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?
In July, WEST said a heartfelt thank you to the previous leadership and welcomed several new faces. Elena Spencer moved from Vice President to President, Karin von Hodenberg stepped into the Vice President role, Kristen Lorentz joined the leadership team as the Treasurer, and Jen Reilly is returning to the Clerk role. With all these new faces, WEST wants to allow our community to get to know your leadership a little better. Read our conversations with the new WEST leadership members below.
Telling your manager you need more resources or training can be awkward. You don’t want to undermine your working relationship or appear less than capable to do your job, but you know these tools will help support your success in your role. You know you need to speak with your manager about this, but how do you walk the fine line between confidently asking for support and appearing underprepared for the task at hand?
A manager needs to be equipped with an arsenal of communication skills that cover everything from explaining the goals of a project, presenting progress updates, providing subject-matter training, and so much more. The most important communication skill is the ability to give and receive feedback.
WEST’s first event in the Summertime Management Skills Series focused on the importance of a manager effectively delegating work to their team. This skill enables a manager to remove the tasks from their plate that are preventing them from focusing on their big-picture and strategic planning. Delegating also enables a team to feel engaged, challenged, and fulfilled in their work. However, it also creates the need for feedback communication. Once a manager has delegated a task, they then need to give and receive feedback from their team to ensure that their team understands the task, and has the resources they need to complete it.
When you ask someone the best thing their boss can do for them, the answer is straightforward: “Tell me what is expected of me, present me with growth opportunities, give me clear deadlines, and trust me to do my job.” If you ask them what's the worst thing their boss can do, the number one answer is: “micromanage.”
What is the connection here? Trust. As Etta Jacobs, MA, PCC, told us: “A boss who micromanages, gives their direct reports the impression that they don’t trust them to do the work.” When an employee does not feel valued for their expertise and empowered to solve problems on their own, they begin to lose interest. This leads to the number one reason employees leave their job: a bad manager.
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
Topics: Events, STEM, Women, Transitions, Career, Awards, Community, Giving Back, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Entrepreneurship, Network, Giving, Job, negotiation, Leader, Women in STEM, Workshop, Networking, Upcoming Events, Professional, Connect, Balance, Inspiration, Role Models, Delegation, Developing Your Skills, Volunteer, Board of Directors, Confidence, Leaders, Book Club, Impact, Career Development, New Opportunities, Mentor, Inclusion, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, 20th Anniversary, Grow
Celebrating WEST's 20th Anniversary by highlighting inspirational leaders in biotech. This week's highlights include Cherie Butts, Gersham Dent, Yvonne Greenstreet, Mona Hanna-Attisha, Anne Heatherington, Michelle McMurry Heath, Laura Mendoza, and Rachel Sha.
Topics: Leadership, Women, Career, Awards, Community, Leader, Women in STEM, Networking, Professional, Biotech, Connect, Inspiration, Role Models, Leaders, Impact, Mentor, #WESTorg, 20th Anniversary, 20 Inspirational Leaders