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UW Professor is featured speaker at Starbucks’ STEM seminar

Eve Riskin, University of Washington professor and associate dean of Diversity and Access in Electrical Engineering, was a featured speaker at last month’s “Advancing Women in STEM” seminar at Starbucks.

Eve Riskin is associate dean of Diversity and Access in the College of Engineering and faculty director of the ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change.

About 150 people, including UW students and members of the ASUW Women’s Action Commission, visited Starbucks’ headquarters to discuss challenges and solutions for Women in STEM studies (science, technology, engineering and math). The event was hosted by the Starbucks Women’s Development Network, one of several professional affinity groups for Starbucks employees.

“I really appreciate Starbucks’ commitment to supporting different affinity groups including women, African-Americans and LGBTQ people, just like we do at the UW,” says Riskin, an advocate for increasing the number of female faculty in STEM fields. “The future for women in STEM professions is very bright because companies everywhere understand the benefits of having a more diverse workforce.”

Riskin says she was excited to speak alongside another successful female, Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Starbucks’ chief technology officer. Their talks were part of Starbucks’ Women’s Development Network seminar, “Advancing Women in STEM,” an examination of everything from the preparation pipeline to gender pay gaps.

The Women’s Development Network gives Starbucks employees opportunities to engage in the work of diversity, inclusion and accessibility with community partners — including students, faculty and staff at the UW.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the event was part of Starbucks’ month-long series highlighting industries where women have historically faced barriers to advancement, including business and the military.

“Companies are realizing that they need to change how they do business to ensure that all groups — not just majority males — have successful careers or they will lose out on important talent,” says Riskin.