On March 9, 2022, SCWIST and Science World hosted the much-loved Wonder Women Networking Evening. It took place virtually for the second year in a row.
For over 30 years the annual Wonder Women Networking Evening (WWNE) has been a cornerstone event for SCWIST. It’s been through various names and iterations. Yet, its purpose has remained the same: to bring in women in STEM for conversation and connection about thriving in their chosen fields.
The WWNE 2022 virtual conference room!
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Networking with some incredible “Wonder Women” in STEM
WWNE is an opportunity for post-secondary students, early career professionals, and those who may be considering a career change. Every year, established professionals sign up to share their stories, expertise, and advice with our attendees.
This was the second year that the COVID-19 pandemic brought us to the breakout rooms of Zoom. We were excited to use feedback from last year’s event to help us plan WWNE 2022. Two main points guided us: our attendees wanted more time for networking, and more thematic organization to the breakout rooms.
Your feedback led to improvements
So, we tried something new. We asked attendees which fields they wanted to hear about. Then we went out and recruited Wonder Women excelling in those fields. Each field had its own dedicated breakout room, hosted by a pair of Wonder Women with related experience and expertise. Room topics included Engineering (in multiple specializations), Medical & Health Sciences, Science Communication, Careers in Academia, and even Entrepreneurship.
“A lovely place to meet incredible women in STEM. They are learning, sharing and having fun with empathy and encouragement!” said Sharon, WWNE 2022 Attendee.
Finding common ground and making connections
One other attendee said, “This was a great event to meet so many diverse, interesting, brilliant women. It was so well organized that we could have gone on talking forever … The sign of a good event is leaving hungry for more. We did.”
In addition, there were three 30-minute rounds of networking. Two of the rounds were pre-assigned, but the final round was a “wild card.” The event’s emcee, Danniele Livengood, encouraged attendees to join a room different from their usual field of study or work. Networking is all about finding common ground and making connections. There is a lot of common ground to be found outside of working in the same field. At the end, Danniele encouraged participants to keep the networking going. After all, it’s an ongoing process and we had just planted the seeds.
The WWNE team! Clockwise from top left: Sandy Eix, Khristine Cariño, Jordana Smith, and Danniele Livengood
Finally, We capped off the night with some closing remarks from SCWIST President, Khristine Cariño, who thanked the entire WWNE team:
· Science World, for letting us produce the event from their studio (a.k.a. behind their huge OMNIMAX® screen!)
· Danniele Livengood, WWNE Emcee
· Sandy Eix, Director of STEM Learning at Science World and former long-time WWNE Emcee
· Jordana Smith, WWNE Event Coordinator
· the amazing Wonder Women
· and of course, all of the attendees
We’ll conclude with some thoughts from those who took part in this year’s event.
Well said, ladies. Stay Wonder-ful!