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Networking for Women in Tech: Tips & Opportunities
The benefits of networking include access to career opportunities, professional support and connections, exposure to new technologies and more. In fact, according to research by Zippia, 85 percent of jobs are filled via networking with connections and 79 percent of Americans agree that networking plays a vital role in their career progression. Despite the evidence, many tech professionals who identify as women feel uncomfortable networking or don’t really know how to about it, so they avoid it altogether. "The difficulty stems from the fact that women tend to be underrepresented in technology and many networking events and after-work activities have traditionally been geared toward men and their interests," acknowledged Julie Elberfeld, a former CIO, now CEO of Women Who Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring women to succeed in technology. Fortunately, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, if you follow the advice of women who have overcome these obstacles and used networking to achieve remarkable career success. If you're looking for inspiration - here are stories from women in tech who took the plunge into networking.
Posted on 10 Apr 2024
Top Engineering Podcasts
With so many inspiring Engineering stories and podcasts it is tricky to know where to start, to solve that problem Born to Engineer has put together their favourite Engineering themed podcasts for you. Their Engineering Podcast list will feature the best, informative, humorous, thought-provoking, and (hopefully) mind-blowing podcasts. Podcasts are perfect for delivering science, technology, engineering, and math news and stories. They are ideal format to get both students and teachers inspired and allow you to connect with those that are improving people’s lives through Engineering.
Posted on 10 Apr 2024
Inspiring Interest in STEM
Engineering leaders have discovered creative, engaging, and sustainable ways to educate students about STEM. And it’s all about the fun. The days of boring STEM activities for children are over, thanks to creative thinkers who are constantly devising new ways to attract youth. Using everything from contests and rewards to role models, teamwork, individual learning, and even art, STEM experts are innovating fun and challenging activities to engage young students. Many are simple and sustainable, using little more than paper, tape, and household items, and most can be taught at any age and made easier or more difficult as needed. Mary Isaac, a mechanical engineer in the San Diego metropolitan area who holds a Ph.D. in STEM education, has designed and evaluated STEM activities for 15 years. She said she likes to keep things as simple as possible. “One of my favorite activities uses construction paper and tape to build a tower capable of holding books,” she said. The tower is built by making supports of rolled paper, taped together, and plastic cafeteria-type trays or baking sheets for the floor, then placing books (or other weights) on top of the structure to test its strength. “If you’re not in the classroom, you can use canned food instead of books,” she said. “It’s one of those things that gets them thinking about the fun that comes with testing, when they see if they can hold 20 pounds of stuff with just paper. “The goal is to build the cheapest, strongest structure, so it is a ratio of how much it costs (how many sheets, how much tape) to how much load it can bear - a minimum of about two pounds,” Dr. Isaac said. The activity teaches the concepts of force, stress, and area, Dr. Isaac said, and is popular with students from elementary school to college age. Older students’ designs are more complex. “They tend to start thinking more critically; they want to argue about the rules and constraints. So, I give them the [engineering] rules so they can find the ones they can break or not, or how to work around the rules.” Dr. Isaac always stresses that whatever they are designing must meet what she calls the “four Fs”: fit, form, function, and frills - and frills can only be added after the students make their structure or device work.
Posted on 26 Mar 2024
Job Hunting After the Age of 50
Are you one of these people? Age 50+ with an impressive career track record, but unhappy with your work or suddenly laid off? You start looking for new opportunities by talking to friends and colleagues. They see what you see: a capable, highly-accomplished professional with a lot to contribute to the world. You update your resume and start applying. The response? Crickets. You upskill and do all the things suggested by LinkedIn. The silence after another round of applications is deafening. Ageism in hiring takes most professionals by surprise. Especially those who, objectively speaking, have been very successful. These professionals have plenty of evidence that they’re good at their work, so how come prospective employers aren’t grabbing them up? No hiring manager would likely admit to it, but some hold the following assumptions about age 50+ job seekers: they’re not tech savvy; they’ll need a lot of hand holding; they won’t like being managed by someone younger; and they’ll probably cost the company more. The added stigma of being laid off can make it harder to find new work, especially as time passes. What can a 50+ job seeker do? One way to begin is to reflect on past challenges. You have a lot of life experience and have handled many tough situations. Maybe you helped a family member with a knotty health crisis. Maybe you aced a challenging certification exam. Maybe you devised a breakthrough lab technique that made a process more efficient and increased revenue. How did that happen? Did you harness an innate capacity such as curiosity or perseverance or social intelligence? Did you suspend thinking about the problem, which allowed intuition to kick in and a solution emerge spontaneously? Which is, by the way, what Nobel Laureate Barbara McClintock did when she hit a dead end. She set the problem aside and was simply tending to her corn plants when the big “aha” came that ultimately led to her winning a Nobel Prize.
