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SPIE Women in Optics Planner Aims to Inspire Careers in Science and Technology
Date:11/22/2013

Bellingham, WA (PRWEB) November 22, 2013

Women in occupations ranging from university professor and laboratory researcher to entrepreneur and CEO share stories of inspiration and discuss the challenges and rewards of careers in fields not often practiced by females, in the annual SPIE Women in Optics 18-Month Planner.

The 2014-2015 planner showcases the work of 28 women making a difference in optics and photonics, and aims to inspire the next generation of girls and young women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Produced annually, the planner is available at no charge from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

STEM is, “the most exciting career path imaginable,” says contributor Susan Tousi, vice president of engineering at Illumina, a developer and supplier of tools and integrated systems for large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function.

Because science and engineering are driving the future, Tousi says, the best and brightest minds are needed: “Many of my highest technical contributors have been women. We must make use of this rich talent base to make our dreams of the future a reality.”

Women interviewed in the planner say that inspiration to pursue STEM careers has come from parents, teachers, and other mentors:

  •     Allison Lami Sawyer, CEO and cofounder of Rebellion Photonics, says her inspiration came from a high-school calculus teacher who asked if she planned to study engineering. When Sawyer answered no, her teacher’s reply was, “Don't be stupid. You'd be a great
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