Link To Guest Website: WEST

Title: “Expanding Horizons For Women In STEM Fields”
Guests: Etta Jacobs – WEST, Javier Barrientos – Takeda, & Kurt Domoney – WEST
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jeffrey (1s):
Well, hello everybody. And welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs. The show that is constantly streaming stories of entrepreneurship leadership and how businesses are dealing. I would have to say in a world of chaos, how does an entrepreneur succeed in a world of chaos? That’s what we’re all about. And Rachel Radio Entrepreneurs right now. And now I’m going to give you my list of guests. Let’s see how well I do Etta Jacobs, president of WEST and Javier Barrientos, head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Takeda Kurt Domoney event producer at WEST. So with that in mind, I hopefully I got it. All right.

Jeffrey (41s):
Welcome everyone. Thank you.

Etta (43s):
Thank you so much.

Jeffrey (46s):
Good morning. Good afternoon to everybody, whoever, whatever time anybody’s listening to Radio Entrepreneurs, can you tell us about your organization at the

Etta (56s):
Sure. Thank you. So I’m the precedent of the board of WEST. And my day job is I’m an executive coach, so about WEST WEST mission. So WEST stands for women in the enterprise of science and technology. And our primary goal is expanding and broadening the horizons and careers of women in stem fields. We believe that women in stem are underrepresented at the higher levels, and we do everything we can to expand their network and also their skills. We provide networking events where they can build their network, and we provide many different kinds of workshops where they can build their leadership skills.

Jeffrey (1m 43s):
So I have a large group in front of me. How did all of you come together?

Etta (1m 48s):
So I will just pass it to, I think because he was our first connection to WEST and he has a great story with Kurt.

Javier (1m 58s):
All right. Well, thanks Etta. First of all, can, you know, show your listeners, this episode is being recorded on international women’s day. So to all women entrepreneurs and their teams, you know, congratulations on this day, how we get together is because one of the board members or WEST Mina’s Romania was asking me as a Takeda sponsor, if we could help design a series that would be different, that will be not dead by zoom anymore. And that will be of great value to, to the, to the WEST membership. So I took that seed and I kept running it around my mind and, you know, serendipitous encounter in a province Provincetown.

Javier (2m 42s):
I met Kurt and on where he was waiting in front of the restaurant that in line, and I overheard that he was working with Broadway actors. And so I decided to tell him about this idea and see how we could combine this notion of, you know, the process that happens in the arts and how women get portrayed in the arts to the process that happens inside biopharmaceuticals and life sciences companies and actual women of science. I, he actually took me up on it. And so that from that small conversation, you know, this series was born, which is focused on the art of women in science and on Broadway.

Jeffrey (3m 31s):
Wow. The art of women on science and in Broadway.

Javier (3m 38s):

Jeffrey (3m 39s):
Is there a, is there a difference between the two?

Kurt (3m 46s):
Yeah, yeah. I’ll come in and talk a little bit about that because that’s actually something that I always felt like that the scientific and the mathematic processes as, as artists and as, especially as musical theater performers. So, so much of musical theater is about collaborating with so many different mediums. You know, you’re talking lighting, designers, sound designers, set designers, costume designers, so many elements of that. And so one of the things that I found, you know, I’ve always felt is that the scientific mind, that element of I have hypothesis that element of, of experimentation really comes into play in the artistic process.

Kurt (4m 28s):
And I think a lot of times, you know, in my conversations with the board members of WEST, it’s like, that’s very similar to the scientific process. Now. I’m not, I don’t, I don’t spend my life in a lab, but one of the things that, you know, Javier and all of us have discussed is what are the similarities? And also how are our women in science portrayed in, in the arts? So one of the events that we have is a, a writing team that has written a musical about Marie Curie, who developed radium and their experience of researching science and how they brought these two worlds together and how their process of writing music is similar to a scientific process.

Kurt (5m 10s):
So that’s really something we’re continuing to have further discussion with. And the event on the 10th is a lot about a woman, Molly Smith, who is an artistic director at arena stage in Washington, DC. And what her process is as far as, as trying new things, developing new work, working, working, and collaborating together and treating, and how, if you really do look at an artistic or arts organization as a kind of a scientific lab, what are the similarities? It’s very fascinating and very, and, and, and it’s ambitious, but I think we’re, we’re, we’re really taking on this challenge because that’s something that, especially with international women’s day and women’s history month, that’s something we really wanted to,

Jeffrey (5m 57s):
To bring to the forefront.

Javier (5m 60s):
I think, you know, it’s fitting if I can jump in there, right? Because the, the topic for the month is providing healing and promoting home. And the, and the theme for international women say today is great, the bias. And I think you don’t cut, but Kurt and Anna have been talking about his notion of how do these two themes also are so true to, regardless of you’re a women in science or in the arts, there are barriers that women face that. And that’s kind of the, the exploration that we’re undertaking with this was this a three part series?

Jeffrey (6m 37s):
Well, first of all, I just want to say, I’ve always told people that I thought that the creativity at its best was the art. It was, it was creativity of the art and science merging together, but there is a, there is a process to creativity. And so I, I definitely sort of feel what you’re talking about, but talk to us a little bit about the series, make it concrete for our listeners. What would they be getting in this series?

