2016 Delaware Inspiring Women in STEM Conference

More than 250 attendees from over 75 organizations participated in Delaware’s fourth annual Inspiring Women in STEM Conference at the DuPont Country Club on November 15, 2016. Scientists, engineers, researchers and other professionals in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) industries united for a day filled with engaging professional development sessions and insightful presentations from a diverse and dynamic group of speakers. The conference also provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to expand their professional networks with fellow women in STEM from a variety of industries and organizations.

The 2016 conference featured speakers, panelists and attendees representing the major science and technology-based companies and educational institutions in Delaware, including DuPont, Siemens, Agilent Technologies, W.L. Gore & Associates, University of Delaware, Bloom Energy, AstraZeneca, and Christiana Care Health System.

Breakout sessions and presentations by prominent women STEM leaders included:

  • Tanya Bakalov, Founder & CEO of BetterSkills and Co-Founder of SevOne, shared her inspirational journey in the Keynote Address “Women in Technology: Starting at Ground Zero and Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling”.
  • “Be Your Own Best Advocate, If You Don’t Who Will?” panel discussion
  • “Less Yes: How Saying No Gets You Where YOU Want to Go” workshop
  •  “Forget the Balancing Act – It’s All About SWAY” panel discussing work-life challenges
  • “Align Your Career to Your Personal Motivation” workshop
  • The signature session of the conference, “A Conversation with STEM Leaders” featured Susan Brennan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Bloom Energy, and Dr. Janice Nevin, President and CEO of Christiana Care Health System. Their lively and candid discussion was expertly moderated by Dr. Alexa Dembek, Director of Science and Innovation at DuPont.

The 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Conference also provided an opportunity for attendees to foster connections with six local non-profit organizations that offer STEM education programs for girls. The involvement of adult mentors and volunteers in their programs is essential to inspire and empower the next generation of women in STEM.

Agilent Technologies generously provided cash awards to further support the efforts of Girls Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, FAME, Inc., First State Robotics, Girls Inc. of Delaware, Hagley Museum & Library, and the Delaware Nature Society.  

The 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Conference was made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors: DuPont, Incyte, Agilent Technologies, JP Morgan Chase, Solenis, University of Delaware, Delaware City Refining, Christiana Care Health System, Capital One, Delaware INBRE, Ernst & Young, Air Liquide, BASF, Fish & Richardson, University of Delaware College of Engineering, W.L. Gore & Associates, AstraZeneca, McCarter & English, and PNC Bank.

“It was amazing to see so many professional women in STEM that are local here in Delaware. The turnout underscores the need and interest to build and nourish this community.” 

“Today’s conference was engaging all day. If only all professional development activates were like this! Great perspectives and insight from all the speakers!”

 “Inspiring Women was a spectacular experience which provided me with numerous networking opportunities that I would have never imagined! The highlight of the day was the non-profit groups and their inspiring work which I aim to volunteer for to aid in their programs. I'm grateful for the people I met and the stories they shared.”

“Fabulous conference! Great opportunity to network with STEM professionals. Great resource for Delaware.”

…2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Conference attendees

About Inspiring Women in STEM

The Delaware BioScience Association and the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA) organized the inaugural Inspiring Women in STEM Conference in 2013 to encourage and support women involved in all aspects of science and technology in their professional lives, including industrial and government scientists and engineers, academic researchers, STEM educators, graduate students, and entrepreneurs. Enthusiastic response convinced the organizers to offer the conference annually and add single-topic forums throughout the year.

Inspiring Women in STEM conferences and forums are developed by co-chairs Jennifer Kmiec, Lori Palmer and Helen Stimson, with the support of a dedicated planning committee of volunteers from industry and academia.