Cyber Security Awareness Training for all Ages in Delaware

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image of a breakout box on a table

Children and adults in Sussex County are now getting hands-on cyber security awareness training at the Selbyville library thanks to Cyber Streets and the library itself.

Cyber Streets is a nonprofit organization that was started in Dover back in 2017. Founder Rob Bentley began spreading the knowledge at the Selbyville Library on June 3rd and he now runs the program there every other Monday. The Sussex County Stem Alliance helped connect Bentley to volunteers and this week they’re using what is called the ‘break out box’ to learn how cyber security is used to break into something.

“They go around looking for clues,” Bentley explains. “They find those clues, put them together, and work together as teams to crack the code on the puzzle that actually unlocks the locks to get into the box.”

Thirteen-year-old Eleni Apostolidis of Millsboro has been homeschooled her entire life. She’s thankful for an after-school opportunity that is available to students like her. “It can teach us coding if we want to maybe look into the community a bit more to find tools to maybe create our own software in the future,” she shares.

Most of the students who’ve been attending in Selbyville are homeschooled students but Cyber Streets is open to anyone. Bentley says he teaches people from six to sixty-years-old. In fact, many parents join their kids in these lessons.

The program is completely free. To sign up in Selbyville, reach out to the library or Cyber Streets. Bentley says those interested in attending can simply show up to the next lesson on July 29.

Continue on to WBOC.com to read the complete article.

7 Indigenous Pioneers You Need to Know

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Indigenous People's Day

From Popular Mechanics. October 14th is Indigenous People’s Day, and we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate the work of indigenous scientists, engineers, and inventors who have shaped our world.

They’ve built rockets, developed technology used both on Earth and on Mars, and contributed to our understanding of how ancient peoples interacted with the animals in their ecosystem.

From the first Native American physician to a steadfast youth climate activist to a NASA astronaut, these seven indigenous pioneers have paved an inspiring path.

These doctors, scientists, and activists have all paved an inspiring path.

Start the slideshow on Popular Mechanics here.

Women In Technology International (WITI’s) Women in Business & Tech Career Fair

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WITI attendees wating in short line to speak with a hiring manager

Build. Empower. Inspire. The WITI Career Fair isn’t just about finding your next job. It’s about growing your career and professional network. Whether you’re looking now or just want to expand your network you should attend this event.

WITI’s Women in Business & Tech Career Fair is coming to Dallas, TX, October 22.

Women in Business & Technology Career Fairs are open to WITI members, professionals registered at Professional Diversity Network, and business and technical professionals from the local community.

Events are free to attendees and will feature sessions and content related to women and their business and technology careers.

Carolyn Leighton founded WITI to help women advance by providing access to – and support from – other professional women working in all sectors of technology. With a global network of smart, talented women and a market reach exceeding 2 million, WITI has powerful programs and partnerships that provide connections, resources, opportunities and a supportive environment of women committed to helping each other. WITI products and services include: Networking, WITI Marketplace, Career Services/Search, National Conferences and Regional Events, Publications and Resources, Small Business Programs, Research, Bulletin Boards and more.

About WITI
With a global network of smart, talented women and a market reach exceeding 2 million, WITI (Women in Technology International) has established powerful strategic alliances and programs to provide connections, resources and opportunities. Register today to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity.

Register for the Dallas, TX, October 22 event.

An Astronaut Who Built Paths to Space for Other Women

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Astronaut Janet Kavandi inside space capsule with her NASA spacesuit on

Janet Kavandi, who recently retired from a senior NASA post, went to space three times and added fairness to the astronaut selection process.

By Jillian Kramer

Every time an astronaut puts on an American spacesuit to conduct a spacewalk at the International Space Station, they pass through a portal installed in part by Janet Kavandi. It isn’t the only thing the former astronaut did that changed the work of her successors in space. After three missions to orbit, Dr. Kavandi moved into NASA administration, eventually overseeing how astronauts were selected. She’s credited with adding fairness to a process that for the first time chose an astronaut class that included as many women as men.

So when Dr. Kavandi, 60, retired as director of Glenn Research Center, a Cleveland, Ohio facility that designs innovative technologies for NASA, she left not only a legacy in human spaceflight, but also a moon-sized hole for the agency to fill.

