Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Second WISE Retreat Taking Place At Safety 2015 in Dallas

ASSE’s Women in Safety Engineering (WISE) Common Interest Group will hold its second Personal Development Retreat: "WISE-up!" on June 6 in Dallas, TX, as part of Safety 2015. We spoke with Administrator Jennifer Zipeto and founding member Kelly Bernish to get a preview of what to expect from the daylong event.

The retreat will offer opportunities for WISE members to develop or refine their personal development. “We really felt like having a common theme through the retreat was helpful to build the agenda and this year we obviously wanted to go with something else that builds on things we learned from last year,” says Bernish.

Zipeto says that it is not a professional development retreat, instead a more personal one. “It is a networking opportunity and skill building,” she says. “Women have a different set of expectations for themselves as far as home and work. We have a very strong drive to be successful at work, but also we are the main caregiver at home a lot of the times. Not always. It is a balancing act, so we wanted to focus on personal growth and development.”

The retreat environment is unique for two reasons, says Zipeto. “It is the same group of people last year, we had 60 people and we’re looking at about 60 to 70 this year. That size group spending the whole day together gives us the opportunity to learn about each other as people and professionals,” she says. “The other thing is that it is all women. There is a commonality and the length of time together (with) the kinds of things we’re talking about. If you bare your soul a little bit with the people in the room that you are getting to know very well in a short period of time it allows for a great bonding experience and development.”

There is still time to register for this year’s retreat, and it is not just limited to women. Even though women were the only attendees last year, “WISE Guys” dropped in occasionally.

For prospective attendees, there are a few reasons to attend the retreat that may not be readily apparent after just reading the event description. “They will walk away with a greater self-awareness and some really great skills (as well as) thought-provoking exercises that will cause them afterward to think about where they are going in life in general, not just from a professional perspective,” says Bernish.

If you are attending the full Safety 2015 in Dallas go to the Safety 2015 website,  “Register Online” and choose Registration Step #7 and select “WISE Retreat". If you are not attending Safety 2015, but want to attend the "Wise Up!" retreat, register online as a stand-alone event here. You can also contact ASSE Customer Service.