Wanda Reder

Wanda Woman: S&C Exec Runs for IEEE President

S&C Executive Wanda Reder is running for IEEE president. If she wins, energy will be front and center in the important organization for engineers.

Wanda Reder, chief strategy officer at S&C Electric Co., needs your support for IEEE president. Previously the IEEE Power & Energy Society president, Reder is a superwoman who is committed to delivering membership value and increasing "the nimbleness of IEEE." She maintains that she will bring a renewed focus for industry stakeholders.

Reder is a dedicated volunteer leader and power engineering expert whose initiatives as president of the IEEE PES helped grow membership, establish a successful scholarship fund and position IEEE as the source for expert information on smart grid technology. In 2014, she was honored by IEEE with the 2014 IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award.

Reder recently shared her vision and passion with Transmission & Distribution World. As the IEEE PES' first woman president, she is a role model for young women in power, and as a leader in the energy industry, she is helping drive the modernization of the power grid.

To be a write-in candidate on the IEEE ballot for the 2016 election, Reder needs approximately 2,000 more signatures for her petition by May 8. If you are an IEEE member, will you sign? It's easy to sign online at www.ieee.org/petition or go to her website www.wandareder.com to learn more.

On Women in Power:

It’s no secret that women in the power industry have typically been under-represented. That said, the industry is currently in transition. The workforce is expected to see a large turnover due to significant retirement attrition. Because of the changes afoot, important skill sets in the future will include the ability to collaborate, lead diverse work groups, and relate to  consumer needs in order to embrace creative solutions.  Women can do this, and typically quite well. 

However, they often hold back rather than promoting their ideas, perspectives and suggestions for improvements. While there are many reasons for this, it has been my experience over the years that it is important to deliver well, and to also make your contribution visible. Women need support and encouragement to share their unique perspectives, which often lead to a dimension of differentiation, or incremental value if the concepts are shared in a meaningful way. 

To get the most out of a diverse workforce, we need to make sure the organizational dynamics create an environment that is “safe” to communicate — where everyone listens and has the chance to speak.  There’s work to be done here. We also need to focus on creating that initial spark of interest in the power industry to attract women in the first place.

The reality is that, as older workers leave, there are a lot of changes, a lot of new technology and a lot of new career opportunities for rapid advancement.

To attract females to the field, it is important for role models to share their career success, enthusiasm and the importance of the power industry to society at large.

To attract females to the field, it is important for role models to share their career success, enthusiasm and the importance of the of power industry to society at large. 

Lastly, to move up in an organization, women need advocates just like men do. It is important for women to welcome women, support one another, and find ways for increased inclusion.   

On the IEEE of the Future:

IEEE has more than 400,000 members in 160 countries around the world. There are over 45 different technical societies and councils (like IEEE Power and Energy Society) working in 10 geographical regions. There are well over 1,600 IEEE conferences sponsored per year. IEEE Xplore continues to grow monthly with nearly 8 million viewers each month. Needless to say, the global reach and technical breadth is tremendous!

Yet, like the power industry, IEEE is changing too. Growth is primarily coming from outside of North America and the membership mix is tending to be more academic in nature than it has been in the past. Technology is changing how we publish, meet, share, convene, communicate and learn. Expectations of IEEE members are also rapidly changing, based upon a movement for increased open access and growing expectations for search engine capability to identify anything at any time.

It is important that IEEE of the Future maintains its ideals with its unique governance model of being member-led and member-driven. Meanwhile, the evolving interests need to be served in order to keep members engaged and to attract new ones. To continue to satisfy and increase engagement, it will likely require a greater variety of products and services such as enhanced social tools, customized information packaging, and e-convening services for emerging topics. IEEE also has an opportunity to offer more professional development and recognition that is aimed at industry professionals. So the bottom line is that the IEEE of the Future will become more agile, with broaden services in recognition of changing expectations, while leveraging its strengths of technical breadth and global reach within the construct of its member-driven governance model.

To be a write-in candidate on the IEEE ballot for the 2016 election, Reder needs approximately 2,000 more signatures for her petition by May 8. If you are an IEEE member, will you sign? It's easy to sign online at www.ieee.org/petition or go to her website www.wandareder.com to learn more.

On the Future Grid:

A very dependable and robust future grid is really important as we transition how we make, move and use power. We will need to improve its reliability to meet the growing demand in the digital economy for power performance, and in doing so, it will be necessary to leverage the latest technologies into new design structures. By doing this, we can build a future grid that can handle the power demands needed to drive economic stability and growth around the world. 

One must also weigh the impact of more distributed, renewable power being incorporated onto the grid. Up until now, power has been delivered from centralized generation sources to the load, but now, with renewables, we are working with a generation source that is less predictable and more dynamic. So, the future grid will need to maintain its legacy capabilities, while also enabling the interconnection of more renewable generation that is located throughout the delivery system. Beyond renewables, we will see other sources emerge during the coming decade, such as battery storage, fuel cells and microgrids. An upside for consumers is that that they will likely benefit from the ability to have increased choice to interact with the grid in order to better plan power consumption, delivery capacity and generation needs while achieving cost savings.

Beyond renewables, we will see other sources emerge during the coming decade, such as battery storage, fuel cells and microgrids.

For IEEE and the IEEE Power and Energy Society, it became apparent early on that this transitional phase for grid modernization is driving a critical need to share vision, develop standards, and exchange relevant information as technologies were deployed. Having launched IEEE Smart Grid in 2010, and with four years of leadership, I’ve been able to witness firsthand how IEEE has brought a trusted voice to the external marketplace to help drive technology and its adoption. Participation in IEEE Smart Grid is making a difference and it continues to grow with over 27,000 who participate via LinkedIn and 11,000 who follow on Twitter. In fact, many of the processes initiated by IEEE Smart Grid are now being successfully applied elsewhere in IEEE for other emerging areas such as Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Electric Vehicles, Life Sciences and RFID.

As part of my platform running for IEEE president, I have made it clear that I want to encourage  IEEE to continue to provide thought leadership in emerging areas and sponsor venues like IEEE Smart Grid to facilitate technical exchange. 

On Your Work Ethic:

I believe in the motto “work hard, play hard.” My work ethic is simple: I do my best, work toward an objective that solves real problems and aim for what is “right” in the grandest sense. I believe that anything can be accomplished when people pull together. IEEE members can accomplish a lot more together than any individual or company can on their own by leveraging their collective technical strength and global breadth. Fortunately, I have had the vision and opportunity to provide leadership at a time when it was needed, as well as the support of many respected co-workers and colleagues. It does take time, patience, commitment, conviction and the willingness to adjust based upon a wide range of inputs and perspectives.

I do my best, work toward an objective that solves real problems and aim for what is 'right' in the grandest sense..

However, it is tremendously rewarding to be a small part of making a really big difference; it motivates me! I reflect back to when the IEEE Power & Energy Society and the IEEE Foundation supported a group of us to launch the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative to double the pipeline of undergraduate engineers in order to have engineers available to assume positions that were vacated by retirements. We have awarded 766 scholarships since the program inception in 2011 and estimate that those taking power at the undergraduate level have indeed doubled since 2006 when planning initially started! Our efforts are making a difference. Please continue to support the PES Scholars. Learn more and donate to the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative.   

To be a write-in candidate on the IEEE ballot for the 2016 election, Reder needs approximately 2,000 more signatures for her petition by May 8. If you are an IEEE member, will you sign? It's easy to sign online at www.ieee.org/petition or go to her website www.wandareder.com to learn more.
 

TAGS: Safety
Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish