Women in STEM Panel: Ways to Use Your Voice and Build Thought Leadership: Podcast Ep. 298

Women in STEM Panel: Ways to Use Your Voice and Build Thought Leadership: Podcast Ep. 298 | Speaking Your Brand

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You won’t want to miss this powerhouse panel of women in STEM sharing how they use their voices to advocate for change and build their thought leadership.

Whether you’re a woman in a STEM field or not, does it sometimes feel like you struggle to stand out, get your ideas heard, and have a bigger impact with the work you do?

You have all the credentials and plenty of ideas, but perhaps you struggle with imposter syndrome and how to be seen in a crowded space?

This can be common for women in male-dominated industries.

But it’s so important to find a way to use your voice and build your thought leadership to create the impact you want and that the world needs.

Join our lead speaking coach Diane Diaz for a live conversation with these 4 incredible women:

  • Michelle Taylor, a recent graduate of our Thought Leader Academy, is a global supply chain executive with 28 years experience & achievements with large OEM manufacturing companies and an independent board director and public speaker.
  • Dianna Deeney, also a graduate of our Thought Leader Academy, is president of Deeney Enterprises, LLC, an engineer, senior quality professional and speaker who hosts the Quality during Design podcast, co hosts episodes of Speaking of Reliability, publishes blogs, and is a contributing author of the book Quality Disrupted.
  • Shannon Bumgarner, a graduate of our Master Your Speaking program (now the Thought Leader Academy), is a bold manufacturing professional and degreed engineer who challenges women in STEM and technical careers to transform themselves, industries, and communities.
  • Dr. Nicole Rochester is a pediatrician, health equity consultant, professional health advocate, TEDx speaker, and the Founder/CEO of Your GPS Doc, LLC.

You can also watch the video on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:6972921857003917312/

 

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories, voices, and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

 

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/298/ 

Find out your Speaker Archetype by taking our free quiz at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/quiz/

Apply for our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/ 

Connect on LinkedIn:

298-SYB-Women-in-STEM-Panel.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

298-SYB-Women-in-STEM-Panel.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
Whether you’re a woman in STEM or not, you’re going to absolutely love this panel discussion on ways you can use your voice and build your thought leadership on this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker. I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is speaking your brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I’m your host, Carol Cox. This panel discussion is on fire. You’re going to absolutely love hearing from the four women who currently work in the STEM field, led by our lead speaking coach, Diane Diaz, for this panel conversation. This was originally a LinkedIn live show that we did, and so we pulled the audio because I really wanted more of you to listen to this discussion. Whether you’re a women in a STEM field or not, if you sometimes feel like you struggle to stand out to get your ideas heard or to have a bigger impact with the work that you do, you’re definitely going to appreciate this very honest discussion about ways to use your voice, build your thought, leadership and advocate not only for others, but also for yourself. Three of the four women you’re about to hear all have gone through our Thought Leader Academy to develop their thought leadership platform and create this signature talk. If you would like to do the same, you can get all of the details and apply by going to speakingyourbrand.com/academy Again, that’s speakingyourbrand.com/academy. Now let’s get on with the show.

Diane Diaz:
Welcome everybody to Backstage at Speaking Your Brand. I am so excited to be here today and to bring to you a fabulous panel of amazing women in STEM. So I’ll take just a minute and give just a quick introduction so we can get into the questions and then you all can kind of fill in the spaces of anything that I’ve missed here today. With us, we have Dianna Deeney. She’s a graduate of our Thought Leader Academy and she’s president of Enterprises. She’s an engineer, a senior quality professional, and she’s also a speaker. She hosts a podcast called Quality During Design. And then we have Shannon Bumgarner. She’s a graduate of our Master You’re Speaking program, which is now turned into the Thought Leader Academy, and she’s a bold manufacturing professional. We love to see bold women and a degreed engineer who challenges women in STEM and technical careers to transform themselves, industries and communities. And then we have Dr. Nicole Rochester, who is a pediatrician, a health equity consultant, a professional health advocate, a TEDx speaker, and the founder and CEO of your GP’s Doc LLC. And then last, of course, but not least, we have Michelle Taylor, a recent graduate of our Thought Leader Academy. Michelle is a global supply chain executive with 28 years of experience and achievements with large OEM manufacturing companies and an independent board director and public speaker. Welcome to all of you. Thank you for being here.

