Communication is an important aspect of the relationship, including personal and professional ones. For instance, business communication incorporates the process of interaction between the people within and outside the organization. Clear communication helps reduce errors and achieve the goals and objectives set by the company. This essay is dedicated to my work experience with the Women and Minorities in Science (WMIS) group at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In particular, I will discuss how my work helped improve and support the organization in its mission, and the role communication with the organization’s representatives played in my task.
About the Organization
The WMIS is an organization that supports women and minority groups within the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the scientific community as a whole. The WMIS group aims to promote inclusivity, equity, and equality within the community of scientists and ensure support for disadvantaged groups of people in the field of science (“Women and Minorities in Science (WMIS)”). It is the goal of the WMIS to ensure that all aspiring scientists, regardless of their gender or race and ethnicity, are accepted and respected in the scientific community.
The group works with students at the institute and those who embark on a career in sciences and aids them in navigating a career in sciences. Thus, the WMIS welcomes all new students of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and educates them on the long-standing history of women and various minority groups at the institute (“Women and Minorities in Science (WMIS)”). The group is working on a mentoring program for students that will help them adjust to life at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. For those planning on an academic career, the WMIS offers a series of informative seminars on promoting oneself on social media and designing and building a personal website (“Women and Minorities in Science (WMIS)”). In addition, it provides students with a platform to practice conference presentations and grants them access to a postdoc panel (“Women and Minorities in Science (WMIS)”). Furthermore, the WMIS offers additional educational materials on different existing biases and prejudices in the scientific community and how to efficiently combat them. Overall, the WMIS aims to reach the institute’s students and young scientists and provide them with the needed support.
WMIS Logo Competition
On April 23, 2022, the WMIS announced a competition to design a new logotype through their Instagram page. The organization decided to replace its current logo with a new one that would better reflect the community of the WMIS and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Women and Minorities in Science). The current logo contains the full name of the groups, their abbreviation, and the abbreviation of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Women and Minorities in Science). The WMIS abbreviation is printed in large letters on a turquoise band running across a field of white (Women and Minorities in Science). Although the logo reflects the water and ocean theme through the choice of colors, it fails to represent the work of the WMIS adequately. The logo is used on all the social media accounts of the organization, including Instagram, Twitter, and Slack. Therefore, it is crucial to create a logo that will clearly and accurately demonstrate to users and potential members of the WMIS the ambitions of the group and the nature of its work.
Work Experience: WMIS Logo Design
I have decided to participate in the WMIS logo design competition as I believe that inclusion, equity, and equality should become the most fundamental characteristics of any community, including the scientific one. Before entering the competition, I have been following the WMIS social media pages, particularly Instagram and Twitter, since the beginning of my university career. When I saw the announcement of the logo competition on the WMIS Instagram page, I contacted the organization via the email provided on their page on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In my first email, I explained my interest in their work and my keen interest in supporting the group and promoting equality and inclusivity in the institute, both as a student and after graduation. In particular, I communicated my desire to participate in the announced logo competition.
I believe a great logotype should be esthetically pleasing and reflect the group’s core values, goals, and objectives. According to Harrison, a logo is the essence of any organization, and every element can influence people’s impressions of the group and impact their decisions regarding it. In the case of the WMIS, it was crucial to consider both the nature of the group’s work and the institution it is affiliated with to reflect it accurately. Moreover, it was important to consider the experiences of women and different minority groups in the scientific community as a whole and the community at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in particular. A logo is often the first thing that people see on an organization’s website or social media pages, and it can significantly affect their perception. The shapes and colors chosen for it can elicit a psychological response and have distinct associations that need to be acknowledged during the design process (Harrison). Thus, the task of designing a new logo for the WMIS group is one of immense complexity; and it can benefit the group enormously.
After I sent out my first email to the WMIS, I received an email from Ariel Pezner, a Ph.D. student in Biological Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Ariel is one of the senior members of WMIS, having joined the organization five years ago and having served as a co-director from 2020 to 2021 (“WMIS Leadership”). She is the leading member responsible for responding to all electronic communications sent to the WMIS. Together we discussed activities I could participate in as well as my aspirations in science and regarding participation in the work of the WMIS. As she was aware of the logo competition but was not in charge of it, she provided me with the contact information for the project coordinator and co-director, Alaina Smith.
