Let Girls Go To School. Let Girls Be Engineers. Let Girls Learn.

Nyanza Rwanda Girl DS Scholarship Winners 2015

Today is International Women’s Day, the day set aside to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality around the world.

Let Girls Go to School is a simple statement. Globally, ~ 30 million adolescent girls are not in school.  In Rwanda, the ability for teenage girls to go to school remains a challenge.  Dassault Systemes North America Women’s Initiative raised enough money to support three more girls on scholarship for the next three years.  My colleague, Mark, got to meet the new recipients and congratulate three former scholarship winners and recent graduates from Nyanza Technical High School.


Let Girls be Engineers is also a simple statement.  We continue to recognize women that have accomplished so much to help the engineering profession and their community in the SOLIDWORKS Women in Engineering program.  You can nominate a woman to be recognized for her accomplishments at www.solidworks.com/WomenInEngineering.


This year at SOLIDWORKS World, in front of 5500 engineers, I was fortunate to interview Bettina Chen co-founder of Roominate Toy.  Bettina, an Electrical Engineer from Cal Tech and Alice Brooks a Mechanical Engineer from MIT, met at Stanford and realized there were few women in their engineering classes.

Bettina and Alice, young engineering entrepreneurs, started a company and are encouraging little girls to explore STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math).

Let Girls Learn is an initiative by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to expand its efforts to help adolescent girls worldwide attend and complete school.  According to the White House press release last week, “This new effort will build on investments we have made and successes we have achieved in global primary school education, and expand them to help adolescent girls complete their education and pursue their broader aspirations.  62 million girls around the world – half of whom are adolescent – are not in school. These girls have diminished economic opportunities and are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, early and forced marriage, and other forms of violence.”

To solve the problems of our future, we need to empower women of all ages.    Marie

Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard