Often we misunderstand confidence to be a magical feeling that we either possess or it will elude us forever. We then find ourselves wondering how we can create this magical feeling of confidence. However, in reality, confidence is less of a magical gift and more a result of the everyday work of taking on difficult things, learning, failing, growing, and succeeding. In other words, it is not a question of whether you are a confident person or not, but a result of showing up courageously and authentically to things that feel hard (even impossible), scare us, and doing our best. Repeatedly showing up in those difficult situations courageously would slowly build that trust for you in your abilities, and that’s what confidence in self is: a feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities, and judgment. Confidence is an outcome of courage, not the other way around. This is what Pallavi Srivastava will focus on in her workshop for the WEST community “Nurturing Confidence: The Path Through Courage & Authenticity.”
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
“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!”
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.
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
Join WEST on September 21, 2021 from 5 – 6:15 p.m. Eastern time for a free financial planning webinar from RBC Wealth Management Advisors Gabrielle Clemens and Lisa M. Austin. Gabrielle and Lisa will draw on their combined experience in estate planning, family law, and sustainable investing to walk attendees through the basics of planning for an unpredictable future, focusing especially on the risks of cognitive decline. They'll discuss how to approach and understand options for structuring finances to answer the question, "What if something happens?"
Topics: Women, Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Transitions, Work Life Balance, Life, Resilience, Upcoming Events, Relationships, Discussion, Resources, Solutions, Balance, Tools, Self-Awareness, Decision Making, Support, Impact, Risk, Learn, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, Investing
Having just concluded WEST's fiscal year, we would like to thank our 2020-2021 Board Officers: Meena Subramanyam, President; Etta Jacobs, Vice President; Meredith Fisher, Clerk; Eleanor Howe, Treasurer; and Chesley Chen, Advisor & previous Co-Chair. Meredith and Chesley completed their board terms in June and we welcomed a few new Board Members to the team in July. Learn more about WEST's Board of Directors.
Topics: Leadership, Women, Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Transitions, Career, Community, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Success, Women in STEM, Discount, Upcoming Events, Professional, Discussion, Financial, Resources, Interactive, Lessons Learned, Tools, Career Path, Developing Your Skills, Self-Awareness, Decision Making, Confidence, Strengths, Values, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Advice, Learn, #WESTorg, Gender Parity, Grow, goals, Purpose
WEST announces its 2021–2022 theme: Reflect, Reimagine, and Emerge Stronger. After working through the unforeseen and unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–2021, we know how important it is to support each other. As we collectively reflect on what we have been through, we can reimagine what work and life look like in a world with COVID and emerge stronger.
Join WEST on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. as we begin to explore this theme with a virtual discussion event, Easing Anxiety in the New Work Environment with Self-Care with tips from Kim Meninger.
Topics: Women, Transitions, Career, Community, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Success, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Discussion, Resources, Interactive, Lessons Learned, Career Path, Self-Awareness, Decision Making, Confidence, Strengths, Values, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Advice, Learn, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, Gender Parity, Grow, goals, Purpose
Join WEST on June 17, 2021 to hear from Melissa Nuñez, a Certified Financial Planner TM and Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, as she shares strategies for building financial resiliency and maintaining level financial footing, especially in the face of the unexpected. Melissa will help us reflect on the challenges and changes we have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and help us plan to meet future financial goals, from paying off debt to buying a home to saving for retirement. Tickets for this event are free thanks to our sponsor, CliftonLarsonAllen.
Topics: Women, Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Transitions, Career, Community, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Success, Women in STEM, Discount, Upcoming Events, Professional, Discussion, Financial, Resources, Interactive, Lessons Learned, Tools, Career Path, Developing Your Skills, Self-Awareness, Decision Making, Confidence, Strengths, Values, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Advice, Learn, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, Gender Parity, Grow, goals, Purpose
Have you ever felt like your productivity and success depend on carrying a load of fear, perfectionism, or anxiety? Are you looking for strategies to continue the work you love without feeling overwhelmed? On June 3, Dr. Courtney Paré, a holistic anxiety and self-advocacy coach and naturopathic doctor, will join WEST to share her personal story of recognizing the anxious go-getter in herself and guide us through her step-by-step process for building a more constructive relationship with anxiety, letting go of perfectionism, and living a values-driven life.
Topics: Women, Career, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Success, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Discussion, Resources, Interactive, Balance, Tools, Role Models, Career Path, Vision, Developing Your Skills, Self-Awareness, Decision Making, Strengths, Values, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Advice, Learn, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, Grow, goals, Purpose