In this contemporary world, women are bringing a positive difference in society through impactful ideas beyond their traditional roles. We live in an era that is driven by engineering and technology. In the past, the engineering profession has been categorized as a mens’ job; however, in the current society, women have broken the social stigma and are flourishing in different engineering fields.
IEEE is one of those professional avenues which empowers our wonderful women towards professional growth, sustainable development, and community service. Here at IMPACT Blog, we feature one of our IEEE Young Professionals (YP) committee members – Dr. Saveethya Sivakumar for this women’s day. Saaveethya’s story is a nice example where IEEE played a major role in shaping up the professional career of an emerging women leader.
“When I decided to do engineering, many believed that it is not a women’s job and thought that I would not be able to succeed. Ever since I started this journey I have faced multiple challenges and obstacles however they shaped me to be a stronger individual. Though these obstacles were thrown at me, I overcame them to strike towards success. I stand today with a Ph.D. in Engineering (specialized in Biomechanics and Machine Learning) contributing to my profession as a lecturer and a researcher at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Curtin University Malaysia. For every person’s success, there are a set of people who have been guiding and helping; IEEE and the connections I made through IEEE played a very important role for self and professional growth.” – Saaveethya
Saaveethya’s IEEE journey started as a student member in 2013. The journey gradually expanded from being a Student Branch volunteer to Section to Region and Global volunteer leadership positions. Currently, she is contributing to IEEE as the R10 YP Committee Chair and Student to YP Transitions committee chair for MGA SAC and as well as the SAC Liaison for Young Professionals.
“In all the current and past IEEE committees I have worked so far, we have aimed to encourage and empower women in engineering.” – S
Saaveethya is the first female to chair the Young Professionals Committee of the largest IEEE Region (R10). In 2016 Saaveethya initiated the IEEE WIE Student Network in Malaysia, which was intended to create a fresh IEEE Women in Engineering student volunteer leadership culture in Malaysia through facilitating and providing the necessary guidance for Women In Engineering activities. Saaveethya and her team succeeded to form the first three WIE SB Affinity Groups (AGs) in Malaysia within the first 2 months from the launch and it is considered as the first key milestone for WIE SB AGs of Malaysia Section. She was a member of the R10 WIE Supporting Volunteer Committee from 2016 – to 2018. Moreover, she was also involved with the Women in leadership subcommittee as the secretary in handling the Collabratec group dedicated to leadership aspirations of women engineers and scientists. She was the publicity chair of Malaysia’s first IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Summit held in 2018, where she led the publicity team in developing and implementing strategies for promoting the summit to an international audience. In 2019-2020 she was appointed as the Region 10 Student representative, to be the voice of students in the Region 10 executive committee.
IEEE is a bridge that not only connects professionals but also acts as a platform that recognizes its key contributors. In recognition of her contribution towards IEEE, Saaveethya was awarded the IEEE MGA Young Professionals Achievement Award in 2021, Malaysia Section’s Women In Engineering Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2016, and Monash Engineering & IT Women’s Leadership Award in 2018.
“To all young girls out there…, dream big, and be strong to chase your dreams and never give up. Together we can build a better world for tomorrow” – S
In IEEE, our volunteers strive to provide the platform for everyone, especially emerging women leaders to shine, contribute, and recognize your achievements spread across the global network. You can extend a hand and help us serve better by registering on our new IEEE Volunteering portal. There are diverse microvolunteering opportunities available across the organization, both short and long-term, local and remote. You are welcome to contribute as per your schedule, interest, and talent.
Let’s recognize our incredible women and accelerate gender equality for a just and sustainable future!