Barbies in STEM? Female Filmmakers? Major changes at major institutions

By: Kathryn Rainville

This year has marked the advent of a new generation of women speaking up and stepping out. Two major players in the way of female influence from a young age (Mattel and Disney) are making strides to empower women.

First up: Mattel. What was your favorite Barbie doll when you were young? Did you ever think about her career, and did you ever envy it? I certainly thought about it, but I can’t say that I ever understood what, exactly, my Barbie did other than wear pretty clothes and go to the beach in her Jeep. However, this year, Mattel released a Robotics Engineer of their world-famous doll, one that they hope will promote young girls to explore STEM. Although the original Barbie isn’t going away, Mattel views the release of this Barbie as “…a powerful opportunity for kids across the globe” to become more exposed to the STEM fields and still play with a Barbie (McCowan). In fact, they have leveraged an online platform in conjunction with each sale of a Robotics Engineer Barbie to give girls the opportunity “…to learn basic programming concepts at a young age” through their partnership with Tynker (McCowan). Mattel has Read more and comment

Women in the Workplace 2018 Report at a Glance

Gender diversity improvement and female advancement in leadership are the core initiatives of LeanIn.Org. Along with McKinsey & Company, they have published this report annually since 2015 to give companies and employees the information they need to advance women into leadership positions and improve gender diversity within their organizations. For the past 4 years companies have reported that they are highly committed to gender diversity, but that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress.

Women in the Workplace 2018 is the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. This year, 279 companies completed a survey of their HR practices and shared data regarding their pipeline. Also, more than 64,000 employees were surveyed on their workplace experiences. For additional insights, women of different races and ethnicities were interviewed as well as LGBTQ women. “This year’s findings make it clearer than ever that companies need to double down on their efforts. As progress seems to be stalled to achieve equality, companies must turn good intentions into concrete action”.


“Experts agree that articulating a business case, setting goals and transparently reporting on progress, and rewarding success are key to driving organizational change”. When it comes to gender diversity, … Read more and comment

Tips for Being a Woman in the Workplace, as told by RBG

By: Kathryn Rainville

Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Notorious RBG. Brooklyn girl. Supreme Court Justice.

Throughout her career, Ginsberg has demonstrated several key lessons that women should consider in their own careers. In fact, in the two articles that this post is based on, several of the rules overlapped. Below are my favorites, with a little explanation of why.

  1. “One foot in front of the other”/”Take a deep breath”

Often, we become preoccupied with success, advancement, etc. While these things are important, they can be wearing. One author reminds us: “Don’t let temper confuse your goals.” Ruth Bader Ginsberg showed us that you must find your own way in and being deliberate in your actions will chip away at injustices one step, one breath, one act at a time. After all, she didn’t become one of the most prolific champions of women’s rights and gender equality overnight. Instead, she “[chipped] slowly at the big mountain of making women equal in the eyes of the law” with each strategic choice she made for the cases she took.

  1. “Find your own way in”/”Do not reward bad behavior”

If it was as simple as following the pre-constructed directions, there would likely be a lot more … Read more and comment

The Weinstein Clause

By: Kathryn Rainville

Since the dawn of the “#MeToo” movement last year, several institutions have launched investigations, further investigated equality, and promoted the need to bring social injustices in the workplace to light. Wall Street is the latest to join the movement and make a statement.

In a recent article from Fortune, it appears that Wall Street mergers will now include what is being called “the Weinstein Clause.” According to Gregory Bedrosian, chief executive officer of the investment bank Drake Star Partners, “social due diligence is becoming more and more important, and particularly for founder-centric businesses, money is being put aside to address #MeToo issues.” Therefore, the clause will require the company to “…legally vouch for the positive behavior of a company’s leadership.” In fact, the clause will go in so far as to make the sellers “…state that nobody has accused any member of their management or leadership of sexual misconduct.”

This stipulation comes as “more than 400 high-profile executives and employees” have been taken down by the #MeToo movement. At this point, there is no excuse for companies to not be held more responsible. This is Wall Street’s attempt to affect change on a corporate level, as well … Read more and comment

6 Key Traits Women in STEM Possess

By: Kathryn Rainville

What happens once women are in the workplace? Harvard Business Review recently published 6 key tenants that successful women in STEM have in common. They are:

  1. Telegraph confidence

A recent study cited in the article states “…that fewer than 2 in 10 women in STEM who have not achieved success report being extremely confident in their abilities,” even if they are perfectly capable and excel in their field. This confidence is everything for women in STEM, and of those who have achieved success, “…39% report such confidence” (Sherbin)

2.  Claim credit for your ideas

We hear it all the time, but based on a study cited in this article, “…82% of women in STEM say their contributions are ignored” (Sherbin). However, women who are successful in STEM boast a 14% higher likelihood of speaking up upon being overlooked. Dr. Velma Deleveaux shares her method of reclaiming her own ideas, in which she confronts the person who attempts to claim her idea and says “I’m so glad you agree with the idea I introduced earlier. Let me share some additional thoughts.” It’s important to stand up for yourself and your ideas, and this is one easy way to … Read more and comment

The Summer of the Female C-Suite

It may be too soon to declare this, but this seems to be the summer of female CEOs and C-Suite appointments.

