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A better world through a systems approach

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Empowering Women Leaders in Systems Engineering (EWLSE)


Imagine a world where women and men are equally represented as leaders in systems engineering.


Our mission is to create an open systems engineering environment welcoming to all; promote the demonstrated value of women as systems engineers and leaders; engage women in engineering and systems engineering at all levels of education around the world; and enable increased participation and retention of women in systems engineering leadership.

To do this we need to broaden awareness of the current state of women in leadership, remove obstacles for women seeking engineering related leadership roles, collaborate with professional societies, industry, government, academia, and individual advocates, and celebrate the benefits of diversity throughout our culture. 

Ultimately, we want to integrate efforts to raise international awareness of the value of women leaders in engineering and systems engineering; develop and promote successful strategies for women navigating the systems engineering leadership journey across cultures, geographic locations, and domains; and drive the evolution to an open welcoming professional environment where institutions stimulate motivated and qualified applicants to seek leadership opportunities in systems engineering.

Leadership Team


Alice Squires

EWLSE Founder
Asst Director EWLSE Outreach


Stueti Gupta

EWLSE Asia Oceania Sector Lead

 Erika Palmer picture color

Erika Palmer

EWLSE EMEA Sector Lead


Lisa Hoverman

EWLSE Celebrating Women Lead

EWLSE Strategic Objectives          EWLSE Strategic Initiatives (ongoing)

Eric Specking, EWLSE Connecting with Academia Lead   


Strategic Objectives
• To establish relationships with universities and academic institutions and their stakeholders
• To collaborate with academia and university based organizations to establish initiatives and actions that are mutually beneficial
• To support academic members of INCOSE in all roles including administration, staff, faculty, and students in pursuing inclusion and diversity initiatives

Strategic Initiatives
• Create a prioritized plan to establish relationships with relevant university based organizations
• Coordinate the activities of EWLSE member volunteers who are members of university groups to serve as EWLSE liaisons
• Share successful strategies and practices between academic organizations, other relevant professional organizations, and INCOSE
• Recognize, advocate for, and support ongoing academic programs and initiatives that support EWLSE goals including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and K-12 initiatives, Engineering Week, science fairs and engineering competitions, integrating systems engineering and systems thinking into the education of all engineers, doctoral workshops, etc.
• Provide EWLSE presence at key events by providing speakers, coaches, judges, mentors, or providing flyers and other resources
• Promote INCOSE scholarships and identify potential candidates and support their inclusion in the pool of worthy applicants

Heidi Hahn, EWLSE Collaborating within INCOSE Lead


Strategic Objectives
• To establish relationships with regions, chapters, working groups, and initiatives underway within INCOSE
• To collaborate with INCOSE leadership at all levels to establish mutually beneficial initiatives and actions across regions, chapters, working groups, projects and programs
• To support internal INCOSE groups in establishing charter statements and goals that support diversity and inclusion

Strategic Initiatives
• Survey INCOSE leadership at all levels to determine internal INCOSE needs related to EWLSE goals; use results to define mutually beneficial actions and initiatives
• Create a prioritized plan to establish relationships with internal INCOSE regions, chapters, working groups, projects and programs
• Coordinate the activities of EWLSE member volunteers who are also members of internal INCOSE groups to serve as EWLSE liaisons
• Share, adopt and adapt successful EWLSE related strategies and practices learned from both within and outside INCOSE
• Recognize, advocate for, and support ongoing INCOSE programs and initiatives, in support of EWLSE goals
• Provide EWLSE keynote speakers and panel members, submit and present papers on related research, and/or provide flyers and other resource materials in support of key INCOSE regional and chapter events

Lauren Stolzar, EWLSE and INCOSE Mentorship Lead


Building Mentor and Mentee Relationships
Strategic Objectives
• To connect and support systems engineers and engineers seeking mentors with those seeking to be mentors from the systems engineering community
• To support and fit within the context of the INCOSE Professional Development platform currently in progress

Strategic Initiatives
• Solicit and connect mentors and mentees within the systems engineering and engineering communities
• Provide a process to create a viable match based on preferences and potential for face-to-face interaction as feasible
• Provide resources and guidance to both mentors and mentees to support a long-term supportive and successful relationship
• Track mentor-mentee pairings over time to provide support and solicit feedback

Marilee Wheaton, EWLSE Reaching out to Relevant Professional Groups and Societies Lead

Marilee Wheaton

Strategic Objectives
• To establish organization-level relationships with other relevant societies and groups that can or would benefit from leadership in systems engineering
• To establish linkages to relevant professional women and diversity focused groups that are either independent societies or within relevant professional societies and groups 
• To foster participation in or have influence on important panels, studies, and events owned and driven by other institutions that are important in supporting the EWLSE mission

Strategic Initiatives
• Create a prioritized plan for outreach to establish relationships with relevant societies and groups 
• Coordinate the activities of INCOSE EWLSE member volunteers who are also members of other relevant societies and groups to serve as liaisons between the two groups
• Establish agreements (informal and formal) to collaborate on mutually beneficial efforts between EWLSE and relevant societies and groups
• Provide EWLSE presence at key events of relevant societies and groups by providing keynote speakers and panel members, submitting and presenting papers on related research, supporting or managing a booth, or providing flyers and other resources
• Participate in selected collaborative national/international initiative influencing bodies, study panels including policy studies, and other endeavors outside of INCOSE, related to EWLSE goals
• Share, adopt and adapt successful strategies and practices learned from collaborating between EWLSE and relevant societies and groups

Stephanie Chiesi, Promoting the Value of Women in Leadership Lead


Promoting the Value of Women in Leadership
Strategic Objectives
• Identify past, present, and future female leaders
• Gather and share examples of women in systems engineering leadership roles in industry, government, and academia
• Identify and promote researchers and their research in areas of women and decision making, women and leadership, women and STEM, women across cultures, benefits of a diverse workforce, etc.
• Advance further research in these areas in industry, government, and academia around the world. Promoting the Value of Women in Leadership

Strategic Initiatives
• Identify women in history who performed great engineering feats, identify and support current role models, identify and support potential future leaders
• Develop real life case studies of women in leadership from industry, government, and academia
• Invite women to speak about their systems engineering journey; barriers they overcame to become leaders, etc.
• Invite researchers to showcase their research in these areas
• Provide a guide to existing research in women and decision-making, women and leadership, women and STEM, women across cultures, and the benefits of a diverse workforce.
• Advance additional research in these areas through INCOSE IS papers. workshops, panels, and other venues.