All:
Thank you, Diane.

Diane Diaz:
Thank you. We put together this panel because we thought it would be interesting to talk about how women in STEM can use their voices to create more impact with the work they do to champion the causes that they want to further or to create bolder messages in their fields and really sort of challenge the status quo and create change with that. Then and I’ll just pose this question. I’m kind of just going to go around to each of you and kind of pose this question, and not everybody’s going to answer every question. So we’ll just kind of chime in. We’re needed. So let’s start with you, Michelle. What have been some of the challenges that you’ve faced as a woman in a STEM field? And I could add to that also as a woman of color in a STEM field. Do you want to share a little bit with us about that?

Michelle Taylor:
Yeah, Thanks, Diane, and thanks again for inviting me and having me here today alongside these phenomenal STEM leaders. I certainly appreciate being here today. You know, as I think about this question and the challenge, I think as a woman in the STEM field, I face the challenge of sometimes being heard in the room. You know, how you share an idea or a thought. And there would be times my perspective or idea would not necessarily be acknowledged in the discussion, you know, But however, later on down, you know, a few minutes down the road there, a male colleague would share the exact or near idea in the room and the room would lean into his voice or idea. And it was discouraging at times. But I grew into certainly looking at or for nonverbal signals to alert me if I had the attention of the room and respond with questions that bring the room back into my thoughts. So that’s the ways in which I would kind of navigate that challenge. And I think as you know, as as as it relates to just being a woman of color, I think being seen and. Hurd. Barring unconscious biases and preconceived notions and old tapes, I believe those can be the biggest challenges, not only for women of color, but really for all people and all groups. And so as leaders, I think it becomes critically important that we see the people that comprise our teams for who they are and the talent and value they bring to the team. You know, I know that’s easier said than done, but as leaders in the room, careers and professional development is dependent on a leader’s ability to be able to see the faces inside and outside the room.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, Michelle, that’s such a great point, I think. So for any of you watching this LinkedIn live or who might go back and watch it later, even if you’re not a woman in STEM, if you are in any way connected to women in STEM or male dominated industries as a leader, as Michelle pointed out, it is important to you for you to be able to recognize those voices that need to be heard, need to be championed, and need to be kind of brought forward and encouraged that other people listen and take note. Right. And don’t just dismiss. I think that’s a that’s a really great observation because it really does take all of us right, in this kind of a team effort to champion the voices that need to be heard to create those changes that we want to see. So thank you for sharing that. Shannon, let me go to you next. What was it that led you to realize that you needed to use your voice and claim your power? And I would add, because I know that you also you post a lot of content that champions and shines a light on other women in STEM. So what was it that kind of let you know you needed to use your voice in that way? Was there a specific moment or a specific incident or something that kind of led you to see, Oh, I actually need to take the lead on this and start start bringing a voice and bringing a light to these women and to all women in STEM.

Shannon Bumgarner:
Oh, Diane, that’s such a great question. And I have to be honest, this is a story I tell pretty frequently, and sometimes I kick off many, many of my talks with this story because in my mind is very powerful. So I had the opportunity in 2017 to be part of a leadership development program that was pretty elite in the company. So it was only about 30 women from globally, from around the world. And I can see that room like it was yesterday. So I’ll walk in the room. You can imagine corporate America, there’s about five or six tables breaking out. People are starting to flood into the room. People are starting to sit down and everybody’s just a little bit on edge, right, because they’re meeting many of these people for the first time. And there was a really large you’ve seen those really large Post-it notes that get put on the front. There was one on the front of the room and it said, How do you show up today? And I was about 15 ish or so years into my career and I thought, Crap, I have never really thought about that question. I’ve never really thought about how I show up. I’ve never really thought about how I use my voice. And in that moment, I knew something had to change, but I knew that I had an incredible opportunity. Having graduated from engineering school, been in that field to really stand up and show up. And that was the moment that honestly quite changed everything for me. Diane is the reason I’m connected to this amazing community.