Roger Handberg, a space policy expert at the University of Central Florida, called her a role model for women serving in leadership roles at NASA in the future.

“That next female is not plowing new ground,” he said, “just going down the already existing path.”

Dr. Kavandi said she was leaving for personal and practical reasons. At 60, she was eligible for retirement, and she also looked forward to earning more income for her family at Sierra Nevada Corporation’s space systems division.

Her departure comes as NASA is switching into higher gear to meet a mandate set by the Trump administration of returning American astronauts — the next man and the first woman — to the moon by 2024. It also was announced following other major personnel changes.

In July, Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, reassigned William Gerstenmaier, an official who for years oversaw human spaceflight. Lawmakers criticized the move, and some analysts saw the change as a demotion. In April, Mark Sirangelo joined NASA to aid Mr. Bridenstine on the Artemis moon mission.

He left after just 44 days

Last year Mr. Bridenstine sought to have Dr. Kavandi nominated as the No. 2 official at NASA. “I was fully aware that this was not in any way a ‘done deal,’ so I had no expectations,” she said.

President Trump instead nominated James Morhard, a former deputy sergeant-at-arms in the Senate with no previous space technology experience.

She said she was not disappointed that the deputy administrator job went to Mr. Morhard.

But her retirement leaves NASA with one fewer woman in senior leadership. Lori Garver, NASA’s former deputy administrator and founder of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, which matches undergraduate women with aerospace industry internships, estimates that less than 15 percent of the agency’s top roles are filled by women.

“When there is such an imbalance at the top, the culture tends to favor men, and women often struggle to be heard or have their views taken seriously,” she said.

NASA said diversifying its leadership and astronaut corps is a priority.

Continue on to the New York Times to read the complete article.

FAA Certifies UPS to Operate Nation’s First Drone-Delivery Airline

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UPS drone flying in the sky with a UPS delivery box underneath the wings

UPS recently announced that it is the first to receive the official nod from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate a full “drone airline,” which will allow it to expand its current small drone delivery service pilots into a country-wide network.

In its announcement of the news, UPS said that it will start by building out its drone delivery solutions specific to hospital campuses nationwide in the U.S., and then to other industries outside of healthcare.

UPS racks up a number of firsts as a result of this milestone, thanks to how closely it has been working with the FAA throughout its development and testing process for drone deliveries. As soon as it was awarded the certification, it did a delivery for WakeMed hospital in Raleigh, N.C. using a Matternet drone, and it also became the first commercial operator to perform a drone delivery for an actual paying customer outside of line of sight thanks to an exemption it received from the government.

This certification, officially titled FAA’s “Part 135 Standard certification,” offers far-reaching and broad license to companies who attain it — much more freedom than any commercial drone operation has had previously in the U.S.

Obviously, it’s a huge win for UPS Flight Forward, which is the dedicated UPS subsidiary the company announced it had formed back in July to focus entirely on building out the company’s drone delivery business. But there’s still a lot left to do before you can expect UPS drones to be a regular fixture, or even at all visible in the lives of the average American.

Continue on to TechCrunch to read the complete article.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is No Longer a Secret in the Secret City

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STEM-education

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is no longer a secret in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Nestled near the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Oak Ridge is nicknamed the Secret City after its role in the top-secret Manhattan Project that helped create the first atomic bomb.

Established in 1946, ORAU’s purpose was to advance science and technology education and research by providing member universities access to atomic energy research facilities. Holding true to the original purpose today, ORAU provides exceptional talent in innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest.

ORAU also manages the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) for the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), which is a DOE asset dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world-class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environment contamination.

While ORAU itself has been one of the best-kept secrets in East Tennessee, its reputation regarding the company’s culture and diversity practices is quickly spreading as seen in a recent employee survey. Completed earlier this year, the survey showed that 94 percent of the employees know what is expected of them in the workplace, 87 percent reported that they are proud to work at the company and 87 percent of all employees believe they are treated with dignity and respect.

According to Culture Amp, a worldwide employee feedback and analytics platform, companies with 500 employees but fewer than 1,000 employees can anticipate about a 70 percent employee participation rate in general surveys. ORAU greatly exceeded that standard with an overall participation rate of 85 percent. To ensure a culture that maintains these incredible ratings, ORAU welcomes feedback from employees through surveys and information-sharing teams, such as its Diversity Council and Employee Relations Team, comprised of employees from across the organization.

