WEST Wisdom Blog

Don’t Miss the Power of Inclusive Conversations

Posted by Dawn Diperi on Sep 28, 2022 12:58:41 PM

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.

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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

Learning to Beat Your Own Burnout

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Sep 21, 2022 1:23:34 PM

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.”

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Topics: Events, Leadership, Women, Career, Communication, Resilience, Network, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Tools, Empowerment, Strong Women, Strong World, Overwhelm

The Keys to Speaking Up to Be Heard

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Sep 16, 2022 10:54:44 AM

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. 

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Topics: Events, Leadership, Women, Career, Communication, Network, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Confidence, Empowerment, Competence, Public Speaking, Strong Women, Strong World

Senior Leader Interview - Elena Spencer

Posted by Emma Sullaway on Apr 13, 2022 8:45:00 AM

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 

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Topics: STEM, Women, Transitions, Interview, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Leader, Women in STEM, Inspiration, Developing Your Skills, Values, Career Development, Advice, #WESTorg

Senior Leader Interview - Anne Thessen

Posted by Emma Sullaway on Mar 15, 2022 9:30:00 AM

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 

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Topics: STEM, Women, Interview, Resilience, Leader, Women in STEM, Inspiration, Values, Career Development, #WESTorg, Women's History Month, Academia

Career pivots: a normal part of work-life Jenga

Posted by Susanna Huh on Dec 9, 2021 9:15:00 AM

When I first considered a career transition from academic medicine to the pharmaceutical industry, it was hard to imagine changing jobs. The hospital I worked at employed many healthcare workers for decades or even their entire careers. I felt disoriented, like the world might fall down: kind of like a Jenga block tower tumbling after pulling out a critical piece.

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Topics: Women, Career, Community, Work Life Balance, Success, Women in STEM, Professional, Resources, Tools, Inspiration, Career Path, Self-Awareness, Insight, Values, Support, Storytelling, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Learn, Advocate, Self-Reflection, #WESTorg, Grow, goals, STEM Women

Are you the science type? A conversation with women in science

Posted by Jennifer Assily on Dec 6, 2021 4:17:06 PM

On December 9, 2021 at 6:15 p.m., WEST is hosting a free panel discussion to help answer questions like, "what does it mean to be 'the science type'?" and, "how can you recognize your strengths and interests?" Whether you're in high school and beginning to think about your college and career options or an adult pursuing your career as a scientist, this discussion of learning, recognizing your talents, handling adversity, and helping others pursue their own talents will have something for you. You can sign up to join the discussion on WEST's website.

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Topics: Gender Balance, STEM, Gender Balance, Women, Science, Career, Community, Mentoring, Success, Inspire, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Innovation, Professional, Discussion, Resources, Interactive, Change, Making a Difference, Tools, Inspiration, Career Path, Leading Ourselves, Self-Awareness, Empathy, Focus, Insight, Personal Branding, Strengths, Values, Support, Storytelling, Impact, Career Development, Own It, Empowerment, Mentor, Learn, Outreach, Advocate, Stereotypes, Inclusion, Self-Reflection, Diversity, #WESTevent, Voice, #WESTorg, D&I, Gender Parity, Webinar, Personality, Grow, goals, Equity, STEM Women, Female Representation STEM

Get on Board: Inside the Board of Directors

Posted by Dawn Diperi on Dec 1, 2021 7:18:32 PM
There are many reasons why women should sit on a board, as this experience is highly beneficial to both the organization and the member. I had the pleasure of interviewing the three panelists for the upcoming “Get on Board Event” at WEST and I found some common themes I would like to share with you. In this blog, you will get a peek into the wisdom of women who have had the experience of sitting on important non-profit, private, and public boards, and hopefully, it will entice you to come to the event to learn more about how you too can get on board. The 12/15 panel discussion is free to WEST members.
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Topics: Best Practices, Leadership, Women, Career, Community, Resilience, Mentoring, Success, Women in STEM, Professional, Resources, Tools, Board of Directors, Values, Support, Leaders, Impact, Career Development, Learn, #WESTorg, STEM Women, STEM Leadership, Experience

The Great Resignation of Women in STEM

Posted by Dawn Diperi on Oct 26, 2021 2:12:45 PM
By now you may have heard about the great resignation but if you haven’t it’s the shift from an employer’s market to a candidate’s market and there are now more jobs than there are people to fill them. Companies are especially struggling to attract and retain female employees and this is especially concerning in the STEM fields where womxn are already grossly underrepresented. This blog post attempts to outline what womxn are looking for in a post-pandemic world and how companies can modify their policies to recruit, mentor, retain and promote top talent while addressing burnout and supporting women who are still feeling the effects of the pandemic.  
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Topics: Best Practices, Leadership, Women, Career, Awards, Community, Resilience, Mentoring, Success, Women in STEM, Professional, Resources, Change, Tools, Empathy, Values, Support, Leaders, Impact, Career Development, Learn, #WESTorg, STEM Women, Retaining Talent, STEM Leadership, Female Representation STEM, Hiring Women in STEM

How to Be Inclusive when Differences are Less Visible

Posted by Jennifer Assily on Oct 4, 2021 3:42:21 PM

Join WEST and Ipsen on Tuesday, October 5th for a panel discussion, “How to Be Inclusive when Differences are Less Visible.” Cristina Almansa, the Head of Clinical Development and Medical Scientific Affairs at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, will moderate this conversation with panelists who have broad and deep experience advocating for themselves and others in a variety of professional contexts. Stacey Brewer, Senior Oncology Educator at Ipsen and Paula Cobb, CBO at Affinia Therapeutics will share insights on how to be inclusive of less visible differences. You can sign up to attend the panel and other upcoming WEST events here on the WEST website. 

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Topics: Best Practices, Leadership, Women, Career, Community, Resilience, Success, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Discussion, Resources, Interactive, Change, Making a Difference, Tools, Leading Ourselves, Empathy, Focus, Insight, Values, Support, Leaders, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Learn, Advocate, Inclusion, Diversity, #WESTevent, Voice, #WESTorg, D&I, Gender Parity, Webinar, goals, LGBTQIA+, Disability

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