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AEE CWEEL Visits Chile Chapter Event

By Laurie Weigand-Jackson, Co-Chair, CWEEL

It was an honor to represent AEE and CWEEL in Chile. I participated in meetings from Monday October 14 – Friday October 18. We had an excellent meeting with AEE Chile & CWEEL Chile on Monday October 14th

There were about 40 attendees from the College of Engineering faculty and students, and public and private sectors.

In attendance for AEE & CWEEL were Romina Cid Moris, the President of the CWEEL Chile Chapter (she organized the event in conjunction with the AEE chapter), Michel de Laire, the current AEE Chile Chapter President and Erwin Plett, President of the Commission of Energy and a former AEE Chile President.  

Speakers also included Mr. Arturo Gana, President of the College of Engineering, and Ms. Marcia Carrasco, President of the Commission of Women Engineers, Ms. Loreto Mateo, Director of AChEAP and Ms. Nicole Verdugo President of the Women and Business Chamber of Chile.

Also that week, Romina and I participated in the Public-Private Dialogue on Energy Modernization as part of the APEC Chile week of events.  Speakers were in attendance from throughout the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Taiwan, and the USA.  I also met with Francisco Javier Lopez, Chile Sub-Secretary of Energy and Paula Estevez, International Relations, Chile Ministry of Energy to discuss CWEEL and its role in promoting women in energy.

I met with Roxana Martinelli Ramirez, Coordinator of the Program “Win-Win” a United Nations initiative on women empowerment and equality.  Equal treatment of women and men is not just the right thing to do – it is also good for business. The program was launched in 2018 by UN Women, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the European Union (EU).  The program is scheduled to be implemented across six countries over 3 years: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Uruguay.  

Meetings were also held with the Ministry of Energy of Chile staff including Ms. Marcela Zulantay, Gender Coordinator in the Ministry of Energy and eight women team members. We discussed their individual roles and career objectives and I provided advice on how to build their careers in the male-dominated energy industry. What impressed me the most is the key initiative in Chile to increase women in energy – it is called “energia mas mujer”.  They are targeting 30% of women in technical, managerial and executive positions.  The government is already on target, and the private sector is building participation of women in  all facets of the industry.  CWEEL fits in very well with this initiative and is getting visibility with the Chile Ministry of Energy.  See article that Romina submitted on partnership signed in November.