Three Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) employees were among the highlighted speakers at the Society of Women Engineers' (SWE) http://swe-kc.swe.org/ 8th Annual WE KC conference on Aug. 24.
About 100 people attended the signature professional development event at University of Kansas-Edwards Campus in Overland Park, which included a program of educational presentations and networking aimed at empowering and inspiring women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Breakout sessions featured Piper Stone, KCNSC talent management manager on "The Ripple Effect: Building Emotional Intelligence in Teams"; Caitlin Wright, a KCNSC senior project manager, on "Building a Connected and Confident Workforce through Employee Networks;" and Christina Gelvin, a KCNSC lead engineering project specialist, speaking on "Cultivating Good Ground for a Fruitful Team." The keynote address was delivered by General Motors' Christa Langford on "Building Moments for Lasting Connections."
"The event was a great opportunity to connect with engineers from KCNSC and from engineering firms in the Kansas City area. Our keynote set a fantastic tone for the night – focusing on how the small moments we share with people in our work life are critical in shaping the overall trajectory of our careers and in building success," said Piper Stone, a KCNSC talent management manager.
Stone said her breakout session focused on how trust, identity, and efficacy are the three components of a team with high emotional intelligence and how these can be built by setting some intentional expectations for team culture and conduct.
High emotional intelligence is understanding and managing your emotions, but also understanding others' emotions and using that to build working relationships and reduce team stress.
"We spent time discussing the benefit of having an emotionally intelligent culture, both for individuals and for the overall business. The attendees at the session shared some great insights with one another on how to connect with team members who might be reluctant to engage with this type of culture-building and all left with ideas for activities they could take back and "pitch" to their own teams," Stone said.
Wright's session emphasized the value of Employee Networks (EN) to help engage early career professionals and how the KCNSC fosters a connected, confident and equipped workforce.
"One of the best tools to deploy creative and agile solutions to address retention challenges are Employee Networks (EN)" Wright said. "EN programs help us engage our early career professionals with meaningful development opportunities and business connections to equip them in their roles, as well as build confidence in our business and the mission. It was a wonderful opportunity to share my experiences with the SWE Community and discuss how KCNSC is building a confident and connected workforce every day."
Gelvin said this is the first year she has taken part in the conference.
"My goal was for the breakout session to be thought provoking, collaborative, and fun," Gelvin said. "By the end of our time together, everyone determined what kind of ground they are in. Having intentional time to pause to and consider the health of the team each participant is serving. Everyone shared insights and how they're working to get to good ground not only professionally but also personally."
Katie Lin, a KCNSC technical manager, Gwen Belt, a KCNSC senior electrical engineer, and Mandy Kelley, of Honeywell Operating Systems, all helped organize and coordinate the conference of which the KCNSC was a platinum sponsor.