WIE Blog Post Challenge!

Rachel McDermott and Rachel Morgan

The Challenge:

Rachel Morgan and I (yes – team Rachel!) have decided to give you all a little challenge. The women of WIE are diverse, each with unique experiences and advice that can inspire and enlighten others. We challenge you to accept our invitation to share your story on the WIE blog in a new Member Highlight series. Read the directions below to learn how to participate! And if there’s a particular woman in environment that you’d love to read about, let her know!

 The Directions:

WIE is full of fantastic women with interesting stories and sage advice, and we love being able to shine the spotlight on our standout role models – like you! Please choose at least three questions and respond to each in at least 100 words (which is approximately the length of this prompt). There is a list of questions below. You are welcome to come up with your own questions or structure your post differently – the purpose of the questions is merely to help make this task easier. Thank you for allowing us to highlight you on the WIE website!

 Send your completed self-interviews to rachel.m.mcdermott@gmail.com

 Please also include the following information in your response:

Name:

Current Company:

Current Position:

Years of Experience:

 The Questions:

  • What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time 5 years? 10 years?

  • Who is your role model, and why?

  • What project or accomplishment do you consider to be the most significant in your career thus far?

  • What was the most significant obstacle you have faced in your career?

  • What motivated you to choose the career you have today?

  • What activities do you enjoy outside of work?

  • What advice do you have for achieving a work life balance?

  • What is a recent book you have read?

  • Have you seen or experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace? What are ways you combat discrimination and harassment?

  • What has been your experience with WIE?

 Did you think we would challenge you and not try it out ourselves? Never! Rachel Morgan stepped up and tried out the self-interview.

 Rachel Morgan works in the Bay Area at Kennedy/Jenks Consultants as a Staff Environmental Engineer. She has five years of experience in the environmental field. Originally from Washington, she attended WIE events in Seattle prior to moving to the Bay Area. Not only is she a brave interview taker but she is also a member of the WIE board of directors and serves on the Bay Area Mentoring and Education Committees.

 Question: What advice do you have for achieving a work life balance?

The best advice on work/life balance I have received is that if I don’t enforce my own boundaries, no one else will. I’ve seen it happen to many people – including people who have decided to formally reduce their hours and accept the pay cut, but end up regularly working 40+ hours anyways. Things happen and sometimes those extra hours are necessary and worthwhile, but other times it’s ok to finish the task tomorrow and make time for that gym class, family time, WIE event, or other event. Admittedly, I don’t always follow through on this, and I don’t have pets or children to really push that advice to its limits – we’ll see how it stands the test of time.

Question: What is a recent book you have read?

I’ll highlight a fun one and a more serious one. With my WIE mentoring group, we recently read Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. It presented issues I’ve encountered in a new light and shed light on situations I hadn’t considered previously. It was a very thought-provoking book that led to great group discussion. I also recently read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s the end of the world, Final Judgement is coming… but the angel and demon stationed on Earth like it here and decide to work together to save it. Unfortunately, they’ve lost the Antichrist. It’s snarky and fun in a totally unique way.

Question: What has been your experience with WIE?

At every WIE event I’ve attended, I’ve always felt welcome. In my experience, WIE fosters a fantastic environment that really encourages event attendees to stray from their safety net of co-workers to meet new people. It’s also an environment that allows women to relax and enjoy the event, yet welcomes productive and frank conversations about struggles and obstacles they’ve experienced. I’ve yet to meet anyone not excited to be in the room. I’ve attended events and participated in the mentoring programs in Seattle and now in the Bay Area and the positive energy is ever-present. It’s unlike any other professional group I’ve ever participated in, and it keeps me coming back and volunteering time.

Thanks for your answers Rachel, you made it look easy! Answering the questions took her about 30 minutes, and she reports that it was a welcome reflection on her career thus far. Now that Rachel has shown us how it’s done, we look forward to reading and posting your answers soon.