With an overall corporate favorability score of 77 percent and with 73 percent of ORAU employees believing the corporate culture is favorable, it is no longer a secret that ORAU is a great place to work.

For nine consecutive years ORAU has been recognized as a Best Diversity Company and is in competition for the current year. ORAU defines diversity as all of the ways in which we differ and all of those differences are welcomed and respected in the workplace and the community.

ORAU is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and aggressively seeks veterans, individuals with disabilities, females, minorities and all other diverse differences that support an all-inclusive work environment. For more information on ORAU and its employment opportunities, visit orau.org.

Teacher and astronaut Christa McAuliffe to be honored by the United States Mint with silver dollar coin

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Christa McAuliffe pictured in her NASA Uniform with coin

The United States Mint is to memorialize Christa McAuliffe, the teacher and astronaut who died in the Challenger disaster in 1986, with a commemorative silver dollar coin.

The 37-year-old social studies teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, was chosen for NASA’s “Teacher in Space” program, and was one of the seven crew members aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded.

A faulty rocket booster caused the shuttle to break apart soon after it lifted off.

The Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019 was passed by Congress, and the bill will go to the President to be signed into law.

The act calls for the Department of Treasury to “issue not more than 350,000 $1 silver coins in commemoration of Christa McAuliffe.”

If the President signs the act, the coins will be minted in 2021 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the tragedy.

The coins will be sold to the public at a price that includes the face value of the coins, the cost of their design and issue, and a $10 surcharge per coin to benefit the an organization called For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).

FIRST uses robotic competitions to encourage children to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Continue on to CNN to read the complete article.

Conchita Jimenez-Gonzalez at GSK

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Conchita-Jimenez-Gonzalez professional headshot

Conchita Jimenez-Gonzalez, Graduate Program Lead at GSK, always felt attracted to the pharmaceutical industry due to her innate desire to help people.

When she decided to become an engineer, Conchita was warned that she had to be three times as good as a man to succeed, but she refused to be discouraged.

Upon joining GSK, she admired the company for its work in the areas of green chemistry and green engineering because she could apply all her knowledge in data analytics, technical and leadership skills. One of the accomplishments she is really proud of is being able to successfully deliver key results across different areas and businesses.

One example is leading the team who delivered the development and implementation of data analytics algorithms, tools, and systems that allowed GSK to make faster, more accurate decisions globally.

Today, Conchita leads a global rotational program, which aims to develop promising new professionals in technical and leadership areas for the manufacturing and supply of GSK pharmaceuticals and consumer products.

Since she accepted this challenging role, the program has grown 4-fold in participants and 7-fold in countries. Currently, she is responsible for the development of 180 talented associates across 28 countries. Conchita has three pieces of career advice for young female professionals: deliver excellence and share your accomplishments; be flexible and adaptable; build a strong network to find support and offer the same to others. According to Conchita, GSK has a robust set of values and strong moral purpose. It’s a company that places trust in its employees and provides them many opportunities to develop, learn and grow.

10 Tips for Women in Banking

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Wall Street, otherwise known as “the Boy’s Club.” For those who are only familiar with the market through pop-culture, the scene is dominated by men (Wolf of Wall Street? The Big Short?). Unfortunately, those who work in finance know that the rumors ring true.

Currently, women account for only 18 percent of finance jobs, which is surprisingly even less than the tech industry! And yet, evidence shows that women tend to be comparable—if not better—investors than men.

A study by Fidelity Investments found that women not only save more on average than men, but they also tend to get better returns on their investments, with men earning a 6.0 percent rate of return and women earning 6.4 percent.

The fact is, women are good with money. Yet, for some reason or another, they aren’t having the same impact on the financial industry as men are. Women are just as capable of forging impactful finance careers as men are, but they face nuanced challenges.

If you’re ready to go into finance, here are ten tips to get started.

1 Focus on your skills, not your job title.

There’s an understanding in finance that money is “fungible.” In other words, no money is different than any other money, and $10 is $10, whether it comes in quarters or a single bill. This helps everyone remember that money is just a tool and unit of wealth measurement.

