Event Recap: Brown Bag UBC Mar 5 – Make Possible

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SCWIST Brown Bag Lunch Series

UBC Brown Bag Lunch Series: Make Possible Mentoring Network Workshop

Date of Event: March 5, 2015

Speakers: Cheryl Kristiansen and Gwen Gnazdowsky

SCWIST has launched its Make Possible Mentoring Network, part of the Government of Canada’s Status of Women Initiative to advance women in science and technology. To introduce this mentoring network, UBC Brown Bag Lunch Series organized a session on March 5, 2015 where Make Possible Project Coordinator, Cheryl Kristiansen, demonstrated how to connect, collaborate and lead through a dedicated mentoring network in STEM. As part of this program, Gwen Gnazdowsky from One Conversation delivered a hands-on mentoring workshop and facilitated an interactive group discussion that created a supportive learning environment, and built a sense of confidence and collaboration among the attendees.

Make Possible logoCheryl Kristiansen started the session by giving a short presentation on the mentoring network. She described the process of building a mentoring network prototype using about two hundred survey results of women working in STEM and the mentoring needs that they identified. The tool was later tested in various workshops. Make Possible Mentoring Network is a platform that addresses few of these identified challenges that women working in STEM often face and provides an opportunity to connect, collaborate and to lead together.

One ConversationLater part of the session, Gwen Gnazdowsky from One Conversation talked about what mentoring means and how a successful mentor-mentee relationship looks like. Part of the interactive workshop was having a group introduction where all the attendees were encouraged to give one-minute introduction stating their names, their work, and their expectations of mentors and mentees. At the end of the group introduction, everyone got to know briefly about who they were and what their goals were for attending the session. This helped them identify potential collaborations right then and there. The attendees were later grouped into smaller teams of three people to practice their networking kills and to establish relationships. Both speakers emphasized that mentoring is a two way street that is built upon a trusted relationship between a mentor and a mentee. Both parties can maximize the opportunity by being sincere, open and honest with each other. Communicating freely with ones mentor, sharing thoughts and concerns can build a successful collaboration that can last beyond the mentoring network program.

Background of Presenters:

Cheryl Kristiansen from SCWIST brings diverse expertise in project management, engineering innovation and leading transformative change in STEM.  She has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, hands-on engineering experience in the alternate fuels technology sector and senior leadership experience in the oil and gas sector.  As Managing Director of the Mitchell Odyssey Foundation, Cheryl developed an effective network of Odyssey supported schools across BC with innovative programs that motivate and inspire high school students to pursue careers in STEM.   The Make Possible Program is well aligned with SCWIST goals to empower women and girls in science, engineering and technology.  It also leverages unique SCWIST programs like IWIS – Immigrating Women in Science and Technology – and the MS Infinity Program that introduces girls to exciting career options and positive female role models in science and technology.   www.scwist.ca

Gwen Gnazdowsky of ONE Conversation Coaching & Facilitation has been helping people achieve personal, professional and relationship goals for over 25 years – One Conversation at a Time!  She is the National Mentorship Program Developer and Coordinator with the Women in Leadership Foundation.  Gwen recently delivered a Ted Talk on “Happiness is a Paradigm Shift” for TEDxBCIT and an Assertiveness Workshop for BCIT Nurses.  She teaches Communication and Public Speaking Courses at Langara College and Vancouver School Board.  Gwen has delivered keynotes and workshops for YWCA’s Mentoring Programs, UBC Anthropology Students, SCWIST, Crofton House School, Vancouver Asian Heritage Society, Women in Film & Television, Human Resources Management Association, Certified Management Accountant Association and Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.  Gwen is committed to helping people achieve what they want in life. www.oneconversation.com

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