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STEMclusivity Conference

The STEMclusivity Conference took place this past week over Zoom. Making the sciences a more inclusive environment is an ongoing challenge. I got the chance to ask Lily Craighead and Sandra Dubaisi, the SWE Community Relations Co-Chairs, a few questions about the events.

Could you please describe the STEMclusivity Conference?

This year was the first triple collaboration between M-Heal, ESG, and SWE to host the first STEMclusivity Conference! We decided to focus on Advocacy in the Workplace this year. Our conference included two workshops and a panel.

What activities happened during the workshops?

Our first workshop was focused on Professional Communication Skills, which involved discussing different leadership styles, and knowing how those may differ depending on the situation. Our second panel, “Being Included in the Workspace,” consisted of lots of helpful advice from the various moderators. Our panel consisted of various professors and people working in industry who discussed their own experiences and lent advice to students on how they could continue to become better allies.

During the workshops, we did try to keep it interactive, especially with the first one. We had breakout rooms to see how people were identifying with what was being presented and got to learn about everyone's different leadership styles.

What are some words of wisdom you took from the panelists?

One of the most important things has been this idea of continued self-growth and how that is something you should always be pursuing. Additionally, knowing that there will be times where you may make a mistake, but the important thing is to learn from that so you can be a better advocate/ally in the future. And when faced with a tough situation remember to always listen first, reflect, then respond.

What are some resources for people to learn more about STEMclusivity?

There is an awesome new project from the College of Engineering called the Visibility Project! Look it up on Instagram @umich_visibilityproject. Also, be on the lookout for DEI discussions in the COE announcements and give your feedback, and keep an eye out for SWE's new DEI subcommittee events!

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