Booz Allen Systems Engineer Theresa Wesley Honored with Society of Women Engineers Emerging Leader Award
Only 13 percent of engineers and 26 percent of computer scientists in the workforce are women, and over 32 percent of women switch out of STEM degree programs in college, according to research by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
SWE aims to improve these statistics, inspire current and future STEM professionals, and empower women engineers worldwide with its annual awards. At this year’s WE18 Conference October 18-20 in Minneapolis, SWE named Booz Allen Senior Lead Technologist Theresa Wesley among its 2018 Emerging Leaders.
The Emerging Leader Award recognizes women with 10 to 15 years of engineering experience who have demonstrated outstanding technical excellence and significant accomplishments. A maximum of only 10 awards are presented each year.
These honors are awarded to women “who have proven to be innovators and leaders in their local communities, the STEM community, and the future generation of STEM,” according to SWE. Women like Theresa who receive these awards “play an integral role in the advancement of women in engineering and technology around the world.”
Imagining your own career in STEM? See how Theresa got her start at summer camp and how it has shaped her life.
Q1: How did you get interested in STEM?
A: SpaceCamp! At the age of 14, I spent a week at SpaceCamp in Huntsville, Alabama hearing from rocket scientists about the dawn of the space age. Though I haven’t worked for NASA directly, I’ve spent almost 15 years living my childhood dream of working in the aerospace industry.
Q2. What has prepared you for working as an engineer?
A: I’ve been a member of SWE since graduating from college with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology. It was through a SWE conference that I learned about engineering consulting, leading to my current position at Booz Allen.
Q3. What type of work do you do?
A: Today, I am a Systems Engineer Technical Advisor (SETA), providing independent technical expertise and making recommendations to clients across multiple subject areas. My extensive subject matter expertise in assembly, integration, and test (AI&T) of complex systems enables me to work across multiple programmatic areas. Additionally, I am Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified, which further hones my ability to lead multifaceted engineering teams.
Q4. When you are not working, what are your other passions?
A: I’ve been a leader in the company’s Women in Engineering and Science organization, empowering women in engineering, providing educational opportunities, and promoting retention. I continue to mentor young women, both personally and professionally. I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children, plus, I also volunteer at their schools and for special events at my church.
Want to learn more about Booz Allen’s commitment to advancing women like Theresa Wesley in STEM careers? Visit: https://www.boozallen.com/e/insight/thought-leadership/attracting-more-women-to-stem-careers.html