The Spring 2007 issue of SWE Magazine has an article on the newest inductees into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Among them is Eleanor Baum, the fifth SWE member to be so honored. The others are Lillian Moller Gilbreth, Beatrice Hicks, Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, and Sheila Widnall. Baum is currently dean of engineering at Cooper Union. You could while away some pleasant time just browsing among the list of members of the Hall of Fame.
Baum was nominated for the Hall of Fame by Jill Tietjen, a past-president of SWE. Jill has a distinguished career as an engineer and is the founder of Technically Speaking. Her nomination of Eleanor Baum for the Hall of Fame exemplifies a principle that Jill lives by. Jill is always supporting and promoting women in engineering around her, from the level of Girl Scouts all the way up to deans of engineering. She encourages all of us to consider nominating other women for awards and honors. Women promoting women within the science and engineering community is a smart thing to do.
I first met Jill at a conference where I was a newcomer and knew no one. She was well-known and a prestigious individual, yet she sought me out and introduced herself, and introduced me to other people in the room, integrating me into the group and connecting me to people who later were very important and helpful to me in my career. That’s just typical Jill. She is always building connections and building people up. She does not view power as something that you accummulate and hoard, to wield as a weapon over your enemies; power is something that you share, using it to empower others and strengthen the group.
Now, there’s a role model.