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?
Studies show that we have an average of 6,000 thoughts per day. That’s approximately 6.5 thoughts per minute. Thanks to the Negativity Bias, some estimate that up to 80% of these thoughts are negative in nature, and up to 95% of them are repetitive. What if you could identify your stressful thoughts and question them? What if you could stop them by writing them down, asking four questions, and turning them around?
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.
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
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
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?
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
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