The same thought process can be applied to the skills acquired at a job. For instance, let’s say you work as an executive secretary. Your skills might include excellent organization, communication, and time management. These are skills that are vital to being a secretary, however, they aren’t only for secretaries! They could be applied to positions in data analytics, business forecasting, and portfolio management. So next time you’re polishing up your resume, focus on the skills you’ve mastered rather than the job titles you’ve had. You might be surprised which direction your experience and skills are pointing you in.

2 Build confidence.

There are innumerable self-help books that proclaim that to succeed, all one has to do is “be confident!” And yes, be confident! Walk into every meeting knowing you’re supposed to be there.

As with everything in finance, however, the strength is in the numbers. Being confident at the bar might be as simple as putting on a smile and giving yourself a pep talk on the way over. But in finance, your success and worth to your company is much more measurable. You do a disservice to yourself by categorizing insecurity as a personality problem, because that holds you back from tackling the issue head-on. Thus, take the time to build confidence instead of trying to wish it into existence. Write down what you believe to be your five greatest strengths in one column and your five greatest weaknesses in another. If you have a mentor or advisor, then ask them if they could do the same. Compare notes, and get to work on both. This is a reminder of all of the hard work you’ve already put in that got you to where you are today. It’s also a reminder that anything you feel insecure about is improvable.

3 Focus on the home runs.

Because women tend to be more judged than men in finance, it’s natural for them to focus on all tiny details, such as whether to wear a pencil skirt or a pant suit. Such details are important, but they are not promotable. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that women were notably more likely to volunteer to take on “non-promotable” tasks at work. These are tasks important for the functioning of the company but never mentioned in an annual review, such as planning events, writing reports, and serving on committees. In other words, non-promotable tasks are the housework of the office! As tempting as it is to jump in and volunteer when no one else will, first always think to yourself, “Is this something I’ll get proper credit for?” If the answer is no, then wait. You have bigger fish to fry!

4 Interview, interview, interview.

Looking for a new position? Interview elsewhere, of course. Love your current position and wouldn’t dream of leaving? Interview anyway!

Interviewing at other companies nowadays isn’t just about getting a new job; it serves multiple purposes.

First, you will build strong conversation and negotiation skills with every interview. For most women, interviewing is a time of major stress, and the stress itself can cause you to not perform your best. You should never wait until you absolutely have to do well in the interview before practicing. If you interview every two to three months when you’re already comfortable where you’re at, then you’ll feel much more prepared for that big interview where you really, really want the job.

Second, you have an excellent opportunity to network with other professionals in the industry. Even if you don’t get the job you apply for, your interviewer might just like you so much that when the next position comes along, they offer it to you first.

And finally, interviewing gives you a reasonable idea of your market value without having to find out the hard way. If another employer offers you a 20 percent raise, then that may be your signal to start looking for greener pastures.

5 Specialize.

There are many fancy designations in the finance world, which can seem overwhelming. What’s the difference between a CFA and a CFP? What about a CFS or CIC? Why is one of my coworkers stressed about her “Series 7”? Try to familiarize yourself with the most common specializations, but, even more importantly, you should strive to obtain one of them. Many bright-eyed graduates step into their first career in finance with visions of automatic success and wealth. The truth is that “finance” is a broad category, and on its own can lead to a boring career (and equally boring salary!).

In reality, the vision some have of powerful executives doesn’t come from finance but from expertise. It’s simple: People will pay you to do what they themselves can’t. An added bonus? Most employers will offer to pay for these designations! After exploring different areas of expertise, schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss whether the company can support you in your pursuit of a specialization. You will most likely get your supplies paid for and you’ll also reinforce your hard work and dedication to your manager.

6 Embrace technology.

The world of finance has been the catalyst and vanguard for technology for decades. Within the last 20 years or so, the process of depositing checks, for instance, has gone from seeing a teller at the bank, to depositing checks into an ATM, to simply snapping a picture on your phone. Amazing! Finance and technology are intertwined, constantly growing off of the successes of one another.

The next time you have a technology-related problem, challenge yourself to try to solve the problem on your own before calling IT. You may not immediately get the answer you’re looking for, but you’ll become more comfortable with the devices you use and functions they can perform. You have a wealth of information and assistance at your fingertips, and the better you get to know it now, the better use you’ll be able to make of it later down the line.

