Preparing the next generation of STEM professional women

Milwaukee, May 26, 2017 – The EgGS Initiative (Engaging Girls in STEM), an organization aimed at inspiring high school girls to pursue STEM careers, collaborated with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) to offer the "Preparing to be a Professional" (Prep-Pro) workshop on May 13.

Seventeen high schools from southeastern Wisconsin sent nearly 120 girls to participate in the Prep-Pro workshop allowing the students to work with role models working in STEM careers. Twenty-two professional women representing Milwaukee area businesses, including Cr Hansen, Douglas Dynamics, GE Healthcare, Harley Davidson, Johnson Controls, Lee Hecht Harrison, Northwestern Mutual, Rockwell Automation and more, participated.

The workshop simulated a professional association meeting including roundtable discussions. It focused on helping students appreciate some of the key non-technical skills they will need for their long-term success; networking, effective questioning, dealing with gender bias, and how to advocate for oneself. Each student had the chance to speak with multiple STEM professionals to explore strategies and collect insights on how to succeed in fields traditionally dominated by men. The event also allowed the students to meet girls from area schools who share similar academic and professional goals.

"I attended the Pre-Pro workshop and I was amazed and inspired by these professional women. I was able to ask some questions about their research and I found the networking session very helpful," said Kayla, a junior at Waukesha North High School. "This event left me energized, confident, and ready to push forward with my STEM career."

The workshop kicked off with a keynote address by Sandra Pfister, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology and Chair of the Council for Women's Advocacy at MCW. Her presentation, 'It Makes a Difference: Women in Science Improves the Health of Women', set the tone for the workshop. Dr Pfister's insights stressed why it is ESSENTIAL that more women become involved in not only medical research but all areas of STEM.


From left to right, Front row: Mary Becker (Lee Hecht Harrison), Celeste Cuffie (Life Empowered Consulting), Dr. Mirjana Curic-Bawed, Dana Stevens (Manpower), Bridget Quick (Harley-Davidson) Second row: Debbie Rudan (Lee Hecht Harrison), Negin Salami (Johnson Controls), Maribel Marquez (Medical College of Wisconsin), Arie Carpenter (Chr Hansen), Dr. Sandra Pfister (Medical College of Wisconsin), Sasha Demian (Level 3 Communications), Dr. Melinda Dwinell (Medical College of Wisconsin), Dr. Rashmi Sood (Medical College of Wisconsin) Third row: Shannan Vlieger (Douglas Dynamics), Michelle Waite (Harley Davidson), Kristin Roth (Rockwell Automation), Abby Huebner (Northwestern Mutual), Megan Wimmer (GE Healthcare), Shauna Rasmussen (Medical College of Wisconsin), Janette Braverman (Rockwell Automation)


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