I joined the Women’s March in Chicago, and the experience highlighted to me that I’m guilty of skewing the gender balance in our industry. I’m occupying space that should be filled by a more talented female human. And I’m reminded of the gender imbalance at nearly every meeting I attend. I feel a stab of guilt. Your 14-member IBPSA-USA board of directors includes only three brave women.
I’d like to help fix the problem. We’re missing potential contributions from some of our best and brightest. Ours is a brain-powered industry, and I think we will thrive by nurturing as many brains as we can.
What can I do?
First, wake up. I’m working to increase my awareness of the challenges faced by women in simulation careers, especially those interested in leadership positions.
Second, I can take advantages to serve as a mentor and provide guidance whenever there’s an opportunity.
Third, I’ll talk about this with other men, especially my fellow middle-aged white guys. Perhaps we can help each other to increase our “wokeness”.
Fortunately, we have the IBPSA-USA Equalities Committee to help us move forward.
At the 2016 SimBuild conference in Salt Lake City, the Equalities Committee organized a very successful Q&A session on careers in modeling. Powerful stories from successful women provided inspiration to women starting their careers and helped increase my awareness.
The committee also has a mentorship program in the works. Please keep on the lookout for information, and I hope you’ll consider participating when it’s ready to go. If you would like to contribute to the Equalities Committee, you can find contact information on their website.
What else can we do? Please get in touch to share your stories and ideas.