7 Become a mentor.

I know what you’re thinking. “I’m the junior at my company—don’t I need to have my own mentor before trying to mentor others?” Yes, you should try to find your own mentor as well. But by determining to become a mentor early on, you can push yourself into learning more about your industry and practice your leadership skills in the interim. Start small: Educate a coworker about your latest project or invite the intern to lunch. The best way to learn is by teaching!

8 Build your community.

You’ve been told your whole life that you should be loyal to your company. Here’s a new idea: Instead of being loyal to the company, be loyal to the people. The people who inspire you, the people who challenge you, and the people who you know will always have your back. This mindset goes beyond networking. It’s not about building the biggest LinkedIn pool possible, but rather about cultivating rich relationships with colleagues who value the same things that you do. These are people who you’ll stay in contact with regardless of which company and field you’re currently working in. To begin, notice when a colleague reaches a work milestone and find a way to congratulate them in a meaningful way. Years from now, they may not remember what you said to them, but they’ll recall how you made them feel.

9 Negotiate.

It’s no secret that finance is a boy’s club. But one problem is that women often think that it’s lack of experience, which holds them back from higher pay. At my next annual review, after I’ve had some time to establish myself, I’ll negotiate a raise.

Unfortunately, this sentiment betrays the sneaky assumption that pay is entirely based on merit! But studies show that merit alone does not determine your salary. One recent study by the Economic Policy Institute found that men consistently earned more than women in their very first job out of college, even when they had comparable work experience! Sadly, this shows that if you aren’t negotiating for yourself at the first job offer then you’re already too late. In the world of finance, this can easily become a weapon against you for another reason: Employers will think that if you can’t even negotiate for your own interests, then how will you negotiate for theirs? So, at your next review, ask. Negotiation skills are good for you and your company.

10 Time the market.

You’ve finished your first year or two as an analyst or advisor. You remember that first time you saw a spreadsheet and panicked at the sheer amount of information. But now, you can absorb all you need to know at a glance. Feels good, right? Now it’s time to apply your knowledge to your most personal investment: yourself. At this point, no one knows better than you whether to start at a new company, take on bigger roles, or do your own thing entirely. So, go out and do it! Remember, the best investment you’ll ever make is in yourself.

Sources: ucdavis.edu, fidelity.com, gap.hks.harvard.edu, epi.org

Two Tech CEOs Team Up to Take the Guesswork Out of CBD

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Two women CEOs of tech indusrty seated

With dozens of new brands entering the market each month and its own National holiday on August 8,  CBD is quickly penetrating the daily lives of consumers. Between the proliferating field of options and the wide array of formula choices and strengths, how do consumers know where to start? How much should they take? In what form, and how often?

Having built dozens of consumer products and brands between them, co-founders Coco Meers (L’Oréal Alumna and Founder of PrettyQuick, acquired by Groupon in 2015) and Marcy Capron-Vermillion (Founder of Polymathic, acquired by DevMynd 2017) created Equilibria to restore balance to modern women by demystifying the CBD journey, from starting dose to personalized routine development and ongoing Dosage Specialist support.

“The CBD market is expanding at a rapid rate, with little regard to quality, service and education,” Meers said. “We saw an opportunity to deliver not only the highest quality CBD on the market, purpose-built to deliver maximum therapeutic benefits, but white glove, clinical luxury service that caters to each woman individually.”

In a sea of CBD brands, Equilibria— launched this year—offers personalized dosage support led by veteran cannabis educators and unparalleled quality from their exclusive bioscience partner—all to advance the mission of balance for women. CBD as a service – personalized dosage support for all members.

A 37-year-old working mother with insomnia and exacerbated stress during her period. A 73-year-old plagued with chronic pain whose arthritis prevents her from playing with her grandkids. These women are part of Equilibria’s community, and Equilibria gets to know them and their health goals from the start of their journey.

CBD is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Female body chemistry, age, metabolism, health goals, and current medications influence the amount of CBD they need and how often they should take it. With daily and consistent use, CBD can change lives. Products and services focus on restoring balance to the lives of women. CBD works with the body to promote balance, and women’s bodies need balance. Equilibria’s female-led team delivers on this vision by focusing their service and R&D efforts on CBD science and female biochemistry. From hormonal regulation and anxiety to auto-immune and inflammation, women’s physiological and mental health systems can easily swing out of balance. CBD helps achieve homeostasis throughout the body’s systems. Equilibria’s Dosage Support team is trained in female biochemistry and applications of CBD for female health. To offer clinical support and maximum therapeutic benefits requires that Equilibria have complete confidence and transparency into the consistency and mquality of their supply chain.

