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
While we hoped that the COVID-19 Pandemic would come to a full close before the start of 2022, it has lingered on. The effects of this continue to impact how we work, where we work, the world we work and live in, our personal lives and relationships, and so much more. In addition to this, we have seen history come crashing down in Ukraine as the people of Ukraine have had to flee, some even separating from their families to offer the best protection they can for their children.
Topics: Announcements, Science, Community, Giving Back, Global, Culture, Annual Theme, Professional, Connect, Collaboration, Confidence, Polarities, Leaders, Empowerment, Advocate, Inclusion, Self-Reflection, Diversity, #WESTorg, Organizational Culture, STEM Women, Female Representation STEM, Strong Women, Strong World
I have been thinking deeply about how women in STEM can have more seats at the table and not the kiddie table where one goes to do tidying up and office housework. The table where their voices are heard, acknowledged, and acted upon. Working in tech myself, I notice particularly how women of color are under-represented and white men are over-represented. Is this a result of the ways in which women are conditioned since childhood? The subtle messages they receive again and again? Are women being excluded in important conversations and meetings? Are their thoughts discarded or ignored? Are they not being given credit for their contributions? Is a lack of mentorship and sponsorship the problem? Is the motherhood bias compiled in under-represented fields? Do women of color experience this even more than any other intersectionality? In many ways women are made to feel as if they don’t belong and speaking up about it can come at the detriment of one’s job and security. However, this narrative needs to change. If we want more women leaders and more of them at the top, we need to be able to approach these conversations calmly and strategically. We need a framework for having inclusive conversations and with that framework we need to use it as a piece of workplace culture that emanates throughout the rest of the organization.
Topics: Events, Leadership, Women, Career, Communication, Network, Culture, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Tools, Trust, Conflict Resolution, Challenges, Inclusion, Ally, Allyship, Strong Women, Strong World
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
No, we're not kidding. While we at WEST certainly take pride in our ability to evolve with the times and seemingly constant fluctuations in climate and covid alike, we're also not above a bit of regression. That is to say, resuming a form of normalcy that moves to bring our community closer together once again.
I had the opportunity to sit down with certified coach, Kim Meninger in an incredible conversation about women in the workplace, allyship, diversity, equity, inclusion, and the upcoming WEST event that Kim is leading next month. In only a few short minutes it was clear that Kim had plenty of experience in the field with allyship.
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
Join WEST and Ipsen on Tuesday, October 5th for a panel discussion, “How to Be Inclusive when Differences are Less Visible.” Cristina Almansa, the Head of Clinical Development and Medical Scientific Affairs at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, will moderate this conversation with panelists who have broad and deep experience advocating for themselves and others in a variety of professional contexts. Stacey Brewer, Senior Oncology Educator at Ipsen and Paula Cobb, CBO at Affinia Therapeutics will share insights on how to be inclusive of less visible differences. You can sign up to attend the panel and other upcoming WEST events here on the WEST website.
Topics: Best Practices, Leadership, Women, Career, Community, Resilience, Success, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Discussion, Resources, Interactive, Change, Making a Difference, Tools, Leading Ourselves, Empathy, Focus, Insight, Values, Support, Leaders, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Learn, Advocate, Inclusion, Diversity, #WESTevent, Voice, #WESTorg, D&I, Gender Parity, Webinar, goals, LGBTQIA+, Disability
I once chaired a meeting in which a new team member had a South Asian name that I found difficult to pronounce. I attempted to pronounce it, then apologized in a lighthearted tone for my mispronunciation. A meeting attendee - who is white - texted me that my joking statement was an offensive microaggression, which prompted me to reflect on how name mispronunciation impacts the workplace.
PICTURE A SCIENTIST is a feature-length documentary film chronicling the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. A biologist, a chemist and a geologist lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, overcoming brutal harassment, institutional discrimination, and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science. From cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we also encounter scientific luminaries who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.