WEST is celebrating African American History month by highlighting African American women in STEM careers that have made critical contributions in their fields. These are women who have paved the way for equal opportunity employment to continue to progress each and every day. The women we have selected to be highlighted put in years of work to chase their dreams and break through barriers in order to live lives that were truly fulfilling to them. The personal and professional characteristics of these women are worth celebrating everyday throughout the year.
Topics: STEM, Gender Balance, Tech, Science, Career, Community, Inspiration, Career Path, Inclusion, Diversity, #WESTorg, D&I, Equity, Allyship, Academia
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
Kristine has lived all over the country, but after spending time at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute she has decided to continue to call the Greater Boston Area her home. She has spent most of her career studying cancer and working to provide solutions to cancer patients around the world. She came to WEST initially in 2014 for a Career Possibilities Panel focusing on R&D careers. After loving her first experience with WEST, Kristine continued to stay involved and has helped develop events, served as an Advisory Board member and in 2022 joined the Board and the mentoring committee.
Topics: Leadership, STEM, Career, Community, Interview, Panel, Mentoring, Networking, #MemberSpotlight, Member Spotlight, Career Path, PhD, #WESTorg, STEM Women, STEM Leadership, Conversations
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
I have been thinking a lot about the success of women who work in Engineering, Science, and Technology from a post-pandemic lens. As more and more women considered dropping back, or out of the workforce in the past two years, I began to wonder what strategies and behaviors could be used to keep them in their professional careers. There is a large body of work dedicated to uncovering research behind women in the workforce and their reasons for leaving yet not much has been written about the support systems women have that enable their rise in the workforce to be successful. I decided to interview a couple of women in engineering, science, and technology to learn a little bit more about the workforce policies that helped them rise and the kinds of people that have lifted, mentored, or supported them along their journey including both professionally and personally.
Topics: Gender Balance, STEM, Gender Balance, Career, Interview, Work Life Balance, Success, Network, Inspire, Mom, Leader, Women in STEM, Working Remotely, Professional, Relationships, Resources, Solutions, Connect, Career Path, Values, Support, Impact, Career Possibilities, Empowerment, New Opportunities, Learn, Inclusion, Diversity, #WESTorg, Parenting, Equity, STEM Women, Female Representation STEM, Hiring Women in STEM, Experience, Ally, Allyship, Strategies, Reflect, Reimagine, Emerge Stronger
On January 19th, at 6:15 PM EST, WEST will be kicking off our Career Possibilities Panel & Speed Networking series with an event on R&D Discovery. The panelists are Daniela Cipolletta, Director of Immunology at Seismic Therapeutic; Dennis Dean, Principal Investigator at Seven Bridges; Kate Henry, Scientist II in the Gene Therapy Accelerator Unit at Biogen; Kristin Horton, Sr. Director Translational at Rubius Therapeutics; Colles Price, Research Scientist at Vizgen; and Lilly Vollmann, Associate Principal Scientist at Merck. The discussion will be moderated by Kristine McKinney, Sr. Director at Moderna Genomics and WEST Advisory Board Member. This panel is designed to help you think about your career path and the different options that are open to you.
Topics: Transitions, Career, Panel, Upcoming Events, Lessons Learned, Career Path, Career Possibilities, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, Research & Development
When I first considered a career transition from academic medicine to the pharmaceutical industry, it was hard to imagine changing jobs. The hospital I worked at employed many healthcare workers for decades or even their entire careers. I felt disoriented, like the world might fall down: kind of like a Jenga block tower tumbling after pulling out a critical piece.
Topics: Women, Career, Community, Work Life Balance, Success, Women in STEM, Professional, Resources, Tools, Inspiration, Career Path, Self-Awareness, Insight, Values, Support, Storytelling, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Learn, Advocate, Self-Reflection, #WESTorg, Grow, goals, STEM Women
On December 9, 2021 at 6:15 p.m., WEST is hosting a free panel discussion to help answer questions like, "what does it mean to be 'the science type'?" and, "how can you recognize your strengths and interests?" Whether you're in high school and beginning to think about your college and career options or an adult pursuing your career as a scientist, this discussion of learning, recognizing your talents, handling adversity, and helping others pursue their own talents will have something for you. You can sign up to join the discussion on WEST's website.
Topics: Gender Balance, STEM, Gender Balance, Women, Science, Career, Community, Mentoring, Success, Inspire, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Innovation, Professional, Discussion, Resources, Interactive, Change, Making a Difference, Tools, Inspiration, Career Path, Leading Ourselves, Self-Awareness, Empathy, Focus, Insight, Personal Branding, Strengths, Values, Support, Storytelling, Impact, Career Development, Own It, Empowerment, Mentor, Learn, Outreach, Advocate, Stereotypes, Inclusion, Self-Reflection, Diversity, #WESTevent, Voice, #WESTorg, D&I, Gender Parity, Webinar, Personality, Grow, goals, Equity, STEM Women, Female Representation STEM
Having just concluded WEST's fiscal year, we would like to thank our 2020-2021 Board Officers: Meena Subramanyam, President; Etta Jacobs, Vice President; Meredith Fisher, Clerk; Eleanor Howe, Treasurer; and Chesley Chen, Advisor & previous Co-Chair. Meredith and Chesley completed their board terms in June and we welcomed a few new Board Members to the team in July. Learn more about WEST's Board of Directors.
Topics: Leadership, Women, Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Transitions, Career, Community, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Success, Women in STEM, Discount, Upcoming Events, Professional, Discussion, Financial, Resources, Interactive, Lessons Learned, Tools, Career Path, Developing Your Skills, Self-Awareness, Decision Making, Confidence, Strengths, Values, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Advice, Learn, #WESTorg, Gender Parity, Grow, goals, Purpose