Jola Ilori, E.I.T and SWE Member at Large (pronouns: she/her/hers)
I graduated in 2017 with a double bachelor’s major in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Ottawa, Canada. As a student, I served as one of the Vice Presidents for Women in Science and Engineering, where I worked closely with our local Women in STEM Careers group to host informal speaker nights for students. I was responsible for communicating and engaging with the students to ensure that the events encouraged and built a sense of community for them, thus, making them feel more welcome and less lonely in STEM programs. I also volunteered for the World University Society of Canada Student Refugee Program. I was responsible for ensuring that sponsored female students adapted and were able to study like local students at the university. I worked closely with the sponsored students to host social events with the program community and have them attend other local university social events to help with cultural integration. As an early career professional, I currently volunteer at my local elementary/junior high schools for IAGTED (Introduce a Girl to Science and Engineering Day).
As a woman of color, I am very passionate about empowering women and improving the representation of women of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially in the STEM field. I will continue to dedicate time and effort to mentoring and building a sense of community for women in STEM to feel less alone and grow together. Minority representation in STEM careers, especially Black & Hispanic representation, has recently been quietly declining. My goal in SWE Senate is to explore Youth programming opportunities that foster interest in STEM careers to help reduce this decline. I also want to look at having more remote programs and events that include all SWE members, especially SWE members at large, and encourage networking/connections across SWE member sections. I am interested in ensuring that SWE is an inclusive organization with diverse leaders representing the demographic of SWE members. I am also keen on supporting and empowering SWE members to build successful careers.