KU Edwards Campus Helps Women Engineers Advance Their Knowledge

The Kansas City business community has a strong reputation for entrepreneurship, technical skills and business acumen. KU Edwards Campus (KUEC) courses are tailored to help area professionals succeed in the local marketplace. This not only requires specialized, technical training, but also calls for the soft skills necessary to foster a healthy, productive workplace.

Recently, KUEC hosted the second annual Society of Women Engineers-Kansas City Professional Development & Networking Event, which focused on communication and conflict-resolution strategies for Kansas City-area women engineers. Sessions covered:

  • developing workplace skills;
  • determining if management is right for you; and
  • understanding how wastewater treatment works.

“SWE-KC believes professional development events like this are important because many female engineers go a day or more without seeing another woman at work,” said Sunita Lavin, senior project manager at Garmin who helped organize the event.

KUEC faculty members Angie Pastorek, Ph.D., program manager and faculty member for the Professional Workplace Communication Graduate Certificate and master’s degree, and Terri Woodburn, Ph.D., assistant program director of the Professional Science Masters, led breakout sessions, along with leading women engineers from Kansas City-area companies. JCERT funds support these degrees and certificates, as well as the BEST Building, the site of the event.

“From a skills-development perspective, it was an opportunity to provide communication-based insight and information about how to navigate what can be very challenging situations when you’re the only female engineer in the room,” Pastorek said. “There’s a lot we can offer from an organizational communication perspective to help organizations create a more welcoming climate for women working in professions organized around masculine values and communication styles.”