GWIS Madison Chapter strives to provide opportunities for professional development to its members.


Developing Effective Communication Skills Workshop

8:15 AM – 12 PM, Wednesday, April 5th

Microbial Sciences 2301

Schedule of events:

  • 8:15 AM: Welcome and breakfast
  • 8:30 AM: Navigating difficult conversations – learn strategies to deal with emotional situations in a professional setting
  • 9:30 AM: Establishing confident communication – learn how to adapt your communication style to various audiences and learn behavioral skills for effective speaking
  • 10:30 AM: Developing negotiation tactics – learn how to negotiate, and apply skills from previous sessions to practice scenarios that will focus on negotiating for salaries or promotions

A limited number of seats will be available – register today to save your spot!

Our workshop titled “Developing Effective Communication Skills” will be divided into three sessions focusing on: difficult conversations, confident communication, and negotiation skills.

The first session, Difficult Conversations, will be led by Laura Page, who is the instructor of the continuing education course called “Taking the Difficult out of Difficult Conversations”. This session will focus on techniques to manage difficult emotional moments.

The second session, Confident Communication, will be led by Amy Zelenski, who is the instructor of the course “Improvisational Theater for Scientists”. This session will focus on teaching students how to adapt their communication style to various audiences and learn behavioral skills for effective speaking.

The third session, Negotiation Skills, will be led by Megan Phillips, who teaches negotiation tactics at the Law School. This session will focus on using the skills learned during the previous sessions, and to apply it to a situation where women may feel intimidated to advocate for themselves and negotiate an important aspect of their career – such as a for salaries and promotions.

Overall, these sessions are aimed to provide women scientists with communications skills that will strengthen their ability to navigate gender-specific challenges they may face in seeking and developing their careers. We wish to provide a small-group environment to allow attendees to practice these “soft” skills, with each session capped at a maximum of 30 participants to encourage participation.

We believe that this experience will address the gap in the training provided to young scientists at a graduate level by cementing valuable skills, and will help empower women to confidently advocate for themselves and resolve issues that may arise over the course of a career in STEM fields.

Sponsored by:

Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute

Graduate School of Professional Development

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Microbiology Doctoral Training Program

Department of Surgery

Department of Chemistry

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Graduate Training Program

Promega Corporation


Previous events have included:

“Women Don’t Ask” negotiation skills seminar, featuring social sciences researcher, speaker, and author Sara Laschever.

COACh career workshops on career building skills and leadership with Women in Computer Science, Graduate Women in Chemistry, and the Graduate School Professional Development office.

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