Diane Diaz:
That is so cool. What a great story. Thank you for sharing that. And is that kind of what led you to? Because, Shannon, for anybody who doesn’t know, you should follow her on LinkedIn, by the way. But she shares a lot of content where she shines the light on other women in STEM to bring awareness to their story. And it might be women from the past, current women, whomever, to bring awareness of the power of women in STEM. Is that kind of what led you to think, Oh, there’s a way that I can do this, because I know that, you know, as I said, you went through our program, but you also do create a lot of content around that.

Shannon Bumgarner:
Well, I had an opportunity in 2018 as part of this same company to attend the Hydraulic Institute. And what happened was the original speaker wasn’t able to attend the conference. And so they sent it out to a group that was part of a women’s employee network that I was a part of. And I jokingly, I love to tell this story because I opened the email and shut it at least five times. But I kept going back to that moment of How are you going to show up today? Like, how are you going to use your voice? And it was in that moment, Diane, that I decided that it’s time to literally take the stage. And I found my calling at that moment to take the stage. So I think it wasn’t it was sort of the follow up to your point to that moment to take the stage. And then I took the stage and just fell in love with was sharing that story and inspiring people to do more than they think they can.

Diane Diaz:
Shannon I love that. That’s and again, I’m just going to share to the audience. If you are someone in any realm of STEM or I would say frankly, any industry, but especially industries that are male dominated where women need to be more seen, more visible, either help champion other women or like Shannon did, look for those opportunities. Like you said, you open a close that email five times, I’m guessing, probably thinking, can I really do this? Should I really do this? But you put yourself out there and did it, and looking for those opportunities where you can have a voice creates that visibility for you. And I would say I would suggest that it models it for other women and shows them that they too can have a voice and be seen and it’s okay and it’s good and it helps. It actually helps everybody. So bravo to you for for having the bravery to to use your voice in that way. So let’s go to Dr. Nicole Rochester. Nicole, how have you navigated or if you’ve dealt with any imposter syndrome, how have you navigate that in regard to being seen, being heard in these male dominated spaces in STEM? Has it ever come up? If so, how have you dealt with it? What do you do? What are some things that you do to kind of mitigate that?

Dr. Nicole Rochester:
Yeah, that’s a great question, Diane. I just want to echo what my co panelists have said. Thank you for the invitation. I’m excited to be in such great company. Yes, I have definitely had some challenges with imposter syndrome. And interestingly, and I wish I could remember where I heard this so I could attribute it appropriately, but I listen to a lot of podcasts, including speaking your brand, of course, and on a recent podcast, the person, the host kind of reframed imposter syndrome as imposter experience to shift it away from it being a problem with us to it being a problem with the system and with society. And I really appreciated that perspective because it made me reflect on all of all of the times where I felt like maybe I didn’t belong or like Shannon just described. I was in an experience where I was nervous about stepping up and taking on a new challenge. And what I realize now is that that that a lot of that is a function of the systems in which we operate, the patriarchy, the sexism, the racism. And it’s not a reflection of us being less than. So I just wanted to share that. But some of the ways that I have dealt with that experience or those feelings of am I good enough and is really just trying to remember that every time I speak I am showing that it’s possible to someone else, and particularly as a woman of color, acknowledging that there are little black and brown girls who may aspire to be a doctor or may aspire to have a career in STEM. And when they see me or when they hear me speak up, that lets them know that they can do it too. And so I often draw on that. Any time I’m in a situation where I’m feeling nervous or where I’m questioning whether I should be in that space. I always draw on that. And also I reflect on the hard work that it took for me to get here and just acknowledging that. And sometimes we have to really kind of be our own cheerleaders.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. I’m so glad you shared that. Nicole um and Carol is actually in the comments. We have several people commenting, so. Hi, Shell. Hi, Michelle. Hi, Shannon. Hi, Carol. Carol was saying great, great point about the system being the problem, not us. That is a great point. And this isn’t really related to to women in STEM or women of color in STEM. However, I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of little black girls reacting to the new Little Mermaid movie and the fact that The Little Mermaid is going to be black is in the movie Black just watching. To your point about knowing that there are little girls out there watching you and thinking, Oh, I can do that, too. Watching, obviously it’s mermaid. It’s a made up fictional being. But seeing little girls reacting to seeing themselves in a space is I mean, watching those brought me to tears. So I can imagine, like for you knowing that you’re inspiring other young girls to possibly be in a STEM career, it just has so much power and it must be so motivating.

