In 1920, women earned the right to vote. In 1963,
congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, protecting women from being paid a lower rate than men for substantially similar work. As part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it became illegal to discriminate in employment based on race, sex, color, religion, and national origin. It’s now 2023 and women have been making progress towards equality in the workplace for over 100 years now. While there’s still room for major improvements, women have come a long way in the workplace.
In 1920, women earned the right to vote. In 1963,
Topics: Gender Balance, STEM, STEM, Gender Balance, Women, Career, Women in STEM, Annual Theme, Equal Pay, Change, Making a Difference, Gender Pay Gap, Challenges, Career Development, Organizational Culture, D&I, Gender Parity, Equity, Organizational Change, STEM Women, STEM Leadership, Female Representation STEM, Hiring Women in STEM, International Women's Day, Women's History Month, Strong Women, Strong World
WEST’s Career Possibilities Panel & Speed Networking series has been incredibly popular. Our first Career Possibilities event of 2023 gave around 100 people the opportunity to learn about STEM communications positions from people that were currently working in that area. We’re thrilled to see the turnout for these events consistently increasing, allowing more and more STEM professionals, and STEM professionals-to-be an opportunity to prepare themselves for their next career move.
Topics: Leadership, Career, Community, Mentoring, Network, Job, Networking, Career Development, Career Possibilities, Speed Networking, New Opportunities, #WESTevent, STEM Women, Hiring Women in STEM
A Conversation on Supporting Women in STEM, and How Returning to the Office is Impacting Marginalized Identities
Recently, YW Boston collaborated with WEST (Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology), a Boston-based learning community that provides a powerful forum and supportive environment for early and mid-career women in STEM. Both organizations work at the intersection of race and gender and seek to uplift women and women of color. In a recent Zoom call, YW Boston President and CEO, Beth Chandler, was interviewed by Elena Spencer, Vice President of WEST’s Board of Directors. In the candid conversation, Beth and Elena discussed various topics, including how to support women in STEM, YW Boston’s Parity on Board, and returning to the office.
Topics: Leadership, Community, #MemberSpotlight, Career Development, D&I, Business Development, Female Representation STEM
Career Possibilities & Speed Networking Series Gives Attendees More Than Hope in Their Career Change Plans
Considering a job or career change can be daunting, or it can be the most exciting life change you plan in a year. The difference is in how you approach making your career change. You could jump in blindly and hope to stumble on the right job, hope that your new position is a good fit for you and that you find a position you can finally call your career, but hope isn’t a plan. Starting your career change process with the Career Possibilities Panel & Speed Networking series put on by WEST and sponsored by Gilead Sciences can be. This series features panels with specialized STEM experiences. Each event gives panelists the opportunity to share about their backgrounds, experiences, and current jobs, as well as giving attendees the opportunity to network with the panelists and other STEM professionals.
Topics: Events, Career, Communication, Panel, Network, Networking, Upcoming Events, Career Development, Career Possibilities, Speed Networking, Advice, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, Experience
Often we misunderstand confidence to be a magical feeling that we either possess or it will elude us forever. We then find ourselves wondering how we can create this magical feeling of confidence. However, in reality, confidence is less of a magical gift and more a result of the everyday work of taking on difficult things, learning, failing, growing, and succeeding. In other words, it is not a question of whether you are a confident person or not, but a result of showing up courageously and authentically to things that feel hard (even impossible), scare us, and doing our best. Repeatedly showing up in those difficult situations courageously would slowly build that trust for you in your abilities, and that’s what confidence in self is: a feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities, and judgment. Confidence is an outcome of courage, not the other way around. This is what Pallavi Srivastava will focus on in her workshop for the WEST community “Nurturing Confidence: The Path Through Courage & Authenticity.”
Pallavi spent the better part of a decade as a therapist and then as a leadership coach, working with leaders and high achievers across different industries (mostly women) who found confidence standing in their way. She recounts how surprised she was to find so many high achievers struggling with confidence. After talking with leaders, managers, and career beginners across different industries, she says for many of her clients: “you would not have thought confidence would have been a challenge for them.” But it was, and it is for so many. She says in her experience, people struggle with nurturing confidence because they think of it as a personal identity flaw. Many think of someone as not a confident person, instead of looking at it as a quality or ability they want to learn and grow.
She has heard it so many times and in so many different ways, “I am just not confident enough to speak in the work meeting,” “If I could just feel more confident, I could aim for that next promotion,” “Other people know so much more than me, I am not there yet,” etc. Pallavi sees in them what they can’t see in themselves sometimes- their naturally authentic, confident selves navigating challenges in work and life with elegance. It is this realization in others that is why she has made it a major part of her life’s work to encourage people to create new perspectives on confidence. She says, “Confidence is not who you are or who you are not. Confidence is the outcome of your courage to show up as your true self, and be seen.”
This is the foundation for her upcoming event. Pallavi Srivastava believes that confidence is not inherently tied to any specific personality type, and is not something that only a select few are born with. Instead, confidence is: being more aware of ourselves and finding our own strengths and appreciating them. It's about being true to our authentic selves and knowing that being our true authentic selves and leaning into courageous action will get us through.