Etta (7m 4s):
I can jump in quickly. And then I’m curious to see how, how they can extend it. So the reason at WEST, we were so excited is we are entering year three of life with COVID, although hopefully there’s a light there. And WEST two, two years ago, pivoted immediately to presenting all of our events online. They used to be all in person, mostly in Cambridge. And so we were really excited at the idea like when the, when this was, when Mina presented this to the board, we were thrilled. It’s like, Ooh, something new for WEST I’m on zoom. And the big thing is since WEST’s mission is to help women see their lives in new expansive ways and how we learn through story as the playwrights and Molly, and then Shelly, on, in April, we’ll be telling their stories of how they overcame their obstacles, our goal, and our hope is that it will expand the, the horizons of the women in our community.

Etta (8m 9s):
So let me pass it to my colleagues here.

Javier (8m 12s):
Yeah. Well, I’ll talk a bit about the sequence and there may be credit. You can talk about the specifics of how we, how each of these sessions are going to take place. So, first of all, the listeners are welcome to join is open to everybody. You don’t have to be in the life sciences or a member of WEST yet to join and especially entrepreneurs. I think, you know what you said, Jeff is very true, right? This is about innovation and sparking new ideas. So a very welcome to join. There’ll be three parts to the serious side. The first one is this Thursday, March 10th, and the next one will be March 24th. And the last segment will be April 7th. All of the sessions will be via zoom and they will take place from five to, and I’m going to turn it over to Kurt.

Javier (8m 57s):
So Kurt, do you want to tell us about a bit of each of these segments? Yeah,

Kurt (9m 2s):
I think the, the thing I want to continue to bring to the forefront too, is that there’s going to be Broadway performers performing. So it’s going to be these amazing keynote speakers talking about being two of which are our women leaders who are innovating and creating and trailblazing in the, in, in the world of the arts. And then the other is a, is a group of as a writing team and how they can, how they, how they are having the voice of someone like Marie Curie being heard. But really a lot of it too is going to be, there’s going to be too broad to Broadway performers performing. So one on the 10th, we’ll have Nikki Renee Daniels, who’s in the revival of company and a woman named Pearl sun who comes from, come from away on Broadway.

Kurt (9m 47s):
They are presenting songs in relationship to, you know, that come from Broadway that have to do with sparking ideas, sparking, you know, any kind of breaking the bias, all that kind of stuff. But it’s going to be really fun because you’re going to see these great performers and really, you know, we say in, in, in musical theater that when you have something to say that you speak, when you have, when you really need something to say, you sing. And when you can’t, when the, when the song doesn’t express it enough, you dance, right? So if we’re really talking about women’s voices being heard and, and finding your voice, what better way to do that than through song. So that’s something that’s going to be

Jeffrey (10m 25s):
Cool. I think this is wonderful. I commend all of you for this. I think it’s much needed the creativity that women’s empowerment, science, art, all of it. And before COVID the last play I did see was come far. I sat that was my thought. And having grown up in Canada and had it struck an extra cord for me, knowing how kind the people of that region of Canada are. So there’s a nice humanity also to that play. Listen, I want to make sure everybody knows how to contact you and how to sign up. So if you could get that information to us before we go, could you please provide that your contact information and how they can sign up?

Jeffrey (11m 7s):
I would appreciate it.

Etta (11m 10s):
And I could just say, go to our website, WEST

Jeffrey (11m 17s):
And any individual, any individual contact you want to give as well.

Etta (11m 23s):
No. Before, are you talking about each of us individually or to contact WEST?

Jeffrey (11m 27s):
No. To contact you individually. Do you want to give any of that data as well?

Javier (11m 31s):
Yeah. If people want to know more about the series of, you know, learn how to sponsor WEST Takeda, DAS, you know, I would recommend people to reach out via LinkedIn. Javier Barrientos at the Qaeda is the easiest way to find me and feel free to send a message. No message will go unreturned. And I’m sure that’s probably true for Etta and

Kurt (11m 55s):
Yes, absolutely. Yeah.

Etta (11m 57s):
And so if people are interested in learning more about WEST, yes, they can reach me at LinkedIn Etta Jacobs at LinkedIn, and also I’m an executive coach. So if they have any questions about that, they, I will also respond to all their messages. And

Kurt (12m 14s):
Yeah, I mean, I think Instagram’s also a great way to get in touch with me. Kurt K U R T Domoney D O M O N E Y. That’s. I have the series posted there. You can also see the series posted on the WEST Instagram, it’s an underscore WEST or underscore, and do you’ll see the whole link and, and at, on the website as well, there’ll be a whole overview of the, of the series too. So that’s a, that’s a great way for people to kind of see a visual of it as well.

Jeffrey (12m 45s):
Well, a RVA and a Curt woman in the enterprise of science and technology, I think a very important addition to whatever business is doing. We hope you come back again. We hope the first series of successful. We hope you come back throughout the whole year. Thank you very much for joining us on Radio Entrepreneurs. Thank you. Thank you so much, so much. Good luck.

Subscribe to our Podcast!

purple circle podcast icon

Apple Podcasts

green circle with white curved lines for sound waves


multi-colored vertical lines in a diamond shape

Google Podcasts


Find us on Social Media

rounded blue square with lowercase white letters "in"


rounded red square with lowercase white play button in the middle


rounded blue square with lowercase white letter f


rounded light blue square with a white silhouette of a bird flying