Dr. Nicole Rochester:
It is for sure.

Shannon Bumgarner:
Diana, if I may add a comment here. So I think imposter syndrome comes and goes. And I think when you’re stretching yourself. Stacy Cascio with the Mentor Network really taught me this. It often rears its ugly head. And the reason I want to tell a quick story is because it’s about somebody that’s on this panel. So I was having that moment, you know, we talked about me stepping out, being strong and stepping out, but I was put on on a project with Miss Michelle Taylor, who’s on the call today. And I was struggling speaking up in that particular call because I didn’t know the players. It was a different business than I was used to being in, and I was not using my voice. And we had a wonderful conversation that day and she was my cheerleader, like Dr. Nicole talked about. And she she encouraged me to use my voice and to speak forward. And it really had some great implications. Longer terms, I want to say I just wanted to point out A, you need cheerleaders in your life and B, imposter syndrome can rear its ugly head when you’re stretching yourself out of your comfort zone.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. Thank you for sharing that. And I will add to that. That’s one of the things I love about the Thought Leader Academy is for that we do with speaking your brand is that when the women come together in that platform, they become each other’s cheerleaders. And it’s exactly what you’re talking about. Shannon, where you do need cheerleaders, even if it’s not a situation like that where you can’t use your voice or you’re struggling with how to do that, but you just need someone to give you that little moment of like, yeah, you go, you know, like just to make you feel like you actually have the power to do something hard that you’re trying to do is so powerful to know that you have other women behind you who are cheering you on, supporting you, championing you, listening, helping you. And so that’s the power of the collective. So I hope that more of us do that for each other. And certainly in the Thought Leader Academy, that’s that’s how it usually goes, which is so beautiful to witness.

Dr. Nicole Rochester:
And Diane, if I may comment on my colleague Shannon Baumgarner, she does not need any any extra help or boost where she’s an extraordinary colleague and friend and she has a voice that is inspiring. And I must say she knows how to use it to speak truth to power. And I just think that women creating access for other women, that’s how we combat imposter syndrome. And so I’m very thankful for the women on this panel and my friend Shannon, who certainly is a cheerleader and in my corner as well. So thank you very much, Shannon.

Diane Diaz:
Thank you for sharing that. No, I know exactly what you mean. And yes, and that’s that. I love to see that support and everybody is supporting one another in the voice that they’re trying to have and the things that they’re trying to do. And I just want to share Shane Bailey’s in the comments and she said, Great panel, Michelle, so you must know her. That is a great perspective and truth for women in a room and learning to use their voice and bringing the focus and awareness back on the speaker. And that was from what you were saying earlier, this is kind of a big question. So, Diana, I’m going to pose this question to you. If anybody has anything to add, of course you can jump in afterwards, Dianna shares. But, you know, as women using your voice in the STEM field or even sometimes even just being in a STEM field, just existing in that world, there can be a backlash, especially if you speak up and use your voice to champion something. Has there ever been or have you ever experienced any kind of a backlash for stepping into your thought leadership and. Using your voice in this STEM field that is male dominated. Has anything ever happened or.

Dianna Deeney:
Oh, sure. I think any woman working in any STEM field will have experienced some backlash at some point. Usually when we give a professional challenge. Not usually. But sometimes when we give a professional challenge, it can be interpreted as an emotional one or worse, if we don’t push back against an idea where it is perceived that we’re okay with it, when in actuality.

