academicians, practitioners, industrialists andthe government officials who set out to explore the possibility of inviting more women into leadership positions, by learning from accomplished professionals.
The Summit saw the top international leaders from IEEE and Region 10 (Asia Pacific), as well as
representatives of IEEE Sections in different parts of South Asia. IEEE WIE ILS 2018 featured high
quality knowledge sharing sessions, workshops and industry sessions, as well as keynotes from
prominent research and industry leaders. The keynote speakers included Dr. Mini Thomas, DirectorNIT Trichy, Dr. Takako Hashimoto, past WIE Global Chair, and Dr. Lizy Kurian John, IEEE Fellow and Professor at University of Texas.The Summit had a wide ranging list of prolific women speakers to inspire live action, and fuel up creative fires and experiences, that spanned over six disciplines:
- Leadership & Empowerment
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Science & Technology
- Sustainable Developments
- Change Makers & Off-Beaten and
- Health & Wellness
The deliberations IEEE WIE ILS 2018 Kochi were also substantiated by a Panel Discussion with the theme Women Leadership among Technologists, a WiC (Women in Computing) Track, a WiP (Women in Power) Track, and a 5G workshop by Cisco. The event concluded on the evening of 8th September with an open forum and a short valedictory session.
The main attractions for the attendees, delegates and speakers alike were the cultural events on Friday evening and the women-only hands-on self-defense session on Saturday afternoon. The
Bharatanatyam dance performance by Retd. Prof. Gayatri V, a WIE member, enchanted the audience .
The precise swordplay of Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial arts form native to Kerala, by Padmashree Meenakshi Amma along with her grand daughter, kept the audience at the edge of their seats. The hands-on self-defence session hosted by the Kerala Police received tremendous response from the audience, all thanks to the wonderful presentation by the host team.