We’re highlighting the wonderful contributions of recent award winners recognized by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). In this series, these women share how Intel supports their careers, offering them flexibility alongside opportunities to create amazing tech.
Rahima Mohammed, a senior principal engineer with Intel’s Architecture, Graphics and Software group (IAGS) recently received the 2020 Advocate for Women in Engineering award. The SWE gives the award each year to an individual who has demonstrated professional excellence in their chosen STEM field and has proven to be an advocate of women in engineering.
“Besides the strong need for women in science and technology to make each of our companies more competitive, advocating for women in technology is truly a passion of mine,” says Rahima.
The 2020 Advocate for Women in Engineering Award recognizes Rahima for helping others grow through her mentoring and coaching, as well as for the psychologically safe work environment she has created. As a 22-year Intel veteran, Rahima has long engaged in programs like inclusive leadership, H3 activate cohort sessions, mentoring circles, PE connect sessions, and technical steering committees. She has been a technical advisor for Women@Intel (WIN), and since 2010, she has taught classes on topics supporting women’s advancement, and delivering mini workshops in the Women’s Principal Engineer and Fellows Forum (WPEFF).
Rahima has also served as the senior advisor and mentor for WIN-Mexico team since 2010, contributing to the growth of the tech female population from 9% to 20% and serving as the SPE in residence for Costa Rica since 2019. Ove the last three years, Rahima has co-lead well-attended sessions on “How to Create a Successful Conference Presentation,” motivating women engineers to submit conference abstracts and start building their portfolios for technical leadership.
In 2014, Rahima initiated and managed the MDO Senior Women’s Leadership Pipeline Development Cohort program for all U.S. Intel sites. This 10-month program brought together technical women across all U.S. sites each month to exchange ideas and skills between the program leaders and the large network of people these women work with.
Outside Intel, Rahima volunteers to advance technical organizations like Semi-Therm, Burn-In Test Strategies Workshop, and TestConX. She also advances organizations that blend diversity and technical expertise such as SWE and GHC. Since 2011, she has been serving GHC as a judge, invited panelist, speed mentor. Rahima is also a member of the industry advisory board of Anita Borg and GHC partner collaboration forums, and she co-chaired the GHC Partner Collaboration Forum with more than 15 high-tech company members from 2015-2019.
Originally from Bangladesh, and as a member of the South Asian diaspora, Rahima is an advocate, leader and executive member of SpaandanB, a non-profit organization that has touched 200,000+ lives in Bangladesh since its founding in 1998. “I am very dedicated to SpaandanB education projects that promote STEM education. I try to make the time to offer classes or participate in scholarship awarding sessions in my trips to Bangladesh, and I take leading roles in organizing annual fund-raising activities of SpaandanB.” Rahima often leads volunteering activities through SpaandanB at Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) in San Jose, Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest Food Bank and Sleeping Bags for Homeless in Silicon Valley.
When asked what words of advice she might give to budding Intel women engineers, Rahima says, “Every Intel woman engineer can influence Intel and the industry in a positive way to pave the path for future generations. Please get involved with your local Women@Intel network to begin with, find your passion for what you like, and a specific area where you want to make your mark. Get involved in becoming a reviewer for Intel conferences and start presenting and publishing your work to start building your technical portfolio.”
Rahima emphasizes that each one of us can become mentors and help each other. “Please take the time to share your experiences, become the voice, provide mentoring, role model for others how to become technically successful. That’s how you inspire others to become strong technical women,” Rahima adds. “Reach out to your senior role models, both women and men, and be open about where you need help. Get the mentoring and coaching you need. Seek out male allies who want to change the narrative for women—many of them are sincerely taking this journey and trying to create a psychologically safe environment for the women who seek out their help.”
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