back to article IEEE names 28-year-old woman its new 'Face of Engineering'

Global engineering association the IEEE has chosen a woman described by her supervisors as "the 'Energizer Bunny'" as its designated "New Face of Engineering" for 2010. Sanna Gaspard, New Face of Engineering 2010 as nominated by the IEEE. Credit: Carnegie Mellon World Peace? Not specifically. But she does like helping …


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  1. TRT Silver badge

    Oh no!

    Brains AND looks. I might as well hang up my coat now.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hoo boy

    Can you spell ``token''? Can you? Well, the IEEE can. As many times as necessairy in the same person. Subtle, not so much.

    Still and all, some good might come from it. If they did their social and PR calculations right.

    No Paris this time, for that wouldn't be smart.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      She's not by chance a one-legged muslim lesbian single mum from a broken home as well, is she?

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: tokens


        1. elderlybloke
          Thumb Up


          The new Token is female and black, that's two stars before the contest even startsl

        2. unitron

          You replied to the wrong idiot

          The AC who just assumed that the IEEE deliberately chose her only because she's black and female is the idiot.

          The AC who asked about the other "minority characteristics" was using satire to point out what an idiot the first AC was.

  3. Lottie


    to her.

    We need more representation in engineering.

  4. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    And there was I...

    ...expecting a pic of Computer Engineer Barbie :)

    Sexism aside, good on her.

  5. Andrew Oakley


    The IEEE pick a black female role model, and her employers describe her as a "Bunny"?

    Class. You couldn't make this stuff up.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I think you missed the point; it was a reference to the TV ad for long lasting batteries, rather than a sexist comment. But, whatever.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      OMG GOTI effect classic

      Yeah I have to admit it does indeed seem such a classic sexist remark, but its engineering, we know more about what plugs what and were on a computer than we do the organic kind. Have to feel sorry for her though; I mean she does get the advantage of proping up a CV whilst getting her qualifications as well as some fiscal help which anybody in that position will never turn down. If they had asked her to wear a swimsuit she more than likely would of given it all pays for her education. Everybody has a price but a students is always the cheapest. Still she has two choices now:

      1) Leverage her position to do some good social networking and secure a realy good job.

      2) Go along for the ride and take all the jokes for about 6-9 months and then question them in a court.

      I suspect she will take door one, but she always has door 2 as a backup given the nickname she has been landed with and its multitude of bad interpritations, though as an engineer I suspect it leans to towards her ability to work like she drank lots of coffee but didn't and none of the side effects - I driven person.

      Either way there aint enough women in Technology period and I'd like to see GOTI become a thing of the past.

      Hope she does well despite the nick name handy cap - still could be worse, could be the 80's and she could of been called a Wizz Kid and have strange people come up to you asking to buy powder and you not having a clue at what there on about, all because a friend calls out - Hiya whizz kid out load. At least she is saved that education.

  6. Torben Mogensen

    The face of ...?

    I find it a bit misleading to use the term "the face of engineering" and "the face of Armani underwear". I'm pretty sure Megan Fox' face had little to do with the choice of her to represent Armani, and I'm likewise sure Anna Gaspard was not chosen for her pretty face (though it undeniably is that). It might be better to say that Megan Fox is the new body of Armani underwear and Anna Gaspard is the new brains of engineering. :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      face is a factor

      not sure they would have picked a munter given what they are trying to achieve - it's an aspirational thing surely?

      should point out quickly that they wouldn't have picked a munter of either gender before all the knee-jerk PC crowd rush in ...

      1. MeRp

        did you follow the link?

        Some of the people they did pick were not exactly what I would call passably appealing.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          follow the link? did I heck

          but now that I have...

          looks like there *is* a sexist bias in there - no out-and-out mingers amongst the women but it looks as if it's ok to be a drooling cyclops and a male engineer. hmmmmmmm

  7. davenewman

    Prefer Veronica Cedillos

    or Melody Ablola out of the full list of new faces.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Oh pleeeeease.... not this AGAIN

    The reason there are no women in engineering is that there are no women in engineering.

    And any and every attempt to chivvy more women into engineering by pushing a token woman or two into everyone's faces is going to have precisely the same effect it has had every single time it's been done before - it is going to make the problem worse. When are these people going to learn?

    There is a way to get more women into engineering. Quite simply, it is to just shut up about it, and instead concentrate on getting more of the right kind of men into engineering - i.e. those without personal hygiene problems or Star Trek obsessions.


    1. Goat Jam

      While I do understand your point

      I feel it is worth adding that the best way to get women into engineering is to give engineers the same cultural and monetary standing in society as say, doctors . . .

      The personal hygene/Star Trek obsession will be of less import if said "Drooling Cyclops" drives a 911 Carrera and has a yacht in Maiorca.

      If you don't believe me go ask Jamie Packer.

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      XKCD - the Tautology Club

      "The first rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club". Still can't write it without laughing, how sad am I?

  9. Connor
    Thumb Down

    Who was the last face of IEEE?

