Keysight and SWE
A 40-year Relationship
Keysight values its strong relationship with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Like SWE, Keysight strives to support the success and advancement of women engineers in the workplace, and to empower and inspire our employees to reach their full potential, feel supported, be connected and inspired, and inspire others.
Keysight has a long-standing relationship with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), an organization that has been dedicated to helping women succeed in engineering and leadership since 1950.
Throughout the seventies, local Hewlett-Packard sites engaged with SWE sections in their area. The relationship was expanded when HP sent a large delegation to the 1979 SWE National Conference in San Francisco, not far from HP headquarters. Among other things, the conference inspired HP to create the HP Women’s Technical Conference, which carried on for many years.
In addition to focusing on employee development, HP, Agilent and now Keysight have also had a strong commitment to supporting SWE’s development of tomorrow’s STEM leaders and its focus on female collegiate engineering students.
Corporate Partnership Council
Keysight is a proud member of SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council (CPC). Members of the CPC, provide expertise and guidance to SWE and its members by sharing best practices, addressing retention and advancement issues and partnering on diversity initiatives.
Collegiate Leadership Institute
Keysight has been a committed sponsor of SWE's Collegiate Leadership Institute and its predecessor programs since 2003. This program identifies, supports, and prepares female collegiate engineering students to become the leaders of tomorrow in STEM.
Keysight Manager Receives SWE Leadership Award
Keysight is proud to announce that Gail Heck-Sweeney, Keysight’s director of worldwide solution partner and rental channels, has been named a winner of SWE’s 2018 Global Leadership Award. This award honors individuals who have driven international engineering, scientific and technology organizations, and served as role models to women engineers and technologists worldwide.
Gail’s exceptional résumé of international achievements, global impact on business and employees, and extra-curricular leadership activities as a role model makes her highly deserving of this award. Her forty years with HP/Agilent/Keysight have taken her around the globe, touching nearly all aspects of business operations from product development and manufacturing to marketing and sales, to mention a few. Her first global assignment came early in her career when she jumped at the opportunity to move to South Queensferry, Scotland to become Keysight’s first female product line manager. After two years she returned to the U.S. to lead manufacturing engineering, customer support, and production planning. She then found herself in The Netherlands, directing the marketing for five product divisions in Europe, Middle East and Africa. She then moved to Hong Kong to duplicate in Asia her success in Europe. She started breaking down barriers and accelerating the impact marketing would have in the region.
Back in the U.S., Gail became marketing manager for wireless test equipment…until she moved back to Asia to become General Manager in China, building high-performance R&D, product planning and product marketing teams in Beijing. After eight years in Asia, she was called on to lead a major acquisition in Spain. Now back in the U.S., Gail leads Keysight’s network of worldwide strategic partners.
Gail’s courage to take on new challenges, ability to bring people together, continuous development of herself and others, and passion for diversity set her apart from the rest. She champions women in leadership by actively participating in company and external organizations that encourage diversity in business and engineering. She’s also a regular panelist at Keysight’s Women’s Leadership Panel, Keysight Leadership Network, and Emerging Leaders Program events, sharing her experiences as a leader. She has cofounded multiple organizations that promote the mentorship and development of women in business.
The Keysight / SWE Community
Keysight Manager Receives Leadership Award at WE17
Keysight worldwide sales, support and services manager Liz Ruetsch recently was named as a winner of the SWE global leadership award, which recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of engineering or technical management in an international setting.
Liz’s selection in the global leadership category is impressive considering the nomination qualifications: seven years working on various international assignments and/or leading a global team, and 15 years of experience overall, including achieving a leadership position in her current organization and creating a nurturing environment for women of different cultures in the workplace
Liz’s role-model activities have included participating in Keysight’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day program and delivering talks about her career path in “women's lunches” at Keysight’s High Impact Training (HIT), at STEM sessions, and as a panelist at a local SWE conference.
“Throughout her career in sales and marketing roles, Liz has consistently grown our business around the globe,” said Erica Messinger, director of Keysight’s worldwide university program and Keysight-SWE Enterprise Program (KSWEEP) lead. “Her passion for customers and winning combined with a commitment to continuous learning is contagious, and she has mentored and inspired many engineers, both inside and outside our company. She is an excellent recipient of the global leadership award.”
Keysight VP Shares His Passion for SWE & Diversity
As part of SWE’s Men As Diversity Partners podcast series, 2017 SWE President Jessica Rannow spoke to Pat Harper, Keysight’s Vice President of Technology Order Fulfillment. In the 15-minute podcast , Pat talks about the importance of diversity and recommends having diverse mentors. He also discusses his involvement in the Keysight Society of Women Engineers Enterprise Program (KSWEEP).
Pat, who attended his first women's conference in the 1990s, has sponsored dozens of employees to attend SWE conferences. Most recently he helped sponsor a SWE event in Penang Malaysia. “Partnering with SWE is one way that Keysight has created a supportive and inclusive company culture,” he said. “One that gives every employee tools, support and opportunities to succeed."
