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Empowering tomorrow’s female leaders at Cal State LA

By Kat Bonomo

Despite significant strides towards gender equality, women remain underrepresented in STEM professions. California State University, Los Angeles has several initiatives to bridge this gap, including the university’s partnership with Cerritos College in the Battery Workforce Challenge.

The CSULA & Cerritos College team aims for more women to be involved in the three-year EV competition, so its partnering with the Cal State LA Club Society of Women Engineers, or SWE, to encourage their members to work with us.

SWE focuses on gender equality in STEM, involving many approaches, including mentorship, advocacy and community engagement. The CSULA & Cerritos College team’s project manager, Isabel Builes, a graduate mechanical engineering student with several years of industry experience, spoke with SWE about her background and opportunities with the BattChallenge for STEM women to get involved. 

Recognizing gender challenges in STEM, Builes spoke about several initiatives in Charging Eagles that empower women to pursue STEM careers by facilitating early exposure, encouragement and support. By participating in a competition team, like BattChallenge, SWE members can gain confidence and technical skills, preparing them for the workforce.

Isabel Builes, a CSULA grad student majoring in mechanical engineering, chats with the university’s Society of Women Engineers, or SWE, to encourage members to get involved in the Battery Workforce Challenge.

Builes also gave insight into the project management role, explaining that an opportunity to gain leadership, organizational skills and strategic vision leads to success in the industry. By fostering an open and inclusive dialogue as project manager, Builes is dedicated to creating a supportive environment conducive to collaboration and mutual learning. The last initiative in our collaboration is continuing to open resources to the BattChallenge and SWE participants through workshops, outreach activities, workshops and mentorship groups.

The CSULA & Cerritos College BattChallenge team aims to play a pivotal role in driving initiatives aimed at empowering girls in STEM and bridging the gender gap in the field. Through participation in Battery Workforce Challenge, we want to empower women to pursue their passions in STEM and pave the way for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive future workforce.

Thank you for reading the CSULA & Cerritos College team’s blog post. We are excited to share our progress with the BattChallenge community. SWE collaboration has been an asset to community engagement and expansion of our BattChallenge team. Catch up with our journey on social media. Explore our Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages.

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