Dianna Deeney:
We just. Aren’t. We haven’t not speaking up to that because we’re afraid of the backlash. Many of us just brace for the worst and sometimes we’ll kind of laugh or apologize about whatever advice or whatever it is that we’re. Trying to. Say and communicate before we give it, because we’re preparing everybody in ourselves for that backlash or that interpretation of an emotional response. From somebody. When really we need to just learn. To be more authentic to ourselves. Who who we are and then learn to recognize when we are or the people we’re talking with when they fall into that drama triangle trap. Recognizing when that happens and then understanding. Or learning. How to get ourselves and the other people out of it when it Does. Just being more authentic and then being prepared. And we can do that by reading any number of the coaching books. That are out there are. Helpful with techniques for that.

Diane Diaz:
That is such a great point about making a professional comment, but it being perceived as an emotional one because that obviously that’s the difference on the receiving end in a male dominated industry as women delivering the same message that a man might deliver is perceived quite differently. So that’s a really great point. And just because it’s such a big question about backlash, I just wonder if anybody else has anything to add to that.

Michelle Taylor:
I would say for myself, I haven’t experienced a lot of overt backlash, but there’s there’s a lot of covert there’s there’s the passive aggressive behavior, there’s the gaslighting where your own experiences are minimized by your male colleagues. So I think I see that a lot more in my field than just kind of the overt backlash. And honestly, it took me a little while to recognize it. And now that I’m much more astute and attuned to it, I can spot it almost from a mile away. And one of the approaches that I will use if someone put something in a chat or just says something that is a little off is I’ll turn it back on them and say, I’m really curious. What made you say that? Or I’m curious what what has you thinking that way? Or I’m curious why you would believe that. And that has worked so well for me to just ask that question and turn it back. And it really makes them kind of put the mirror in front of themselves and really analyze what’s behind that comment or that gesture.

Diane Diaz:
Thank you for sharing that. I was going to ask you how you might deal with the backlash, but that’s a really great way to handle it. You don’t have to even be confrontational. You’re just asking the question so good.

Shannon Bumgarner:
I think one thing that stood out to me and this is more of a group setting, so very much like Dr. Nicole, I haven’t seen as much personally, but I have seen it in on the larger perspective. When we’re looking at parity initiatives, especially within a company you may be working for. I’ve experienced quite a bit of backlash on that, and I think for me, one of the best practices I’ve seen somebody employ is about education. So talking about the facts, especially if you’re dealing with a bunch of engineers, talking about the facts and what does it really look like and what are we really trying to achieve and what are the benefits of, in that case, having parity? How does it make us all better versus looking at how am I going to lose as part of that situation?

Diane Diaz:
Oh, that’s so smart to look at it from the positive versus the negative and educate them. I love that. What a great approach. So thank you for sharing that. And Sheri, Sherry Culver says in the comments, she said, creating access for women, other women is essential. And I love that response. So, yes, Thank you, Sheree. Denise Musselwhite. Hi, Denise. She said, Yes, Michelle. Opening doors and access to other women is essential to our shared success and progress. So yes, and Denise is also in a STEM field, too, So I know that that’s why she she understands where you’re coming from. Okay. So being that we are, you’re all you’ve all been through our programs or somehow connected to speaking your brand in that way. I’m curious, what role has speaking public speaking played in your career as you’ve started growing your thought leadership in STEM?

Michelle Taylor:
I think speaking to young women, mentoring groups and STEM academies for young ladies and and Nesby for all the. Them professionals out there go. Nesby That has really been impactful because oftentimes it’s these young minds that see me as the possibility and beyond. And so my wish, anyways, is for all young ladies interested in STEM really exceed reaching their goals in this industry and just showing what the what the possibilities really are. So really having a fingerprint on our youth and what stem can be and today and beyond.

Diane Diaz:
You know, that’s really such a great point, Michelle, because I think sometimes when we think of public speaking, we think I’ll have to get on this big stage and speak, which yes, that can be part of it. But to your point, you know, speaking to groups that are within your industry that you want to inspire, like these younger women, mentoring them, speaking to the groups of them, that is also speaking. Right. And that’s also sharing a message and using your voice to empower and to help those women get where they want to get. So I love that idea of you’re using your voice in a way that, yeah, you might end up being on a stage, but it doesn’t have to be that so. But it’s still speaking.

