POWERGEN committee member Una Nowling wins `STEMMy’ award for diversity efforts

Diverse hands
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Transgender engineer champions global gender equity through lectures, mentoring and media

Since coming out as a transgender woman in 2012, Black & Veatch’s Una Nowling, who is also a member of the POWERGEN technical advisory committee, has championed efforts to educate locally and globally about gender diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM). That commitment now is being recognized with one of Kansas City region’s premier awards for advocacy for women in STEMM.

Una Nowling displaying her POWERGEN badge at a previous event.

Nowling, a leader in the global infrastructure solutions company’s power business, has been named the recipient of this year’s “Women in STEMM Champion Award” by the Central Exchange, a 41-year-old community for Kansas City-area women leaders. Known as a “STEMMy,” the honor recognizes a man or woman in a STEMM-related field or affiliation who has a vision for gender equality and advocates for women in STEMM, either by supporting them pursuing or furthering STEMM careers or by promoting women in his or her workplace or community.

Beyond her work at Black & Veatch, Nowling is a researcher and historian who hosts an LGBTQIA+ -focused program on Kansas City Community Radio’s KFKI-FM. She is a frequent lecturer to city councils, businesses, universities and high schools, STEM societies, counseling centers and medical groups. She is also an adjunct professor who teaches engineering classes at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive the Champion Award, knowing all that it signifies in the effort to bring about greater gender equity – something I’m passionate about,” Nowling said. “Having walked the walk on both sides of the gender divide, I have a unique perspective to share, and I’m committed through my listen-first approach to helping provide pathways to solutions to greater equity rights for women and others in the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Nowling will receive the “Champion Award” during the yearly STEMMy awards luncheon on Sept. 23 in Kansas City.

Nowling will also be teaching a Utility University (UU) course at next year’s DISTRIBUTECH International on the topic of Diversity and Inclusion for Utilities. The course takes place on January 25, 2022. Registration for UU courses will be open soon.

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Jennifer Runyon is a Content Director at Clarion Energy, writing, editing and posting content on POWERGRID International and planning conference sessions for DISTRIBUTECH's live and virtual events. She as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH International. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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