The University hosted the Women in Science and Engineering Conference Friday, a day-long, inter-university forum featuring leadership workshops, panels on career choices and advice on balancing work and family.
The conference was intended to foster discussion and provide networking opportunities for female undergraduate and graduate students.
"We all thought that a lot of the issues discussed in the leadership workshops are relevant to women," Melissa Carroll, a graduate student in computer science and neuroscience at the University, said. "These women often don't have people to talk to."
Following an address by outgoing engineering school dean Maria Klawe, leadership workshops were held on the topics of time management skills, negotiation skills, methods of dealing with difficult people and the characteristics of a successful leader.
The discussions were moderated by professors Jennifer Rexford, Kyle Vanderlick, Catherine Peters and Klawe, respectively.
In the workshop on time management skills, participants discussed problems they face in balancing their busy schedules.
"I am in hard classes. I don't have time to clean! I have to do work," a graduate student from Columbia told the audience.
Students also said that they receive an overwhelming number of emails each day. One participant compared the chaotic contents of her inbox to taking everything she owned and putting it on her bed.
Rexford and students discussed practical solutions such as using filters to organize emails by sender or subject, responding to messages immediately or emailing only at certain times of the day.
Klawe led the workshop on characteristics of a successful leader.
"Maria does a great job getting people to talk," Connie Crawford GS '78, '81 said after the workshop.
During the roundtable discussion, participants outlined the qualities of a capable leader, including being an attentive listener, never losing sight of the big picture, encouraging others to follow and communicating effectively.
"The first rule of success is to fail openly and often," Klawe said. "If you don't fail often, you are not setting your standards high enough."
Tiffany Ko '09, who attended the workshop on negotiation skills, said she learned that, "When you're negotiating, know what you're worth and just do it."
Two panel discussions were held in the afternoon.
Stephanie Weirick, on the panel discussing the balance of work and family, said, "I want to convey the fact that being an engineer is totally compatible with having a family."
The majority of participants at the conference were women. A few men also attended to learn about networking in the scientific community.
"I'm trying to get information about the opportunities available for females in this age," Murray Tabachnick said. "I have several female relatives."
The conference was sponsored by the student group Graduate Women in Science and Engineering.
Reader Comments (0)
No comments yet. Be the first to post your opinion on this article.