    I really do hope that she deserved this accolade (sounds like she did), because it does look as though they've just stuck a woman out there who is more than halfway attractive and who also happens to be black, for all the media to make them look progressive and multicultural etc and all the other modern, in vogue buzz words.

    I think that perhaps she could have done without this 'honour' and just been allowed to do her job.

  10. Lionel Baden


    I spend way to much time on private forums ....

    Judging by them amount i am having to hold back fire comments !!!!!

    *icon, it slipped out a little !!!? !

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Wimmin, eh?

    So now any woman considering a career in engineering not only has to put up with the blokey environment where she'll be patronised and encounter institutionalised sexism ("Right then lads, today I'm going to teach you all about the elementary principles of the Wankel rotary engine, and to do this I'd like Tracey to come up here and demonstrate with this hula-hoop..."), but now she also has to compete with other lookers with better hair, teeth and skin than her too!


    Paris, because of her existing familiarity with the PorkSword™ family of tunnel boring machine.

  12. J 3
    IT Angle


    One can't win, eh?

    Bunch of sexist racists in here.

    I mean, how many posts more will imply that the person was only chosen because of gender and race and looks? Could it have been the case? Of course. But the instant jump here to say that by you guys, the automatic "oh, just a token" response, says more about the posters than it could ever say about the lady in question (whom and whose qualities I don't know, by the way).

    Very sad, but so is the world.

    1. Goat Jam


      If we critical thinkers hadn't been witness to a constant barrage of token PC appointments and diversity quota chasing over the last thirty years perhaps we'd all be a tad less cynical about such things, yes?

      Critical thinking, it's not for everyone.

      1. J 3
        Thumb Up

        @Critical thinking, it's not for everyone.

        Definitely right, there.

        It's conspicuously absent among people who knee-jerk based on previous "history" and don't consider things case by case, as would be at least fair to the poor sods involved, automatically assuming that everyone is incompetent if there is the least possibility that they were not chosen due to relevant qualities. Guilty until... well, forever if it's up to your "history", right? Yup, very "critical" "thinking" that... just with the wrong part of the brain.

        If IEEE hadn't chosen her, they be called racist and/or sexists. When they choose her, they are called the same, with inverted signs. Can't win.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good grief ...

    So let me get this straight. The appointed 'Face of Engineering' is a woman and therefore isn't really any good at her job, she's just window-dressing? C'mon guys, you're usually a fairly intelligent bunch! You know nothing about her - how about giving her the 'benefit of the doubt'?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Good luck to her, the more smart *people* in the business the better for everyone, except the frauds currently scraping through with their knuckles a dragging, many of whom appear to be in residence today.

  14. smeddy


    I wouldn't have such a gut reaction to this - if the press release actually said what she's done, what she's doing, what she wants to do.

    Instead it just reads like: "Hey, we've found a woman, and she's BLACK! We gave her a title!"

  15. Rather Notsay

    IEEE Meritocracy

    Other than being a black woman from Trinidad who's rather clever, what was the selection criteria? Nobody is saying that she's not qualified because she's a BWFT, just that all we know about her achievements are that she's just another bright young thing from Carnegie Mellon. Oh, and she's energetic. Is she on the verge of a breakthrough regarding quantum computing technology? Cancer cure? Rubiks Cube champ? Does good impressions of Gordon Brown? Anything?!

    The reason we're cynical is, we all work at jobs where minority status is prized above merit and we're all bloody sick of it. We DONT know what, if anything, she has achieved. We DO know that she's a politically motivated CEO's wet dream. If she changed her PhD to something to do with how climate change is driving black women engineers from poor countries to use web 2.0 mashups, she'd win next year's Nobel Peace Prize.

    Logic and reason are burning to the ground and this smells a lot like smoke.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: IEEE Meritocracy

      >>Logic and reason are burning to the ground and this smells a lot like smoke.

      Oh, come on. It sends a message that engineering is a progressive field, which is something that is surely good for everyone. Stop over-analysing and looking for doom. It's marketing, this is how it works, and it's not always eeeeeeevil. It's about giving an impression. No one's appointed her head of anything important - in that instance, people's concerns would be fair, but it's nothing to lose any sleep over.

      Unless you really want to, of course, in which case I'm sure you'll find a way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Nice try, but..

        You're not an IEEE member, I take it, Sarah? I am, and sadly the cynic above isnot as far from the truth as we might like.

  16. deadlockvictim

    Energizer Bunny

    When I first read this article, my first thoughts were about the 'Energizer Bunny' and the image it portrayed[1], namely manic, never stopping, unrelenting. Having worked under such types, I felt really sorry those underneath her. I'm sure that her bosses must be delighted.

    [1] Go look up the commercials on YouTube. I'm too lazy to post a link.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Runing sarahs post through my personal babel fish,....

    "sends a message" means "presents a warning"

    "progressive" reads as "fascist"

    "marketting" reads as "manipulation"

    "giving an impression" reads as "taking a position"

    Good luck to the girl, but if we are really that "progressive" why are we having to suffer these "faces-of" in the first place?

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Runing sarahs post through my personal babel fish,....

