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IEEE Future Tech Forum


Digital Inclusion Roundtable 

The Digital Inclusion Roundtable was a special complimentary live 90 minute, virtual event held on 11 October 2021 at 12 PM ET. Titled: “Digital generation. Our generation: equity and inclusion to bring a digital revolution for all!”, this event coincided with the International Day of the Girl 2021.

According to the United Nations, our world is home to more than 1.1 billion girls under age 18, who are poised to become the largest generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs, and change-makers the world has ever seen! However, there’s a significant knowledge gap on the digital realities for this generation of girls replicating the gender inequality in the current physical world.

By 2050, about 65% of the children will have jobs that do not yet exist. Without increased digital adoption and use, girls will have fewer employment opportunities and will face additional barriers to workforce participation. Future tech trends for an immersive intelligent digital world transformed through digital twins, AR, VR, AI, and ML will have a major impact on the labor market.

What factors need to be addressed to close the digital gender gap? Each and every member of this unique panel addressed the inequity and exclusion that takes place and actions needed to bring a gender-balanced digital revolution for all.

Hear different perspectives from a high school student, STEAM teacher, someone from industry, and an international gender champion.

This Roundtable is an IEEE Future Tech Forum event, brought to you by IEEE Future Directions.

Available on-demand: click here to access the event recording. 



Event Moderator:

Kathy GriseKathy Grise, Senior Program Director – IEEE Future Directions, supports new technology initiatives, is the IEEE staff program director for the Digital Reality Initiative, the IEEE Technology Navigator AI, Future Directions and Industry Advisory Board Committees, and manages the digital presence team for Future Directions. Previous initiatives included big data and cloud computing. Ms. Grise serves as the Technical Program Chair of the IEEE COMPSAC 2022 Symposium – Data Sciences, Analytics, & Technologies (DSAT). Prior to joining the IEEE staff, Ms. Grise held numerous positions at IBM, and most recently was a Senior Engineering Manager for Process Design Kit Enablement in the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center. Ms. Grise led the overall IT infrastructure implementation, and software development in support of semiconductor device modeling verification, packaging, and delivery; device measurement and characterization data collection and management, and automation for device modeling engineers. Ms. Grise is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College, and an IEEE Senior member.

Keynote Speaker and Event Organizer:

Jeewika Ranaweera, is a principal hardware engineer working on high-speed microprocessors at Oracle. She received her Bachelor’s in CSE from ISPJAE in Havana, Cuba and her Master’s and PhD degrees in ECE from the University Of Toronto, Canada. She is an IEEE Senior Member and a steering committee member for IEEE Future Directions and Digital Reality Initiatives.

Jeewika authored an eBook about her engineering journey for IEEE Women in Engineering to inspire others to follow STEM careers and illustrated the 1stchildren’s book published by IEEE. Recently she delivered a Keynote on “Successful Leadership Development in STEAM Careers,” at the IEEE LAEDC 2020, WIE/YP Networking session in Costa Rica. She is passionate about delivering talks on Quantum Computing, and the need to have a diverse environment to eliminate “Bias in AI” that discriminates minority. She also shared her unique insight via a podcast on areas where immersive technologies benefit humanity. She has been a speaker at the IEEE LAEDC, Drive World Conference, ChipChat, IEEE VTS, IEEE CCNC, AWE, IEEE TTM, Grace Hopper Conference, IEEE WIC Summit, and FB Developer Circle. She has also been a Track chair for the IEEE WIE ILC.

She volunteers as a female technologist through the Oracle Education Foundation. As a Program Evaluator for ABET, she helps guide the content, quality and delivery of ECE degree programs around the world.

She has authored and co-authored many papers published in technical journals, and presented at international conferences. Jeewika holds five US Patents.


Caitlin Kraft BuchmanCaitlin Kraft Buchman, CEO/Founder, Women at the Table, a global gender equality & democracy CSO based in Geneva, Switzerland focused on advancing feminist systems change by using the prism of technology, innovation & AI to exercise leverage points in technology, the economy, sustainability & democratic governance.

Caitlin also co-founded and leads the <A+> Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms, a global coalition of technologists, activists & academics who focus on affirmative action for algorithms in order to create new systems instead of merely fixing bias in the old systems.

Sophia Napp-VegaSophia Napp-Vega is a Student at St. Mary Academy – Bay View. Ms. Napp-Vega is a policy-minded student of history and an advocate for equal rights in all forms. Areas of interest include astronomy, literature, art and language, US and World history, and policy and politics. Ms. Napp-Vega is particularly interested in the intersection of technology and policy, especially within the context of equal rights.


Ellen SellersEllen Sellers, 7th Grade Science/STEAM Instructor – Monroe Middle School. Ms. Sellers graduated from UCF with a BS in Biology and minored in Microbiology and Botany. She worked in Food Technologies as a Research Microbiologist and decided to become a teacher after getting married and having children. There were multiple reasons for this; the same schedule as her children, plus a son with special needs (he needed her to be his teacher). In her experience as a teacher, she noticed that students enjoyed using technology as a toy but needed to learn how to use it as a tool. As a result, she created a hybrid or blended classroom environment.

WordPress and Weebly were some tools she used to build classroom websites. Some of the Learning Management Systems (LMS) used in her classroom include Moodle, Canvas, Google Classroom, and now Schoology. In the 2020-2021 school year, she was a dedicated Online Teacher for STEAM and Science. Essential tools for that year included Google Voice, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Classroom Dojo, and Run The World.

Ms. Sellers started teaching Middle school science for about six years in Florida at a Title 1 school, then moved to California to teach English Language Arts (ELA) and Social Studies, Science, and STEAM. During her entire time teaching, she tried to utilize all types of technology to engage and develop students’ hard and soft skills for the future.



Available on-demand: click here to access the event recording.