Posted on 06 Mar 2024
ATHENA - Empowering female research talent through a gender equality infrastructure
Statistics and academic literature show that despite the continuous efforts to advance gender equality in academia and in research over the last two decades, there is still much work to be done. To address this challenge, the EU-funded ATHENA project will focus on the implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in six research performing and two research funding organisations. ATHENA will seek to eliminate the existing obstacles to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers and to address gender imbalances in decision-making processes. The project aspires to contribute to the required comprehensive cultural change for the avoidance of future gender bias and discriminatory practices.
Posted on 06 Mar 2024
Top 5 Inspiring Women in Tech: A Personal Journey of Discovery and Admiration
If you need some WomenInSTEM inspo for your vision board you can check out these five inspiring leaders in tech: Susan Wojcicki - CEO of YouTube, Sheryl Sandberg - COO of Facebook, Ginni Rometty - Former CEO of IBM, Whitney Wolfe Herd - Founder of Bumble and Reshma Saujani - Founder of Girls Who Code.
Posted on 27 Feb 2024
Under-represented in the past, women scientists are now shaping the future
While women have traditionally been under-represented across STEM sectors, we can – as we observe the 9th International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 – applaud significant ground gained in recent years in some of the most cutting-edge fields that stand to transform the future. In biotechnology, for example, which is revolutionizing health, medicine and agriculture, the latest industry survey shows the UK, Europe, and the US are close to gender parity, with more female graduates than male in some cases. And while the gender gap remains stubbornly wide at a leadership level, and especially across many developing countries, achieving gender equality at the vanguard of science is particularly important for tackling the global challenges of food security and poverty. As the entire world strives to sustainably produce food to meet the needs of a growing population amid a climate crisis, women scientists are playing an increasingly significant role in crop science and plant breeding. This is critical because the world cannot solve hunger and poverty through innovation without also solving gender inequality.
Posted on 27 Feb 2024
Failure in Science and the Science of Failure
Science is paradoxical when it comes to failure: on the one hand, STEM fields ostensibly acknowledge it as part of the scientific process; on the other hand, they implicitly and explicitly disincentivize failure, especially for those from historically and currently marginalized groups or for those who are at vulnerable career transitions. In fact, when people from these groups do not achieve success in an endeavor, they can experience a cluster of negative feelings, including imposter syndrome and a sense of not belonging. Such feelings have deleterious effects on mental health - an adverse impact that science currently grapples with. The good news is that STEM researchers like Dr. Melanie Stefan who are most hurt by the stigma of failure are now speaking out. And some science media are giving them a voice.
Posted on 27 Feb 2024
Books by (and for) women in STEM
A significant gender gap has long plagued all areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines across our global community. While progress has been made in increasing women’s participation in these areas of research and higher education, they remain under-represented in STEM fields. The United Nations has declared February 11 International Day of Women and Girls in Science to draw attention to important contributions by women and to encourage more girls to pursue STEM careers. Marking the occasion, PUP pays the tribute to the work and stories of women who champion science, from a physicist’s quest for the true nature of gravity, to a neuroscientist’s fascinating tour of the developments that are revolutionizing conceptions of mental health.
Posted on 14 Feb 2024
Fifteen Questions: Pardis Sabeti on LS1B, Computational Genetics, and Holiday Cards
Want to spend a day in the life of a scientist? In just fifteen questions, Biologist Pardis C. Sabeti talks about the ins and outs of the lab and the hurdles she faces as a woman in STEM. Pardis C. Sabeti is a professor at the Center for Systems Biology and the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, a professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at Harvard School of Public Health, institute member of the Broad institute, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She does work in computational biology, medical genetics, and evolutionary genetics.
Posted on 30 Jan 2024

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