Professional advice and life lessons shared at Women in STEM symposium
An inspiring lineup of 21 women in the STEM community shared information, advice, and lessons learned along their paths to professional and personal success during the first annual Women in STEM symposium, held Saturday on Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus.
Hosted by the Women of Whiting, an organization that supports female graduate students in STEM at Johns Hopkins, the symposium featured discussions on communication and negotiation strategies, work-life balance, and career planning. While panelists encouraged young women to celebrate their successes, they were also candid about the often hard lessons they learned from their own experiences.
“Always look like you belong there. You’ve worked hard, so take your seat at the table,” said Elyse Heob, an MBA/MPH candidate at Hopkins and co-founder of ClearMask, which has developed a transparent facemask to enhance communications between caregivers and patients. “You deserve to be there.”
Added Jenny Castellano: “Always negotiate like you’re negotiating for someone else—if you’re negotiating for your mother, your aunt, your child, you’re not going to settle for anything less than the best, right?”
Castellano earned her master’s degree in engineering management from Hopkins in 2011. She now works as director of program finance at Abt Associates, a global research firm dedicated to improving the lives of people worldwide.
Mindy Farber, a civil rights attorney and alumna who graduated in Hopkins’ first co-ed class in 1974, said that she’s always been inspired by her favorite childhood movie, The Wizard of Oz.
“Just remember, Dorothy got herself back to Kansas,” she said. “Behind every successful woman is herself.”