Therefore, I have sent an email inquiring about more information about the logo design competition to Alaina Smith. She is a 5th-year Ph.D. student in Biological Oceanography at the institute and has served as a co-director for the WMIS since 2020 (“WMIS Leadership”). Alaina provided me with additional information on the organization, including links to relevant websites and articles, helped me subscribe to the group’s newsletter, and told me more about the competition. From the communication with Alaina, I gathered that the group wanted a simple logo with few colors and easy-to-read font. Furthermore, as the logo is mainly used on various social media platforms, where it is impossible to share large pictures, it should not contain small details to make it easier to see and connect with. In addition, the logo will be used for all social media accounts of the groups, including Instagram, Twitter, and Slack, its official email account, and displayed on the organization’s page on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography website.
Before I began to work on the design of the logo, I studied the website of the WMIS and the group’s social media accounts, as well as information on the leadership of the organization. I think it is essential to understand the values and experiences of the group and its leadership to design an accurate and appropriate logotype. Therefore, I have read several articles and reports on gender inequality in academia to better understand what drives the group, what it aims to achieve, and how it can impact the scientific community. I learned that gender differences in sciences concern not only the differences in the proportion of female and male authors but productivity, salary, citations, and overall recognition of scientists (Huang et al. 4609). It should be noted that gender inequality in sciences is evident in all disciplines across the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields (Huang et al. 4610). Furthermore, women make up 28% of the workforce in STEM fields (American Association of University Women). Thus, men continue to vastly outnumber women in the majority of STEM disciplines.
Furthermore, I researched available information on the different types of gender-based discrimination in the scientific community. Thus, Funk and Parker state that women in the STEM field are often discriminated against because of their gender and persistent prejudices against women’s abilities. In addition, many women working in academia and sciences are usually not considered for promotion, with their gender making it harder for them to succeed at work (Funk and Parker). Sexual harassment in the workplace presents an issue for women in the sciences (Funk and Parker). It should be noted that different races and ethnic groups experience similar discrimination across the STEM disciplines. Thus, Black, Asian, and Hispanic individuals are more likely to be subjected to discriminatory and unfair treatment in STEM workplaces than white scientists (Funk and Parker). Therefore, as members of the scientific community, we should strive to promote inclusivity and demand equality and equity across all disciplines. It can be argued that this is better achieved through organized and systematic actions under the leadership of a dedicated group, such as the WMIS.
Based on the communication with the senior members and leadership of the WMIS, I have decided to design a simple logo that can broadcast the connection of the group to supporting women and oceanography. Before beginning to sketch the first design of the logo, I sought additional information on how specific ideas and concepts can be manifested through shapes and colors. For example, circles symbolize harmony, unity, and eternity, while curved lines are associated with femininity and communicate grace and softness (Harrison). In addition, the representation of water in drawings tends to have a calming effect on the viewers (Harrison). Considering this information, I decided to incorporate circles and curved lines reminiscent of waves into my design. Color is an important factor in designing a logotype, as it can have a strong emotional impact on people. For example, the choice of opposing colors, such as white and black, can relate to the feeling of maturity and elegance (Harrison). Meanwhile, the use of one color can exhibit unity and help connect different elements (Harrison). Overall, it is crucial to consider the choice of shapes and colors before sketching the design.
Considering the information that I received from the leadership of the WMIS group, I chose to use circles and curved lines in the design and limit my choice of colors to one. Thus, my logo idea is a female head with hair flowing down like ripples in the water surrounded by two circles, with the name of the organization written between the circles. The logo is executed in light blue, with the writing and the head of the women being the same color. The logo is intended to represent the idea of women being the origin of life in all of us and the need for unity and equality within the scientific community. I believe the designed logo communicates the values of the group and can help the WMIS gain a larger following.
In summary, my experience working on designing a new logotype for the WMIS group showed me the importance of open and clear communication with the organization I am working with. It helped me to better understand the goals and objectives of the groups, what they stand for, and who leads them. All the information I gathered from the organization allowed me to design a logo that can potentially help the WMIS gain active members and promote women, particularly women from minority groups, in the scientific community.
American Association of University Women. “The STEM Gap: Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.” AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881, 2020.
Funk, Cary, and Kim Parker. “Women and Men in STEM Often at Odds Over Workplace Equity.” Pew Research Center, 2020.
Harrison, Kate. “What Message Does Your Logo Convey?” Forbes, 2018.
Huang, