|Mentorship Programme III |
Do you want to be matched to a mentor who has walked the career path that you are interested in? Do you want to join the Librae Circle of mentees where you can share struggles, tips and dreams with other driven students? Are you looking for a way to make your ambitions more concrete and start working on them now? Then stay tuned, because the third mentorship programme is opening applications in mid August.
Summer is here, and for many of us that means it is time to wrap up current projects and start looking for new opportunities. At Librae, we are working on the next mentorship programme (launching next fall) and we are looking forward to the possibility of hosting live events again. While our social lives are livening up, we also get more energy and enthusiasm for all the opportunities and new people to meet and collaborate with. Through our mentorship programme, you can meet like-minded young women and start making actionable plans for your dream career. May you thrive just as much as this summer weather!
The PwC event on Pyramid Thinking and the event with Joanne de Jonge from InvestNL have been postponed until the next academic year.
Remembrance and looking ahead
The 25th of May marked the anniversay of George Floyd’s murder. Throughout the United States there were memorials, marches and other events dedicated to him and other victims of police brutality. But beyond the flowers, the widespread remembrance also marks the year that a far larger majority of people became aware and started doing the work to recognize and stand up to institutionalized racism and other forms of discrimination. This long overdue wake-up call should lead to widespread policy reform, but not just in the law and order department or in government. We often advocate for diversity in the workplace, but we should acknowledge that there are numerous sources of exclusion or underrepresentation.
Possibly the most harmful source is subconscious bias, as it is harder to identify and tackle. discusses how job listings accidentally exclude certain people, leading to a less diverse pool of applicants from the start. Many function descriptions in Dutch are still in the male form, and certain phrases used to describe the type of person imply a certain demographic. It might seem insignificant, but language is a powerful tool for change, and it helps calling attention to our subconscious biases and how our default approach inhibits inclusivity. Not convinced? Check out the article to see the view of several experts on job listings and encouraging change through language.
The Glass Cliff
Clearly, there are already plenty of hurdles to get to a certain job position, but you are not out of the woods yet once you get in. , equality activist Sophie Williams introduces us to the Glass Cliff: Once you have broken through the ceiling, it could be that the condition the organisation is in does not set you up for success, but leads to a slow inching towards the edge of the cliff. The reason there is a cliff at all is that businesses in trouble are more likely to appoint an underrepresented leader. However, this leader is often not given the right tools or amount of time necessary to actually make the changes needed to save that business.
The second reason is more sinister: in business, underrepresented groups (especially women) may be seen as more disposable, and therefore suitable scapegoats. If they fail in saving a business, the research shows that they are likely replaced by a white man, who is given the resources necessary to succeed. But it is not just about resources: The senior team below the leader, usually consisting of mainly white men, identify less with the business and are less invested if their leader is not male and white, causing their performance to suffer. On their own, it will become very difficult for a leader in a struggling organization to not plummet off the cliff, especially when their team is pushing them closer to the edge.
Once again, subconscious bias and performative inclusivity hinder progress and functional, diverse workplaces. We have reiterated the benefits of diverse leadership plenty of times, but it is clear that the core issue is facilitating an environment where a diverse team can thrive. Challenging our biases and societal structures is crucial in its own right as it helps create a more equitable, humane society. The research showing that our behaviors can influence a person or organization’s success on a higher level only adds to the argument.
Research also shows that when people see themselves reflected in their organization’s leadership, they feel more connected to the business and more inspired to mentor and coach marginalized groups. And as Sophie highlights in her talk, organizations are just groups of people coming together. People can address their bias, do the work, and grow with their leader.
Seeing yourself reflected in the leadership of the sectors you care about is truly impactful, as it shows that there could be a place for you at the top as well. By finding a mentor who aligns with your values, ambitions and personality, you can start carving out a path to break through your ceiling, regardless of what is inhibiting you. Join our mentorship programme and stay tuned for our upcoming events. After all, if you have strong foundations, you can grow and build steadily, far away from the cliff!
Stay up to date with Librae and be notified of upcoming activities and opportunities, make sure to follow the Instagram and LinkedIn page. Don’t forget to add email@example.com to your contacts so that future emails don’t end up in the spam.
All the best ,
The Librae Team
Although we try to provide you with some tips during our events, we can imagine that a career plan is not made in a day. In fact, you will likely keep updating it along the way, so having a guide handy can never hurt. Tarah Wheeler knows the challenges of being a woman in a technological field like no other, and so she wrote this roadmap to help us out. Featuring insights from different interviews with experts, this book coaches you in anything from building a good tech resume to negotating your salary to starting your own company. And as a bonus, it contains puzzles and codes to keep your gears active and turning throughout!
If there is a podcast tailor-made for our Network, it is Her Stem Story. As the title suggests, it is all about the stories of women working in STEM and their career journey. However, this podcast also pays special attention to the struggles you may face, like low confidence, mental health issues and balancing your personal and academic/professional pursuits. It tackles diversity in STEM, curating your career, procrastination and much more. With many guests and different stories, you are sure to find a story that you can relate to, connect with and learn from.