Virtual Support Community

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Task Force Chair, Region 3 Chair, Jessica Ford

Throughout my college career, I couldn’t help but to notice, “Gee there aren’t many people who look like me in my engineering classes.” And then I stumbled across some NSBE folks, and to my surprise, they did look like me AND they were also engineering majors. But even within our NSBE groups, I noticed that there still weren’t many women that I could relate to. Then I had my ah-ha moment and decided to create a Facebook Page : Confessions of a Black Female Engineer to find fellow minority women in my field who I could virtually share experiences, frustrations, and inspiration with. Since then the page has grown and the messages from the young women I get only motivate me to keep going. It’s a shame that there wasn’t a page like this already, I thought, but how do I find more women with the same issues? When I heard our National Chair’s vision for women within NSBE, it really hit home to what I was trying to do all along, and that is to encourage and empower my fellow black female engineers. When she announced that she was looking for a task force to help champion this effort, I couldn’t help but to join! As a Regional Chair, she asked me to then chair the task force and since then, the ideas and the passion that has resulted has been phenomenal. We recommended 5 different ways that the National Board could help this year and so far we have completed 4 of the 5, and I can see even greater things happening beyond my term. Look out NSBE!