Hannover. 2017 marks the fifth time that Deutsche Messe has presented the coveted Engineer Powerwoman award to a female STEM professional for her initiative, ideas and dedication in promoting innovative technologies in her company or organization. This year's award winner is Maria Belén Aranda Colás. Aranda was presented with the award, which is worth 5,000 euros, at the opening ceremony of the WoMenPower conference by Yasmin Fahimi, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and Deutsche Messe's Managing Board Chairman Dr. Wolfram von Fritsch. The jury has chosen Maria Belén Aranda Colás as this year's winner not just because of her achievements as a Project Manager, but because of her commitment to promoting women in the STEM professions. She is a shining example for girls and young women with an interest in pursuing technology-centered careers.
Maria Belén Aranda Colás has been a member of the management team at Robert Bosch GmbH since March of 2017. Prior to that, she served as Project Manager for Autonomous Driving in Robert Bosch's Chassis Systems Control unit. Aranda, who holds a degree in electrical engineering, is a committed advocate of new technologies that improve traffic safety, and over the years has championed the cause of autonomous driving at numerous conferences and panel discussions and on joint working groups with lawmakers and regulators. She also mentors young girls and female university students, inspiring them with a passion for technology and encouraging them to consider careers in STEM areas.
This year's WoMenPower conference, which comprised numerous lectures, workshops and seminars on career issues, success strategies and innovative employment models, was attended by 1,400 women and men. The Engineer Powerwoman award ceremony was one of the big highlights of the event. At the supporting exhibition, more than 50 participating companies, industry associations, business networks, organizations and trainers provided information on career opportunities, coaching and mentoring offerings as well as a range of employment, industrial relations and labor-market topics.
The main sponsors of the conference are Audi, Continental, Harting, Deloitte, Robert Bosch, WAGO Kontakttechnik and the German Federal Defense Forces.