Audience Questions from 100 Years WISE: Bridging the Past and the Future

Here are the questions asked during the event:

– What woman “firsts” inspire you, either from the past or present?
– I am an undergraduate with excellent marks and lots of volunteer activities. I also have a disability. Should I disclose that on my application to graduate school?- On the one hand, I feel like it will give me the diversity edge over the guys. On the other, I want to get in on my own merit. What should I do?
– When will we know that we have succeeded in our goals of achieving inclusivity and diversity in the sciences and engineering?
– Looking at the leadership by UBC, Washington College, and Hunter College in supporting women in academics and the sciences, what can they do to influence their fellow universities to join them in this endeavour?
– Dean Peacock says men need to listen more, but few show up to events like this. What can be done to address this issue?
– How can universities better support women with overlapping oppressions such as race, gender identity, sexuality, disability etc.?
– If you could pick one book for everyone to read, what would it be?
– Should robots be programmed to respond differently to men and women?
– Do women and men perceive risk and safety differently?
– What advice would you give your younger self?

Due to time constraints, we were unable to go through all questions at the event.
Here are all the other questions we received:

– What would you advise parents who have girls interested in the sciences? What
can they do to encourage them to pursue science/engineering related studies and careers?
– What are some of the most significant sacrifices/trade-offs that you have made to promote your success?
– How will the ways that women and men age differently in our increasingly aging population affect leadership in academia, industry and community?
– Tolstoy said: Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves. Are we on the right track with our initiatives toward inclusivity?
– What is one challenge you faced as a woman in science or engineering and how did you overcome the challenge?
– What are university science and engineering programs doing to prepare young women for work in the business world and to advocate for themselves?
– When encountering negative influences from those around you, e.g. peers and professors, how do you move past these to attain your goals without letting them get you down?
– Given the importance of mentorship in professional development, how do you make space for mentorship in a busy work environment?
– Do you feel that being a woman or mother help you to be perceived as a better listener, collaborator, or leader?
– As a pronunciation coach working with internationally trained women, my question is: How do we ensure that the voices of immigrant women are heard?
– What is your favourite tool for overcoming the confidence gap? What helps you face fear and show up?
– What role does mentorship play in your success?
– The panelists tonight discussed the theme of “asking for help,” which is very useful advice. However, it is possible that there are people who are not capable of asking for help, such as those for whom help is simply not available. How should one proceed when this happens?
– To Ms. Catherine Roome: How can I build big bowls? What should I do to become a strong woman?
– Would you rather succeed in something with no importance or fail with opportunity of experience?
– Has anyone on the panel experienced inferiority complex during their career development? If yes, how did they overcome it?
– Have you ever experienced the “impostor syndrome”? How did you push through it?
– How can we decrease the stigma of asking for help?
– When did you start to find your passion for science and engineering? What did you do in your elementary school that you would like to encourage today’s kids to do? ‬
– What is the role of men in the feminist movement? How can men become more engaged and active in changing the structure of gender relations towards equality?
– In your life, how do you empower women?
– How would you handle a situation in which you realize that you are experiencing discrimination?
– As pioneers in your fields, what would you tell your ‘earlier’ self when you first stepped into scenarios in which you broke barriers as women?
– Do you think the frustrations of the ‘politics’ within academia hit women harder than men; if so, how can we address these issues to keep women in research?
– We know that we are making small incremental improvements by “supporting women and girls in STEM” in a multitude of ways. However, our efforts are undermined by the representation of women in the media and popular culture. How can we create concrete steps to change the hypersexualalized and polarized stereotypes portrayed by the media?
– What is your number one piece of advice for future leaders in science, engineering and medicine?
– What is the number one mistake you see women make in their careers in these fields?
– What is the role of men in the feminist movement? How can men become more engaged and active in changing the structure of gender relations towards equality?
– When you are in a rut and cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel and you catch yourself saying “I can’t”, how do you keep going? What do you tell yourself?
– Based on what you learned from work done on gender equity, what suggestions do you have for people who are committed to making UBC a welcoming place for diverse people including people with disabilities?
– One of the themes today is about “asking for help”. But with limited time and capacity, is there a time when you might want to turn down help? Is it necessary to say no and how does one say no without turning down opportunities? How does one decide who to help?
– What mechanisms can we put in place to get more women into leadership roles in academia and industry? Many women will not take a leadership role because it will take away from family. Do we need incentives for women?
– How can female scientists and researchers best support each other?
– What still needs to change in the next 100 years?
– In the NY Times two weeks ago, there was a headline that read: Most companies say they want to attract a diverse workforce but few deliver. The solution may be a radical one: anonymity. What might that look like?
– 100 years from now, will we have a similar event, or will it seem odd to have an event focused on women?
– How do you respond to people who say that women just aren’t as good at or interested in the sciences and engineering?