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?
About a year ago, WEST launched what has become one of our most popular series: WoW - WEST on Wednesdays Networking. These events are approximately once per month, with each event usually having a sponsor host in their company’s space. This constant moving of the event allows for a different atmosphere and new people to network with each time. The atmosphere, appetizers, and drinks are all great reasons to attend, but the real value lies within the community that gathers together for each event. “I love when corporations in the heart of the innovation hub here in Cambridge/Boston generously provide their locations. The inspirational surroundings help create a vibrant atmosphere that fosters both professional and personal conversations. Having been a WEST virtual mentor this past year, I particularly enjoyed meeting some of my mentees and fellow mentors at the events, helping to strengthen those relationships,” shares Jocelyn Dunphy, WEST Member.
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?
We find ourselves at a pivotal point in history. In many ways the world is questioning whether or not to empower women to fulfill their potential. Empowered women bring a variety of skills and perspectives to the table that should be equally valued. When we amplify the voices of women who are sharing discoveries, ideas, and support, true success is a given. These women’s voices shout from the rooftops that women deserve a seat at the table, every table.
Topics: STEM, Announcements, Career, Community, Life, Inspire, Culture, Annual Theme, Making a Difference, Inspiration, Self-Awareness, Confidence, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Inclusion, Self-Reflection, Diversity, Corporate Culture, D&I, Equity, Identity, Ally, Strong Women
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
Mental health struggles can happen to anyone. Being in a negative situation for too long is bound to have its effects, and sometimes it takes a lot of work to undo that damage. In many cases, mental health struggles are a result of one specific situation, or a toxic boss or co-worker, something easy to pinpoint. In STEM, that can be true, but even more so, women have seen a higher rate of mental health struggles because of more industry-wide issues. There’s still a stigma, in some places, that women don’t belong in STEM professions or that women are not going to be as smart or as well-educated as men.
Topics: Gender Balance, STEM, STEM, Gender Balance, Communication, Community, Choice, Resilience, Mentoring, Coaching, Culture, Networking, Discussion, Mindfulness, Change, Collaboration, Emotional Intelligence, Self-Awareness, Empathy, Gender Pay Gap, Confidence, Challenges, Career Development, Empowerment, Mentor, Inclusion, Diversity, Organizational Culture, Corporate Culture, D&I, Gender Parity, Equity, STEM Women, STEM Leadership, Female Representation STEM, Hiring Women in STEM, Strong Women
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.
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 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.
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.
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