      Mmm. We all know how accurate Babel Fish is.

      You're such a shower of paranoids, doom-mongers, conspiraloons and misanthropes. I want to give you all a big hug. Wait... that's not it at all.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        La Modx DOES want to give you a hug...

        ... look out for a surprisingly attractive braniac with arms outstretched ... and a bunch of packages strapped to her belt.

  18. Stephen 1

    Expected better of Reg readers

    Is El-Reg now becoming subjected to the same bunch of moaning right wingers that have effectively destroyed the BBC's HYS and infest most other comments sections out there?

    Just because you haven't made as much of your life as you hoped you would is your fault, no-one elses, just accept it.

    Good luck to the woman, it is evident from the comments here that there is a still a battle to win.

    1. David Harrison 1

      Expect away...

      Or perhaps some people who comment so well and entertainingly on other subjects only show their true colours -- whiney, threatened Little Englander male -- when there's a 'social ishoo' involved.

    2. Matt 33

      You mean people on the internet post daft comments?

      Yes losers on the internet complain about everything/blame 'nu-liebor'/swan-roasting asylum seekers and how we're all going to hell in a hand cart. Don't feed the trolls. Ignore them. They matter not. Sad people who spend their lunch hour replying to posts on a...oh, wait.

      My experience of these 'women into engineering' campaigns is that they do backfire - in that the girlies find it patronising to move on to something else. Believe it or not the younger generations do actually think of themselves as equal. I speakth as one who has in the past been in schools trying to encourage students into engineering, and my experience is that girls are just as interested as boys.

  19. Doug Glass

    True, Sooooo True

    One hit in several hundred thousand does indeed establish a trend and make a significant event. Yeah right, and one "Oh sh*t !" no longer wipes out a thousand "Atta boys" either.

  20. Steve 114
    Thumb Up

    Gissa chance

    When I had to fight for formal International Standards in my sector, "I-triple-E" was a long way off, but always seemed to have a slicker and more reliable process - good on 'em for raising the game still further. Oh, but notice that the new CEN-CENELEC supremo is a wimmin too- and a Latino at that. Then check who really rules the roost in ISO committees...

  21. Chizo Ejindu


    So to all you people crying tokenism, political motivation and all the other pointless FUD arguments i ask you this:

    Would you have preferred if some anonymous chubby white male with glasses was the new "Face of Engineering"? Does it somehow make it all less of an honour, less of a recognition of her abilities and more of a political statement because she has an african heritage and her sexual organs are on the inside? Or are you just thick?

    No doubt she must have sucked her way to the top or used her drug-dealing, hood-rat, fried chicken-eating bro's to threaten the IEEE board into giving her this recognition. Because obviously anything else would just be preposterous...

    Let me ask you a question and i would actually really like an answer to this: Exactly when will a black woman's success in a traditionally white male dominated field be seen as some thing other than politically movitated tokenism?

  22. nichomach
    Thumb Down

    I'm not normally a PC-ish person...

    ...but the general tenor of the posts on here, implying that the only reason Gaspard was selected is because she's black and female is so overtly both racist and sexist that it's sickening. Looking at the utter bollocks posted by people like Rather Notsay ("If she changed her PhD to something to do with how climate change is driving black women engineers from poor countries to use web 2.0 mashups, she'd win next year's Nobel Peace Prize." - great, she's actually doing stuff which has direct real world applications and could help save peoples' lives through more accurate medical diagnosis, but let's pretend she's associated somehow with something else that winds you up and then use that association that YOU HAVE PULLED OUT OF YOUR LARDY BIGOTED ARSE to have a pop at her too), I'm utterly disgusted. I'm with sed gawk, J 3, Stephen 1 and David Harrison 1. Yes, she's black, yes, she's female, and equally yes, she's also obviously bloody smart (and probably a lot smarter than most of the 'tards on here who are attacking her) - these are not mutually exclusive. Get the fuck over it.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I'm not normally a PC-ish person...


  23. Chizo Ejindu

    And another thing...

    I find it very interesting that all those racist bigots posting here are too scared to post with their real name. Obviously putting your name to your pissant little opinions makes your already shrunken balls shrivel a bit more.

    1. John Dougald McCallum

      .....and yet again

      did any of you ignorant pillocks actualy read the article or did you just hammer the post a comment button?It says that this student has already started a busness to exploit one of her developments and I for one say good luck as she will need it if you lot are any thing to go by.

      PS jelousy gets you nowhere.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Quite simply - Racist...

    ...these people assume, [overly] simply, that this Black Woman is unable to compete with them. They do not know her, have not met her, but somehow they just 'know' this.

    Please tell me, who amongst you has come up with a cure for cancer recently? What's that, nobody? Who says she has to either, she just needs to be good at what she does, hey, she got into Carnegie Mellon, didn't she?

    The world's changing my friends, go ask China and India. You're going to be seeing some rather different looking faces in the media during the next couple of decades, no need to feel down hearted, that's just the way it is, get used to it (everyone else had to).


    Keep your chins up

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