At the beginning of her fireside chat at the Mobile World Congress Americas trade show last month, Verizon Chief Network Officer Nicola Palmer sounded a warning: If the industry doesn’t get serious about diversifying, it risks not being able to compete effectively in 5G.
Palmer, who has been active in promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to young women, was asked what’s being done. “Not enough, right? None of us are doing enough,” she said. “If we don’t get serious about this, I think our industry is not going to be able to compete as effectively as we could” and will be unable to bring the full benefits of next generation technology like 5G into the hands of consumers.
That’s a strong message and one we should all take seriously. Inspiring young women, whether it’s helping them to understand what engineers actually do or putting role models in front of them—anything we can do to motivate them in STEM is worth the effort.
One way to inspire young minds is by pointing to examples in our own industry where women are making a difference in smaller wireless firms or startups—and we’re asking for your help. These are women who are making significant contributions to their companies, primarily but not limited to engineering roles. They’re forging the path in STEM and acting as role models for young women in their fields.
They might not always be in the public eye, but that’s why we’re asking for your help in identifying them: women in upper-level STEM roles at companies that are small and private.