According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 10.2% of households in the US were food insecure at some point during 2021. That means approximately 33 million people, in the US alone, were unsure of where their next meal would come from at least once during the year. The UN reports estimates that between 691 and 783 million people were food insecure, internationally, at least once during 2022. What can we do to decrease those numbers and render food insecurity a problem of the past? What kind of work would it take to address food insecurity on a global scale?
You know your company is downsizing, your boss calls you into their office. You go in, sit down, lump in your throat, you know what’s next. The conversation is pretty straightforward. Your boss says something like: “I’m really sorry, but as we downsize we’re cutting a lot of positions, and yours is one of them.” At that point, you’re not quite sure what to say or do, whether you expected it or not. The reality of being laid off leaves so much more uncertainty than you could possibly have prepared for.
Topics: STEM, Career, Interview, Panel, Job, Professional, Change, Solutions, Career Path, Developing Your Skills, Career Development, New Opportunities, Hiring, STEM Women, Hiring Women in STEM, Experience
When we consider a traditional career ‘path,’ we are often looking at the educational background, first steps into professional positions, and growth path into a goal position or leadership role. When we ask a high schoolers, for example, what they want to do after they graduate, many will give you a step-by-step guide that they have attached themselves to in order to get into whatever job or industry is their goal. The reality is, even the best-laid plans are subject to change. Diane Ma has experienced these plan changes at a variety of points throughout her education and professional journeys.
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.
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
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
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
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
Senior Leader Interview: Jackie Schumacher
Introduction: Jackie Schumacher has been a part of WEST for the last two years. During that time, she has worn several hats. Serving on the Board of Directors, Jackie has contributed greatly to WEST and is currently Chair of the Advisory Board committee. She is also Regulatory and Quality Lead at RallyBio. She was gracious enough to sit down and share her journey with me and the rest of the WEST community.
Topics: Leadership, Women, Career, Community, Interview, Resilience, Mentoring, Women in STEM, Networking, Biotech, Rockstars, Connect, Inspiration, Leaders, Storytelling, Impact, Career Development, Learn, Advocate, #WESTorg
Jo Viney is the President, Co-founder, and Chief Scientific Officer of Pandion Therapeutics. She is a prominent figure in the field of autoimmunity, and a past board member of WEST. She served as the WEST board’s president from 2016 - 2017, and she continues her affiliation with our organization as an active “Friend of WEST” sponsor. She is no stranger when it comes to supporting and inspiring women in the field of STEM. I recently sat down with Jo (virtually), where we talked about her journey. Her smile was infectious, and her journey struck a chord with me.
Topics: Leadership, Science, Transitions, Career, Community, Giving Back, Interview, Women in STEM, Member Spotlight, Biotech, Rockstars, Inspiration, Role Models, Leaders, Impact, Career Development, Mentor, Advice, Advocate, #WESTorg