Michelle Taylor:
Yeah, because if you think about where the impact really begins in the classroom with our youth, for me, that’s where my stage begins, right? And then, of course, as career has evolved, you know, the bigger stage is we’re obviously my colleagues and I’m sharing on the panel with today, but also joining us and LinkedIn live. You know, it really does start with all of us taking a vested interest in the youth and making sure that they understand that possibilities in this industry, albeit an engineer working for NASA or working as an epidemiologist for the FDA, all these things certainly are possible when we’re lifting each other up and really making sure that we have a fingerprint on our youth.

Diane Diaz:
Nicole, What role has speaking played in building your thought leadership in STEM?

Dr. Nicole Rochester:
Speaking has literally transformed my life, my purpose, my business. So as you stated in the introduction, I’m a pediatrician. I practiced medicine for almost 20 years and left clinical medicine five years ago to start a health advocacy company. Based on my experience, caregiving for my dad. And essentially I am advocating for other patients and family members who don’t have the privilege of having a daughter who happens to be a doctor, who knows all the inside scoop and how to navigate the system. And so the first time I would say that speaking just really help to elevate that message was with my TEDx talk, which which Carol Cox had an integral role in helping me to craft. And in that talk I had the opportunity to share about my caregiving experiences, but also issue a challenge to health care providers about the importance of seeing the invisible patients and family members at the bedside and practicing empathy and really connecting with patients. And then in the last couple of years, speaking has once again just completely transformed my business. So I was primarily working one on one with patients and family members. And after George Floyd’s murder, I had the opportunity to start talking or speaking about systemic racism and how that impacts health care and health care disparities. And that opportunity kind of came out of me speaking up in a board meeting and asking like, what are we? What are we going to do? And then saying, well, what do you want to do? And that top has led to me just being able to present that message to health care leaders. It’s led to consulting opportunities and health equity. And so now I’m able to affect the system on a much larger scale, and it all goes back to the speaking. And so I just I cannot overemphasize the value of our voices, women in STEM and the unique perspectives that we bring as women in STEM and how our voices can literally transform broken systems.

Diane Diaz:
That is so powerful. Nicole, I should tell you, Carol’s in the comments and she said, You are all so inspiring and impressive. So yeah, I agree with that. I love that story because it shows you the trajectory of what speaking can look like. Everything from as as Michelle was talking about internal mentoring all the way to a TED Talk, all the way to changing systems, right. That is and beyond. So it’s got such power when we use our voices. So just because it is a big question and so important, Shannon and or Dianna, any thoughts on the role that speaking has played for you in growing your thought leadership and. Stem.

Dianna Deeney:
Yeah. I think, you know, marrying Michelle and Nicole’s comments, when you speak, you’re sharing your. Ideas and you’re opening yourself up for dialogue with other people. And it’s almost a responsibility that we have to follow up with those people and invite them to join our mission so that we can enact the changes that we envisioned and that we believe in. And speaking as the gateway to do that.

Shannon Bumgarner:
I absolutely agree. I think so. I’ll go back to my earlier story about the Hydraulic Institute. I think that moment I actually met someone with an organization called Empowering Women in Industry, and I met them at that conference and I spoke at that conference with them a couple of months later. And then that opportunity actually turned into my podcast. So I think when you take the stage and you start accepting those opportunities, I think to Diana’s point, the doors start to open and you almost have a responsibility to use your voice for others.

Diane Diaz:
Such a great point. And so I’m glad you each shared about about that question, because I do love how it illustrates all the different forms that speaking and using your voice can take. Because again, we often think of speaking as literally speaking on a stage, but using your voice internally in your company, using your voice to advocate for your for your father or anybody else that needs your advocacy or using your voice to change systems. All of those things are speaking so so there’s so much power in that. I love that. Oc I’m going to ask each of you to share the best piece of advice you’ve received as a woman in STEM about using your voice. So let me start with you, Shannon, since you just spoke last, what is the best piece of advice you’ve received about using your voice?

Shannon Bumgarner:
Well, I’m going to cheat and do too, because one’s really quick.

Diane Diaz:
Do it.