For Marcy and Coco, white-labeling wasn’t good enough. Equilibria is proud to join forces in an exclusive partnership with CFH, LTD—a leading bioscience firm and industrial hemp producer in Longmont, Colorado. Coco and Marcy surveyed the landscape of CBD white-label manufacturers, but it didn’t feel right to purchase product and re-label. These science- oriented and data-driven leaders needed to know that every step of the process was optimized for consumer safety and medical-grade results. They chose to partner with CFH and work together as partner companies with shared ownership—because they recognized the CFH team was as passionate about traceability, consistency,and results as they were.

Source: Equilibria

Five Ways to Succeed as a Female STEM Graduate

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female scientist standing in chemical laboratory

By Audrey Taylor, CEO, Netlogx

As a new graduate, it’s daunting to enter your career not only as a woman but as a woman who is a minority among her peers. Women hold more than half of the college degrees awarded each year, but represent only 25 percent of college-educated STEM employees.

I began my career in technology more than 30 years ago and my company 20 years ago. For context, in 1998, Google was in its very first year of existence, and companies were only beginning to build e-commerce and informational websites.

As a woman in STEM, I strived for equality, diversity, and a successful technology company. To my peers, that might have seemed overly ambitious, but if you want to be a trailblazer, sometimes you have to do what you think is right and not focus on what other people think. Fortunately, I wasn’t wrong: more gender-diverse workplaces have been shown to increase bottom-line revenue by 41 percent. Overall, employees are also more productive and engaged when they work in a diverse environment.

As a female STEM graduate myself, there are five concrete suggestions I’d like to share with other STEM women to help support and foster an inclusive workplace:

  1. Seek mentorship outside the majority. Connect and network in areas that fit your passion and desires for a career, but aren’t necessarily typical. Are you an aerospace engineer? Network with those who also engineer in software and manufacturing. You’ll be surprised what you learn about solving problems from different industries. Think about other minority professional groups where your insights could be valued, and, likewise, their ideas and brainstorming power will be beneficial to you, too.
  1. Understand and improve your own unconscious bias. We all make decisions with unconscious bias. As long as we are human, this will be the case. When men and women were asked to review two identical resumes with a man’s name on one, and a female’s on the other, both groups rated the male resume as more capable and suited for the position, even though the skills and experience listed were identical! When you understand that unconscious bias exists—even within yourself—you become aware of your own decisions and statements in meetings, when hiring new employees, advising the C-suite, or even your interaction with colleagues day to day.
  1. Progress, not perfection. Avoid striving for perfection all the time. That isn’t the way the world works, especially in innovative career fields like science, engineering and technology where trial and error are key. Don’t be afraid to take risks when you think you have a solution or want to try something new. Failure doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means you’ve found something that doesn’t work. Use it as an opportunity to improve your methods about a business challenge. When you know what doesn’t work, you open your mind to other ways of interpreting and resolving challenges.
  1. You’re in the room for a reason. Use your voice and raise it when you want to share your insight and perspective. That’s how you’ll be heard and start a real dialogue to solve complex business issues. Maybe everyone else hasn’t heard that idea before, or maybe no one has considered something you see as a barrier to solving that issue. True invention and progress requires all the brains in the room, not just brains from one gender or race. Find ways to ask what others have to say, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you want clarification or more information about something that interests you.
  1. Sponsor and mentor young STEM minds. Whether it’s a woman or someone else in a minority group, lead the charge and help others gain footing where you’ve already learned to connect. It takes more than one empowered woman to make a difference. By fostering young minds, you’re helping STEM grow faster and healthier, with more diversity. Get involved in urban groups that help youth make career decisions, or join Big Brothers Big Sisters. Invite your friends to come along. Humans are inherently designed for relationships with others, and one person you listen to or advise could easily become a future leader.

More than ever, women are taking CEO positions in companies all over the world, but it still isn’t nearly equal. There will be discouraging times in your career, but the only way to increase female STEM graduates and business leaders is to become one yourself. Keep your foot in the door by seeking professional development opportunities and speaking out when you have something to say. Remember where you came from and help other women along the way. After all—to paraphrase—we have to be the change we want to see in our world today.