Between Heineken appointing a woman as the CEO of the USA division, and GM appointing another woman to the C-Suite (as the CFO), we are seeing a few more cracks in the glass ceiling.

Heineken’s appointment of Maggie Timoney marks “…the first woman to lead a major U.S. beer supplier” (Schultz). Timoney has an impressive resume with the company, and arguably a better reputation. After spending the previous five years as CEO in Ireland, she has been regarded by her colleagues as “…a competitive and energetic leader who is known for inspiring teams, operationalizing plans and mobilizing organizations to deliver business results” (Schultz). In an industry that has remained male-dominated, and smaller breweries (even those that become major) are passed down through generations, Timoney’s appointment demonstrates the rise of women in the industry, and the relevance of female leaders in the alcohol industry.

Mentorships, allies, and women supporting each other all stick out in the story of Dhivya Suryadevara’s ascention to GM’s CFO position. Mary Barra (GM’s CEO) “…selected another high-achieving woman to join her in the executive suite” … Read more and comment

Learn how to code!

DWN learned how to code during Women in Tech week! Thanks to BeverlyAnne Torkelson for leading a great training on coding! The technology-driven world we live in calls for many different skills – coding being one in high demand. If you weren’t able to attend this training, check out this training deck here! This deck includes an overview of coding and resources to help you learn code.… Read more and comment

DWN Awards 2018

By: Kathryn Rainville

July marked the 3rd anniversary for the DISH Women’s Network. As Michelle Calkins, co-founder and president of DWN said in her opening remarks, “…we’ve seen our members grow personally and professionally as they’ve broadened their connections across the company, earned promotions, and expanded their roles to become impactful players at DISH.” Each year, the DISH Women’s Network team selects women and men for various awards to recognize the milestones these incredible people have achieved over the course of the year. As Alison Moy, DWN VP of Member Engagement reminded us: “These rewards are an opportunity to not only recognize the winners but to also reflect on the cast talent around us and appreciate those who are pushing us to be better.”

This year, the DISH Women’s Network team received an overwhelming number of nominations which made the decision difficult. Congratulations to all of the nominees for all of their hard work. Right now, we would like to congratulate each of the incredibly deserving winners for all they have contributed to their peers, to their teams, and to the larger DISH community.

Kristen Machemer is this year’s Trailblazer award recipient. As stated in at awards ceremony, Kristen is … Read more and comment

Diversity is the new business “imperative”

By: Kathryn Rainville

The CEO of Accenture North America, Julie Sweet, is a champion of workplace diversity. She has made it her goal to achieve gender equity in her workforce by 2025. Currently, the employee base is around 36% women and 64% men.

With the rise of movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp, and more, Sweet feels more hope for the future than ever before. She has said “There is something different today than even two or three years ago. There’s a genuine focus that’s not about checking a box…” (CNN Money). The paradigm around diversity has switched, and Sweet even calls it a new “business imperative” (CNN Money). Diversity is no longer a want; it is a need to compete in our ever-globalizing and connected world.

Accenture shared their employment statistics to confront and share the successes and failures they have experienced in their ability to diversify talent. Sweet wants the conversation to be transparent; she says that while their statistics were not great, “[they’re] going to be honest about where [they] are and where [they] want to go” (CNN Money). Starting this conversation begins with those revelations, and for the first time, Accenture has set goals in terms of hiring … Read more and comment

Summer Reading Suggestions from the DWN team: Leadership

By: Kathryn Rainville

Leadership means something different for each person. With thousands of self-help books available that suggest how to harness and effectively use your leadership skills, diagnose your leadership type, etc., it is no wonder that it’s a constant point of conversation on all teams. In some sense, everyone has the ability to lead. To be sure, this does not mean that each person can lead, does lead, or will lead a team. It does, however, mean that each person can encourage, help, and empathize with their team members, and set an example of how they would like to be led. This summer, the DWN team encourages you to check out the books below, and discover your leadership potential, and what you can do to better your leadership.

Servant Leadership: A journey into the Nature of Legitimate power and greatness

By Robert K. Greenleaf

A compilation of essays that introduced the servant leadership movement in the USA. Explains the components and importance of servant leadership across different types of organizations.

The idea of servant leadership has been around since the 1970s, when Robert K. Greenleaf coined the term “servant leader” in his popular essay “Servant as Leader.” Since then, … Read more and comment