There is an endless stream of articles and events that are relevant to women in and outside of science, technology, engineering, and math fields. The UF WiSE Facebook group is evidence of the engagement and interest of our members on these topics.
Every month WiSE hosts an informal discussion of one of these topics. Each discussion is organized by a WiSE member who helps pick the topic, finds relevant articles, and guides the discussion. These events started in 2013 and have grow in popularity ever since, with each discussion bringing in new members and perspectives.
The purpose of these discussions is to:
- stay informed of new research and/or current events relating to women in STEM fields
- discuss challenges our members face and how to overcome them
- provide a casual activity to attract more people and build our network
- have fun, learn something, and get to know each other!
Next WiSE Up!
“We are in fact unequal”. A letter about the realities women face in entering STEM fields.
Previous discussion topics
September. The Scientific Spectrum.
February. “The Career Advise You Probably Didn’t Get” – Susan Colantuono
November. Leaning in, but Getting Pushed Back (and Out)
A recent study of female engineers revealed that, while women are making strides in obtaining degrees in STEM fields, they do not remain in these fields after graduation. How can we correct this problem and retain qualified female engineers and scientists? Please join us for a discussion of these articles, how mentorship affects retention in the workplace, and how WE can help to improve working conditions for every employee, regardless of gender.
See our blog post for a summary of this discussion.
October. #HeForShe: A call for solidarity in the gender equality movement. Are YOU a feminist?
It was inevitable that this YouTube video would go viral: Emma Watson addresses the United Nations with an impassioned speech on feminism and gender equality. Her voice may have faltered at times; that is because the message is so important!
WiSE members discussed this speech and campaign, but focused on the feminism movement and why so many of us have a negative impression of feminism.
For a recap of our discussion, visit our blog!
September. Why do so few women have mentors how can WE improve that?
A recent survey conducted by LinkedIn found that a high percentage of women have never had a mentor. What are the reasons behind this finding? Do women believe hard work alone is enough and therefore don’t reach out and ask to be mentored; is there a fear of older men as mentors for young women; or are there fewer responsibilities in the home, leaving men free to cultivate these relationships? These are all reasons proposed by articles in the Harvard Business Review. What can be done to encourage mentoring of women in science? One solution is proposed is the Million Women Mentors program. This program aims to fill the gap in mentoring for STEM women by building a national mentor network. Join us for a discussion on the issue of mentoring and help us to determine the way forward for building mentoring relationships in our own careers.
Event recap: check out our blog post!
April. How not to “bend over” in job negotiations
An article was recently written regarding a philosophy Ph.D. who had received a job offer for a tenure track position, only to have the position rescinded after she attempted to negotiate terms, including wage and maternity leave. This begs the question, how does one enter into the field on terms you want, especially when the playing field is still uneven for women. Come join the lovely ladies of WiSE for discussion on approaching negotiation and how not the “bend over”, but to rather “lean in”.
February. Take the Lead Challenge
A discussion of “What does success mean in grad school?”, motivated by this article, followed by the Take the Lead live-streaming event.
January. Feminist advertising – what is the real purpose and what is the effect?
We are surrounded by media that reinforces negative stereotypes of women (see: How the Media Failed Women in 2013). But this year has also seen some commercials promoting positive female stereotypes. A recent Pantene Ad, an ad for a new toy company Goldiblox, and earlier this year, Dove Real Beauty Sketches. Some have suggested these companies are just capitalizing on feminist messages to hawk women products they’ve convinced women they need: a recent Time newsfeed.
November. Harassment in the workplace
DN Lee, author of the blog “Urban Scientist” with Scientific American was offered an opportunity as a guest blogger for Biology Online. Her decline of the offer after learning the conditions was met with a rude response that questioned her character. Lee wrote about her experience on her blog, but Scientific American quickly removed the post, and later explained it was due to not being able to verify the facts.
This month, we will discuss this particular incident and how to handle harassment. What are we (women and men) supposed to do when we encounter harassment? Should we politely ignore it, or raise our voice? Let’s start the discussion with an article written by Lee herself.
October. Where are the men?
We discussed a topic that invariably arises in any discussion of women in science: Where are the men? How can we involving everyone in discussions of gender issues in STEM fields. This article motivated many men to attend out discussion to have their opinion heard.
May. An informal discussion of Sheryl Sandberg’s Ted Talk
Our first WiSE Up discussion was on the topic of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Ted Talk: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders. We discussed the question; why do a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions?