Women as Barometers of a Healthy Workplace: Overcoming Gender Stereotypes in STEM

Presenter: Melanie Polkosky, Ph.D.

We are currently engaged in a national conversation about gender diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Today, more than any time in the past, the lack of women in demanding science and technology fields is understood to be a significant problem that many thought leaders and progressive organizations have been striving to address for more than four decades. And yet, the number of women in STEM has plateaued or even decreased over the last few years.

This webinar will focus on women as barometers of workplace culture. The data tell us a majority of women are avoiding or leaving STEM fields due to their toxic environments. As women in technology, what is the daily impact of gender stereotypes on our energy, resilience and well-being? What does a welcoming, inclusive and supportive workplace culture look like? How can we each become the change we wish to see?

Goals of the Webinar:

- Define gender stereotyping and gender diversity as they relate to STEM fields;
- Describe how gender stereotyping effects social cognition, or the processes by which we understand ourselves and others;
- Evaluate several types of catabolic and anabolic energy that result from gender stereotyping;
- Identify at least 5 ways women can thrive in their career and life by overcoming limiting beliefs about gender.

Melanie Polkosky is an energy leadership coach and consultant who holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Sciences. A former teacher and speech-language pathologist, her expertise in social cognition, interpersonal communication and user experience design arose from an eclectic career spanning healthcare, education, science and technology. As a R&D engineer-consultant for a major Fortune 100 technology organization for over 13 years, Melanie worked with numerous international clients, achieved a Thought Leader level of consultancy certification, wrote over 60 publications, received 6 U.S. patents and completed two prestigious global leadership and corporate social responsibility programs.

In 2014, Melanie left her corporate role to fully embrace her lifelong passions of writing and helping others, four years after surviving breast cancer. Her first book, Uncovering Truffles: The Scarcity and Value of Women in STEM, will be published in summer 2015. Today she runs an independent coaching/consulting practice that focuses on the design of empowering, supportive and inclusive work cultures for high potential women and the organizations that value them. Melanie is a vegan, multi-passionate entrepreneur and working mother who loves black-capped chickadees, immersive conversations, dark chocolate, her children's infectious laughter and wildflower-strewn mountains in summer. She lives with her husband, son and daughter near Memphis, Tennessee.