Global Twitter chat highlights STEM gender balance issues
29 September 2015
Engineers Ireland partnered with US engineering organisation DiscoverE last week (September 25) to host a global Twitter chat that highlighted the issue of gender balance in STEM careers.
The chat focused on women in engineering and technology sectors, primarily concentrating on the subject of shyness and confidence at work. A recent study by LinkedIn showed that 56 per cent of women believe they are overlooked for a promotion because they are shy.
Shyness can prevent women from networking and socialising with colleagues outside of work. An article published by Psychology Today claims that the advent of modern technology puts shy people at an increasing disadvantage due to fewer opportunities for professional and personal interactions.
DiscoverE started this conversation with women in engineering and technology careers around the globe at the 2015 Global Marathon where women shared their experiences and tips to gain confidence and be successful in their careers.
— Kim Irwin (@kimiquilts) September 25, 2015
Last Friday’s Twitter chat was an opportunity for female engineering and technology professionals to share personal stories about how shyness affects them in the workplace and to provide empowering and practical tools that all women can use to be more confident in their professional and personal lives. Female engineers from around the world discussed a range of topics including tips to boost confidence as well as the importance of availing of quality mentoring opportunities. Further issues discussed included:
- Have you ever felt that a lack of confidence has held you back, professionally?
- Do you ever use any specific techniques to boost your confidence?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using technology as a communication tool in the workplace?
- In your view, what are some characteristics shy people share that helps others identify them as shy? And how might this affect the observer’s attitudes toward that person?
- What specific techniques do you use to be an effective leader/manager?
- What steps can managers take to help boost confidence among staff and help them realise their potential?
- Is it important to you to have a mentor or coach? Have you ever employed a coach to help you overcome your shyness? What do you look for in a mentor/coach?
- If you are shy, how do you create and maintain a network?
— Niamh Shaw (@niamhiepoos) September 25, 2015
— Kelley Cousins (@KelleyCousins) September 25, 2015