On September 28th, WOMEN Unlimited, Inc. sponsored a webinar on STEM: Developing and Retaining Female Talent. I had the privilege of moderating the discussion which featured two panelists with extensive STEM experience: Liz Borowsky, Senior Director, Akamai Technologies, Inc. and Jennifer Harnden-Koehler, Ph.D., Executive Coaching & Talent Management Consulting, Talent Acceleration Group.

They covered four important questions, punctuated with original research on women in STEM:

  1. Why are women not heading into STEM?
  2. What are the specific barriers women in STEM face?
  3. How do we “move the needle?”
  4. What specifically can organizations, managers, mentors and HR do to make STEM more sought after by women?

A Few Highlights of Jennifer Harnden-Koehler’s original STEM Research

  • Women hold less than 15% of senior management roles in pharma and biotech companies
  • Women hold less computer jobs today than they did 23 years ago
  • Women hold just under 10% of board seats industry wide in pharma and biotech
  • YET…the business case shows that having women in senior positions improves financial performance

Hear more of Jennifer’s research and the entire webinar


The comments were fast and free flowing. Some of my favorite insights:

  • Create an environment of “conscious inclusion”
  • The power of three: When interviewing, managers are charged to bring up three candidates, but “only two can look like you.”
  • Management recognition of all styles, including quieter contributions, can maximize impact
  • Women need to learn to assert themselves without fueling stereotypes
  • Men in STEM, tend to be more black and white, which appears more decisive, while women tend to be more nuanced.
  • Women need to be more emphatic within their nuanced perspective.

The Complete Webinar Is Now Available to You
Because of the powerful and actionable information presented during the one hour webinar, we wanted to make it available, in its entirety, to the management community. To hear all our panelists’ valuable thoughts, ideas and insights, click here. Please also feel free to share it with your colleagues. You have unlimited access to the download at no charge.

This webinar is just one of WOMEN Unlimited’s many resources provided to help corporations achieve and exceed corporate inclusiveness goals, especially in the challenging STEM environment. Please feel free to contact us at any time as you continue to attract, promote and retain high potential women leaders.

Dr. Rosina L. Racioppi
President & CEO
WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.