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.
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.
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’s Career Possibilities Panel & Speed Networking series has been incredibly popular. Our first Career Possibilities event of 2023 gave around 100 people the opportunity to learn about STEM communications positions from people that were currently working in that area. We’re thrilled to see the turnout for these events consistently increasing, allowing more and more STEM professionals, and STEM professionals-to-be an opportunity to prepare themselves for their next career move.
A life full of pieces that are important to you can be a truly amazing thing, but it can also be demanding, stressful, and draining. So many things in our daily lives are important to us: our physical and mental health, our families, our jobs, our friends and colleagues, hobbies, and communities we are part of, the list can go on. These are all amazing things that enable us each to build a life that we love. We can love our jobs, our families, our friends and colleagues, spending time practicing hobbies, resting and recharging ourselves, but can we balance doing it all at once?
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
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