FemCode symposium promotes STEM women

Baruch College’s FemCode, an organization that promotes the inclusion of women in science, math, engineering and mathematics-related fields, hosted “Diverse Women Symposium” on March 15 for Women’s History Month.

The event celebrated female accomplishments in technology with intimate TED Talk-styled lectures from women who are leaders in their industries, followed by a luncheon that allowed students to network with professionals.

Chanel Cummings, president of FemCode, emphasized that the strategic timing of the event coordinates with their objectives.

“I think this is a very important event that we are hosting because many of the women who are participating in this panel are underrepresented in their fields, either being women or a person of color,” Cummings said. “We are also going to discuss the importance of balancing one’s work and lifestyle challenges.”

She continued, saying, “Women are expected to juggle so many roles nowadays. When climbing the rank of their career, they are expected to still be a mother, wife and daughter, and many responsibilities are placed on them. It is important to shed light on this reality so we can change the way we see gender roles for not just women but man as well.”

The symposium consisted of three speakers: Mona Soni, a senior director of software engineering at Dow Jones; motivational speaker Martha Ramos; and Elisabeth Rosario, an independent communications consultant.

Women at the event seemed to embrace one another as a community striving to push the boundaries set forth by their gender.

“[A] symposium just seemed more of an intimate setting [than] a panel would have sounded, and we thought the event would be more of an impact if we felt we were around friends. We hope the setting would allow people to freely ask questions and converse with each other,” said Cummings.

The event sought to be both educational and entertaining as it taught students about the many opportunities for women in STEM fields, focusing on the achievements of the speakers and the potential of the next generation.

Cummings encouraged those who have never heard of FemCode to consider attending its future events.

“FemCode is known by those who have heard of it as a female empowerment tech group, which we are, but we are also so much more than that. We are a community built from and with both men and women. We provide support and encouragement to those who would want to learn a new skill as well as a community to learn with. We are a very inclusive community and we are here to learn together,” Cummings said.

March 20, 2018

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Danielle Kade

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