Shannon Bumgarner:
One is from Michelle. So her is speak truth to power. She said it earlier and so it’s one of my favorites and I use it all the time now. So, Michelle, I have stole shamelessly from that one. The second one came from Perry Richman, who is a brand strategist, and she taught me the power of personal branding. And it and what she taught me was really hone in that brand, understanding that brand, framing that brand about what you really care for. It will show it will it will instruct you how to how to show up and when to show up. And I think that was always been really powerful for me. And I think a quick shout out to the Speaking your brand podcast. I think you just recently had a personal branding podcast, so I would highly encourage all of our listeners today to grab a listen on that one. I think personal branding is so critical to using your voice.

Diane Diaz:
Yes, Thank you for mentioning that, Shannon. That was, I think, the episode before last, and it was I believe her name was Nicole Bryant. I hope I’m getting that right. Carol, if you can chime into the comments with that. I believe that was her name. But yes, personal branding is so important. And it just goes to show you that your voice is part of your personal brand. So it is imperative that we use our voices in that way. Michelle, what’s been your best piece of advice?

Michelle Taylor:
Yeah, thanks, Diane, and thanks, Shannon, because I’m going to say that one as we move to power. But but you know, the one thing I would say about being in STEM is that, you know, it makes you a problem solver. You’re a problem solver, Right? And as a problem solver, you know, you’ve got to ask questions even when it feels like you are questioning. Right. And so except for with your parents, I don’t recommend questioning. But ask the question. Not questioning. But I say that to say, you know, it will feel like questioning sometimes because as problem solvers, that’s what we we do and speaking truth to power to push the status quo that makes impactful change for the next generation of STEM women leaders is critical. That’s our charge, you know, and to create access for other women leaders to in this in this industry stem particularly, it’s really creating that access. So speaking truth to power. Yes. And question even when it feels like it’s questioning.

Diane Diaz:
Right. And so before I go to the rest of you with this with that question, I just want to share that Carol corrected me. It is Monique Bryan My apologies to Monique Bryan Episode 293, The Speaking Your brand podcast where we talked about personal branding. So let’s go to you, Diana. What has been your best piece of advice that you’ve received about using your voice as a woman in STEM?

Dianna Deeney:
We are in STEM and we talk a lot about facts and numbers, but I learn from. You and Carol, you, Diane and Carol. Probably the best advice I got about using my voice was to use stories and to use storytelling to be able to better. Communicate these big ideas or these complicated thoughts. And even at the systems level, people are better able to understand or see themselves in a story. More willing to accept your mission and to help you with it. So that was the best advice that I’ve gotten about speaking, was to incorporate stories and with all my technical talk, and it has made a difference in how I communicate.

Diane Diaz:
With other people on a broad scheme. Well, thank you for sharing that, Diana, and thank you for the shout out to the speaking your brand content on storytelling because and I will say Diana came to our in person client retreat where she got to practice her storytelling and did amazing. She’s a secret dancer and also very, very funny. But you’re you’re so right about storytelling. Storytelling is able to kind of take those facts and build an emotional connection behind them. And that’s why it resonates so strongly with people. When you incorporate story into your message and into how you’re using your voice, it does resonate more strongly with your audience. So thank you for sharing that. Nicole, I believe you were last. What is your best piece of advice that you’ve received about using your voice as a woman in STEM?

Dr. Nicole Rochester:
The best piece of advice I’ve received about using my voice as a woman in STEM, I’m going to attribute it to one of my biz besties, Dr. Terry, M.D., who is a phenomenal neonatologist and speaker. And it’s to be authentic and be vulnerable. I used to be a perfectionist. I call myself a recovering perfectionist now, and it used to be, particularly when speaking, I would create these like perfectly polished talks and it wouldn’t always allow the real me to come through. And I would also be concerned about maybe particular parts of the talk that were a little more emotional and trying to kind of have this resolve in. And Dr. Terry just really taught me to just be myself and that that’s the beauty in how we each show up individually. And so I have shed tears in in some of my talks. And the old Nicole would have looked down on that like, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you did that. But just allowing the feelings to flow as they come and just really showing up as my true, authentic self flaws and all. So I would say that’s the best advice.