This is what attendees can expect to learn in the upcoming WEST workshop: “Nurturing Confidence: The Path Through Courage & Authenticity.” Drawing on her professional experience as a leadership and growth coach, as well as her personal journey in nurturing her own confidence, Pallavi will bring practical coaching tools to this workshop. She says, “I am excited that attendees will have the opportunity to explore and reflect on confidence through a new lens of courage and authenticity. They will learn first-hand how they can tap into these aspects to nurture their confidence, so that it doesn’t remain an elusive feeling, but turns into a life-long asset.” The workshop will include small group exercises so that participants can experience the 'how’ of the process.
Pallavi says that a practical approach in bringing real-life change is the centerpiece for her whether she is coaching leaders one-to-one or facilitating workshops. She holds her belief in this practical approach because of her own personal journey of well-being, which included struggles with confidence, burnout, and relationships.
Before jumping to the well-being field, Pallavi Srivastava started her professional career as a business journalist way back in 2007. After a few years in the profession, she found herself completely burned out. She realized that one of the biggest things she struggled with, and wanted to change for herself and others, was the narrative that success has to cost us everything else we care about. She left her job and went on a quest of exploring how one can create a life where success and achievements don’t cost us our well-being and fulfillment.
Since then, using different tools and playing different roles (first as a therapist and now as a coach), she has been on a mission to support people in creating a successful career that is life-giving, enjoyable, and fulfilling. She wants to support people in their pursuit of successful careers in a way that is an opportunity for them to be their authentic selves, and live their full potential. That is the vision with which she created her coaching company, ‘The Wellbeing Ways LLC’. She says, “I am so excited to serve the extremely talented and successful women that are a part of the wonderful WEST community through my workshop and coaching”.
If you’ve ever thought having more confidence could help you be seen in the workplace and give you more opportunities to grow and succeed, you won’t want to miss this event! Join us in this 75-minute session to learn how to nurture your confidence and spring up to tremendous career growth!
Topics: Work Life Balance, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Inspiration, Career Path, Developing Your Skills, Confidence, Strengths, Challenges, Career Development, #WESTevent, Identity
There’s a stigma associated with being an introvert. People say introverts are more often shy, soft-spoken, and stay to themselves; “they” say introverts are not good public speakers, team leaders, or marketers. Sure, people say these things, but how true are they really? If the true definition of an introvert is simply that they are re-energized by spending quiet time with themselves, then what do any of those characteristics or skills have to do with being introverted?
Topics: Career, Interview, Life, You, Mindfulness, Leading Ourselves, Self-Awareness, Career Development, Career Possibilities, Empowerment, Self-Reflection, #WESTevent, STEM Women, STEM Leadership, Strong Women, Strong World, Introvert
Let’s get uncomfortable for a second. Have you ever noticed something about a perfect stranger that made you think a certain way about them? What about when you look in the mirror? There’s so much to say about the things we focus on when we first meet a new person or see ourselves each day. If you stop and think about those thoughts, you’ll notice what’s called your unconscious bias. These are things you think, but don’t necessarily know that often change your perception. Not all unconscious biases are prejudicial, but none of them help you to truly listen and know another person.
Topics: Communication, Coaching, Culture, Discussion, Career Path, Career Development, Empowerment, Inclusion, Diversity, #WESTevent, Change Management, #WESTorg, Corporate Culture, D&I, Equity, Conversations
WEST is excited to continue its Career Possibilities & Speed Networking series with it’s upcoming event focusing on legal career paths. While legal opportunities aren’t the obvious STEM route, there are so many opportunities to grow a very successful legal career with a STEM background. The panelists for this event are prime examples of following a passion for both legal work and the advancing of science and technology in our world.
Topics: Career, Community, Panel, Networking, Upcoming Events, Career Path, Career Development, Career Possibilities, Speed Networking, Advice, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, goals
Elena Spencer is Chief of Staff to the Chief Scientific Officer for the Inflammation & Immunology Research Unit at Pfizer. After 15 years as a bench scientist, she pivoted to R&D Strategy & Operations in 2016. Elena is also co-founder, President, and CEO of Kendall Square Orchestra, a community organization that seeks to connect science and technology professionals through music. She has been an avid volunteer at WEST events for 3 years and was the recipient of the WEST “Making a Difference in the Community” award in 2020 and “Women of the Future” award in 2018. I recently had the privilege to speak with Elena about her involvement with the WEST community, her career journey, advice for people making career transitions, and how she finds a work-life balance. - Emma Sullaway
Topics: STEM, Women, Transitions, Interview, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Leader, Women in STEM, Inspiration, Developing Your Skills, Values, Career Development, Advice, #WESTorg
Dr. Anne Thessen is a researcher at the Center for Health Artificial Intelligence of University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. Anne is well known for her work on data infrastructure and the application of semantic technologies and machine learning in biodiversity and earth science. She has been an avid volunteer at WEST events for over 10 years and was the recipient of the WEST Giving Back Award in 2017. I recently had the privilege to speak with Anne about her journey, her involvement with the WEST community, and the advice she has for people considering a career transition. - Emma Sullaway
Topics: STEM, Women, Interview, Resilience, Leader, Women in STEM, Inspiration, Values, Career Development, #WESTorg, Women's History Month, Academia