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
Another day headed into work, and you’re stressed about it before you even leave the house. You get to work and find that something just isn’t going your way, and you haven’t even finished your morning coffee yet. You’ve been stressed at work, about work, just thinking about work for weeks now and you know something’s got to give. Finally, it does. Your boss sends an email that just sends you over the edge and you decide you just can’t deal with it right now and take an early lunch. At lunch, you find yourself sitting there thinking, “It’s just me. This job doesn’t seem this stressful to anyone else, there must be something wrong with me.”
Mary Cheyne recounts sitting in a corporate meeting with approximately 25 other people, after a major issue with a project they had been working on. Every person around her had spoken up and provided their input, except her. She managed to leave the meeting without having shared any of her ideas, no matter how brilliant they may have been, because she was afraid of the judgment of everyone else in the room. Feeling ashamed, disappointed in herself, and unable to get out of her own way, she recognized something had to change.