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
This year’s National Women’s Month theme is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope." According to the National Women’s History Alliance, as written on History.com, this theme is "both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history."
March 1st marks the beginning of Women's History Month and what better way to celebrate the month than to attend a WEST Broadway event. Don’t be left off stage.
It is not too late to join the first event on March 10th with award-winning Arena Theater artistic director: Molly Smith, and actors Nikki Renée Daniels who recently played Angelica Schuyler on Broadway’s Hamilton and Pearl Sun of Broadway’s Come From Away, If/Then. This will be an exciting interactive event that you don’t want to miss. Tickets won’t last long.
On Wednesday, February 16, WEST will be continuing our Career Possibilities Panel and Speed Networking series. In this event, we will focus on clinical, regulatory, patient outcomes, and analytical outcomes of research and discovery. Just as we had done with our last event, we asked thought-provoking questions from our panelists as a confident prequel to the immersive discussion that will be had at the event.
On March 7th, March 10th, and April 7th, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. ET, WEST is hosting a three-part series to celebrate Women’s History Month, Broadway, and women in science. The exciting series will include three unique interactive, entertaining experiences focusing on the Art of Women in Science and on Broadway.
The mastermind behind this series is NYC-based director, choreographer, actor, musical theater coach, adjunct professor, and owner of Broadway Kids Auditions - Kurt Domoney. In the series, participants will watch Broadway stars perform, hear compelling keynote speakers, and see the portrayal of women in STEM and the arts. The best part Kurt says is how women in science and STEM will see many parallels and similarities between the hard sciences and the performing arts and he is excited to uncover the dialogue and cross-collaboration that will ensue. In an interview with Kurt, he explained to me how the way a science lab is run and the process scientists go through is similar to the production, tech, and process the theater undergoes to prepare and complete a production. He went on to talk about how the arts can inspire innovation and creativity in science and how participants will not only be entertained but will be fully immersed and engaged in the experience of the events.
“Third or nothing! Third or nothing!” This is the motto of students in the Puffs, a parody play of the Harry Potter series, told from the perspective of some spectacularly untalented student wizards. The Puffs are one of four houses (the other three are the Brave, Smart, and Snake houses) vying for points in the annual house competition at a certain Magical Academy. Every year, the Puffs place last in the house cup competition, but this year, they are determined to place “Third or nothing!”
I had the opportunity to sit down with certified coach, Kim Meninger in an incredible conversation about women in the workplace, allyship, diversity, equity, inclusion, and the upcoming WEST event that Kim is leading next month. In only a few short minutes it was clear that Kim had plenty of experience in the field with allyship.
On January 19th, at 6:15 PM EST, WEST will be kicking off our Career Possibilities Panel & Speed Networking series with an event on R&D Discovery. The panelists are Daniela Cipolletta, Director of Immunology at Seismic Therapeutic; Dennis Dean, Principal Investigator at Seven Bridges; Kate Henry, Scientist II in the Gene Therapy Accelerator Unit at Biogen; Kristin Horton, Sr. Director Translational at Rubius Therapeutics; Colles Price, Research Scientist at Vizgen; and Lilly Vollmann, Associate Principal Scientist at Merck. The discussion will be moderated by Kristine McKinney, Sr. Director at Moderna Genomics and WEST Advisory Board Member. This panel is designed to help you think about your career path and the different options that are open to you.