Skills for Networking and Communication

[logo] Crest of the University of Wisconsin–MadisonWhile the number of women receiving advanced degrees in the geosciences has been rising, the face of scientific leaders in academia remains predominantly male. The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) aims to promote career development, build community, and facilitate professional collaborations for women in the earth sciences. ESWN is a peer-mentoring network of women, mostly early-career, which serves the variety of fields within the geosciences discipline.

This workshop, entitled “Skills for Networking and Communication,” took place in June 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin.  The workshop was focused on the following skills:

  • Learning to “see” networking opportunities, and take full advantage of them
  • Getting the most from your professional network
  • Assessing your personal strengths, so that you can connect with colleagues with maximum results and minimum anxiety
  • Communicating effectively on a personal and professional level
  • Learning about different communication styles to prepare you for a diversity of working environments
  • Realizing the opportunities and limitations of online networking
  • Working with formal and informal mentors
  • Practicing networking skills with leading scientists and educators

The first day of the workshop was facilitated by Chris Olex and the second day by Kerry Ann Rockquemore. The facilitators’ styles differed noticeably, but both incorporated active-learning activities and hands-on applications into the agenda. Open discussion was also welcomed by the facilitators, although skillfully steered to stay on topic.

The workshop was hosted by the University of Wisconsin and special thanks go to Tracey Holloway, Erika Marin-Spiotta, and Rose Kontak for organizing.