Diane Diaz:
That’s such good advice. Thank you for sharing that. Vulnerability is scary because I think we all feel that way. Like, Oh, what if I get emotional? Or what if I tell too much of my story? You know, we feel that way because it is we’re opening ourselves up to the unknown, but it has such power. Once you do that and once you see the power and the impact that has on others, I think that tends to fuel your ability to be able to get more vulnerable. Well, lots of comments around this. Lots of good company for recovering perfectionists, Carol says. So yeah, I’m there and everybody here raised their hands, Shane said. I like the idea of incorporating stories into the message. It helps create synergy between the speaker and the audience. Yes, exactly. And Denise said, a perfectionist in recovery here. Well, there you go. We’re we’re perfectionists attracting perfectionists there. You serving all perfectionists worldwide?

Shannon Bumgarner:
Yeah. I was laughing. I introduced myself that way. So you got you’re in good company.

Diane Diaz:
Yes, it’s so true. All right. Well, I will just say as one last idea, is there anything Shannon, Michele, Nicole and Dianna, is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you would want to share just around this topic of women in STEM using their voices? Any last final comments or thoughts?

Michelle Taylor:
Yeah, I’ll just say, for me, using your voice is oftentimes because you’re representing others who voice cannot be heard or because they’re not in rooms that you are in or have access to spaces in places and relationships that you have access to. So as you’re leveraging your voice, keep that in mind as you are representing and bringing people along to their their purpose. Right? And so for me, it really is keeping that in the back of my mind that as I’m sharing my voice and using my voice for value creation and for impact and for bringing people along, you want to make sure that you’re representing those that don’t necessarily have a voice or not the access that maybe you might have.

Diane Diaz:
Such a great point. Anyone else?

Dianna Deeney:
There’s a little bit of an evolution to finding your voice. And Michelle, you’re you’re saying as you’re using your voice to share your ideas and to make sure. That you’re thinking of the other people that aren’t there, which is great advice. And just prior to that. You need to get comfortable using your voice for your own self advocacy. Because a lot of women and I’m friends with a lot of women in engineering and Stem, we get into a trap where we feel like doing an awesome job is just enough and it’s not enough. We need to self advocate and recognize that our we have value and recognize what. Value it is that we bring and understand what it means to others. To. So getting comfortable in using your own voice to represent yourself and your ideas and then taking it that step further and advocating for other people that aren’t there yet.

Diane Diaz:
Nicole Shannon, any final thoughts?

Dr. Nicole Rochester:
Yeah, I’d echo everything that was said, and I would add that everyone has a voice. I know we talked about imposter syndrome earlier, and there may be somebody watching that thinking that we have certain accolades or we’ve accomplished certain things and but they aren’t there yet. And everyone has an experience that is valuable. Everyone has something to say and something to contribute. So I just want to encourage other women in STEM who may be watching women who are aspiring to have a STEM career, that your voice matters so important.

Diane Diaz:
You don’t need any credentials to use your voice to have a voice and to use it. Such a great point. Shannon Anything.

Shannon Bumgarner:
I would just say that use your voice to uplift others. So to her point, maybe it’s not some huge award or huge win, but maybe it’s just something small as they completed a project or they presented for the first time. So make sure you use your voice to uplift others in your community.

Diane Diaz:
Okay, Wonderful. Thank you all so much. Shannon, Michelle, Nicole, and Dianna. Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. And thank you for just giving some words of inspiration to anybody who’s watching this or who watches it later to help them use their voice, champion others, support one another, help us all grow in our thought leadership, because that’s really what is going to not only help us currently, but help the next generation of women coming up, especially in male dominated fields like STEM. So I many, many thanks to all of you for taking the time to be here and share with our audience. And I’ll just say to our audience, if you’re watching this and you want help using your voice, that is what we’re here for, is speaking your brand. So please go check us out as speaking your brand academy. And you too can go through and learn how to use storytelling, use your voice, go through that experience of building your voice and your thought leadership. And we would love to have you do that and also have you out there championing yourself and other women and the causes that you care about. So thank you, everybody, for this. A wonderful.

All:
Conversation. Thank you, Diane. Diane, I.

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