Read Pat's blog post about the realities of Unconscious Bias, and how it must be rectified.
Keysight volunteers at annual Girls Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (GESTEM) Event
Volunteers from Keysight's Colorado Springs, Englewood and Loveland, Colorado sites played a significant role in a Girls Exploring Science Technology Engineering and Math (GESTEM) event in May 2017. Keysight has been involved with the GESTEM event hosted by the SWE Rocky Mountain Section since it first began inspiring 7th grade girls in 2003.
More than 1,000 students worked with STEM professionals in hands-on workshops designed to introduce STEM careers in a fun and active environment. The connection between skills learned in STEM classes and careers was reinforced with participating students, who were also introduced to basic networking and mentoring techniques. The annual event provides an opportunity for local companies and the community to support student success in STEM education.
Keysight Helps SWE Expand Globally
Keysight hosted SWE’s first event in Southeast Asia, helping to bring more development, advancement and global networking opportunities closer to women engineers in the region.
The event, held at the Keysight Penang campus in Malaysia, was attended by up to 100 participants from 30 organizations including Keysight and other global companies like Motorola Solutions, Intel, Dell, B.Braun, HP, Plexus, Jabil and others.
“This event is not only a milestone for SWE but also another great step in advancing the contributions of women engineers globally,” said Shidah Ahmad, Keysight’s Order Fulfillment vice president and general manager, in her opening address. “Keysight is proud to support SWE on this platform, as this is tightly aligned to Keysight’s own culture of inclusion and practice of providing a conducive and encouraging environment for women engineers to grow and develop.”
At the event, Smita Tharoor, a world-renowned motivational speaker, and other corporate thought leaders, were on hand to lead a discussion on the Unconscious Bias, exploring the subject of individual and cultural biases that impact women and working relationships.
Keysight Contributes to Successful Expanding Your Horizons Program
In April, 2017, the 25th annual Sonoma County Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) event was held in Santa Rosa, CA. During the event, 100 middle school girls participated in hands-on science and engineering workshops.
Keysight was one of the event’s sponsors, and many Keysight employees participated in the event. Highlights included a workshop about the physics of rocket launches led by Keysight Employee Johanna Jamison, and a workshop on robotics.
Keysight Employee Gives Keynote Address at SWE Event
In March, 2017, 170 students participated in the SWE Engineering Awareness Event in Folsom, CA. Keysight Mechanical Engineer, Kim Bishop, gave the keynote address at the event, which was themed “Stretch your comfort zone, mold your future.” Kim emphasized the importance of curiosity and experimentation in developing engineering breakthroughs.
The students attended nine hands-on workshops such as building solar cars and designing prosthetic legs.
Meet Rosana – The Star Behind the Video
Keysight's Breakthroughs start small video features Rosana Cheruvelil, a Network Analyzer Brand Specialist at Keysight. Rosana started as an intern and joined Keysight full-time in 2015 after earning her BSEE from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Rosana loves Keysight’s emphasis on people and culture. “Even within Keysight’s society of minorities,” Rosana said, “there is so much diversity found. The differences in experience and the variations in attitude can make any girl feel welcome and valued.”
SWE CEO Visits Keysight Headquarters
SWE Executive Director and CEO, Karen Horting spoke to Keysight employees in Santa Rosa CA about her career and how she collaborates with multiple companies as partners, including Keysight. Some of her key insights included:
- People with large, diverse networks are better able to take risks – being involved with groups like SWE helps build that network
- Sometimes one’s career path may be more like chutes and ladders than a straight line – there may be sidesteps, backward steps, forward steps, etc. to get to the next stage of your career
- Good mentors help us have perspective, support us and push us; and sometimes they may not even know they are in that role
- Being present where you are and with your current company is critical when juggling numerous demands
Keysight University Program Director Honored by SWE
Erica Messinger, Keysight’s Worldwide University Program Director, received SWE’s Spark Award at the WE16 Conference. The Spark Award honors those who have contributed to the advancement of women, made a difference in the lives of many by affecting women at a variety of levels, from high school to executive positions, and mentored multiple women over their careers in a variety of settings.
In addition to her primary responsibilities, Erica has been Keysight’s champion and liaison to SWE for nearly 15 years.
Keysight SWE Members Organize Internal Hackathon
Thirty-Two Keysight employees from multiple sites and organizations participated in Keysight’s first internal hackathon in October 2016. Fueled by food and drink throughout the day, participants engaged their imagination and creativity to design and develop a range of software using a myriad of new technologies.
The event, inspired by the 2015 SWE National Conference hackathon sponsored by Google, was developed by Keysight R&D software engineers Chris Grove and Vivian Patlin, with support across the company.
“Hackathons are part of modern software culture and practices and I’m excited to see Keysight teams experimenting with them,” said Jay Alexander, Keysight CTO. “The fact that this effort involved people from multiple sites and businesses is a great additional benefit on the teamwork and innovation fronts.”