Two DuPont alumnae and current top STEM executives encouraged an audience of female professionals to lead not only with courage, but with understanding, and embrace the complexities that come with being a female leader.
“It’s not mutually exclusive. You can be courageous and afraid and you can be grateful and ambitious. Female leaders recognize that duality. I often joke with my female mentors that we can hold two thoughts in our head at the same time,” Chemours Chief Sustainability Officer Amber Wellman said during the Inspiring Women in STEM 2023 Conference last Thursday. “Letting comfort trump meaningful change is the epitome of privilege, so I find I have to push myself outside my comfort zone. You have to be confident in what you know and what you don’t know.”
Wellman and Provivi Chief Operating Officer Teri Quinn Gray were among the highest-profile speakers during a fireside chat at the Delaware BioScience Association‘s annual conference. The Inspiring Women in STEM 2023 Conference was in its 11th year, and drew 250 attendees to panels, mentoring and networking sessions at the University of Delaware’s Clayton Hall. Attendees ranged from seasoned professionals to soon to be graduates looking to enter the field.
STEM jobs are those in life sciences, physical and Earth sciences, engineering and architecture, computer and math occupations. In 2021, studies from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that women made up 28% of jobs in those fields, signaling a rise from 1970 when the number was around 8%.
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