The theme of the 2020 AIChE Annual Meeting is The Increasing Diversity of Chemical Engineering. This refers to both the increasing range of technical focus areas as well as the increasing diversity of the technical workforce. Diverse expertise and diverse perspectives are both needed to solve complex, societal challenges involving engineers.
Two of our 2020 annual meeting co-chairs, Jennifer S. Curtis and Isabel C. Escobar, were interviewed earlier this year for International Women's Day as women in research by The Wiley Network. They share their backgrounds in research, the challenges they faced due to their gender, and the people that inspired them early in their career. They also share how the research community can encourage greater gender diversity in academia and how the scientific community benefits from the contributions of women in research, as well as share their advice for young women hoping to pursue an academic career.
This year's AIChE Gala theme, Inspiring and Empowering Women in Engineering, is also related to this theme. Funds raised will underwrite the expansion of women’s leadership programs, improve pre-college STEM education for girls, and advance retention programs for women engineering undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals.