Diversifying the science, technology, engineering, and math workforce is critical for creating a more inclusive and innovative industry. At the international symposium MobiHoc 2023, fifth-year Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. student Jingdi Chen organized the N2Women event, “Charting Your Academic Journey: Wisdom from Women in Research,” to support the research careers of underrepresented women in the computing sub-fields of networking and communications.
“The inspiration behind organizing this event was to create a platform where accomplished women in research could share their experiences and insights with the broader academic community,” said Chen. “We aimed to provide attendees with valuable guidance and mentorship, especially focusing on women who are underrepresented in the fields of networking and communications.”
N2Women, which stands for Networking Networking Women, is a discipline-specific community of researchers in networking and communications who organize events at major conferences and symposiums so underrepresented women in these fields may network and build connections. Alongside fostering connections among underrepresented women in networking and communications, encouraging diversity is the primary goal of the organization N2Women.
Chen feels that N2Women’s mission is crucial for several reasons, saying, ”Firstly, diversity in research brings different perspectives and approaches, leading to more innovative and comprehensive solutions to challenges in all fields. Secondly, diversity is essential to create an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and valued, ensuring that talented individuals from diverse backgrounds have equal opportunities to excel in these fields.”
“Finally, by fostering connections among underrepresented women, we can build a supportive community that can provide mentorship, guidance, and a sense of belonging, ultimately helping women thrive in their research careers,” Chen stated.
The workshop’s panel discussion and following interactive Q&A allowed participants to learn from accomplished researchers who have excelled in academia and receive personalized advice. The concluding networking reception also offered an opportunity to connect with a potential mentor. Overall, Chen says she hopes attendees benefit from the workshop by gaining valuable perspectives, advice, and networking opportunities that will aid in their academic and professional journeys.