IGNITE Panel at Chief Sealth International HS

A group of 38 young women were inspired to follow their dreams in becoming engineers, medical technologists, network engineers, and many more STEM careers, today after listening to the amazing Ignite panel.  The panel consisted of six women from diverse backgrounds and varying positions within local technology companies.

They were: Beth Kester-Warner, Recruiting Manager at ExtraHop; Ruth Mansoor, Web Developer; Katie Krieger, Account Director at Catalysis; Kimberly Mach, Senior Software Developer at Microsoft; Kendra Powers, Director of Missions Systems at Boeing; and Virginia Bing, CEO of BingNet.

These amazing women told their stories about how they got to where they are today, struggles and barriers they overcame, and what their current jobs entail.  The stories were incredible and inspiring! The Chief Sealth girls asked amazing questions, stayed late to chat with the panelists, and went away with a renewed passion (or new passion) for STEM careers!



After this event:


of girls are more interested in STEM

of girls want to study harder to attend college and further their education

want to take a STEM related course next semester

Comments from the Girls:

  • What I enjoyed was hearing each guests backgrounds on how life inspired them to do technology.
  • It has inspired me to try harder and do/go what/where I want.
  • This event inspired me! The first lady had dyslexia and still managed to work at the highest jobs at Disney and Microsoft.
  • Just hearing the different stories made me more confident with the path I am taking. It also expanded my knowledge about my career options, even though I am interested in medicine, I can connect my interest to STEM. Also, the stories inspired me to take more risks and expand my interests.
  • Each person had so many hardships in pursuing/getting their job they have now.
  • I enjoyed their stories because I can relate to many of them.
  • I liked hearing the different stories about how these different women found their careers. It helped me understand that what you want to do now, might go in a completely different path later.
  • I would love to study computer science and engineering, just the knowledge of those types of companies being very interested in hiring women in those fields.
  • I enjoyed listening to the panelist stories on how they started off going into a career that has nothing to do with technology, but still had something come up where they found their passion with technology.


Thank you panelists for your courage to speak your stories and inspire a new generation of STEM women professionals!We look forward to the continued partnership with Ignite to create awesome opportunities for these young women.


Rebecca Horst
Career Connected Learning Coordinator
Chief Sealth International High School
Seattle Washington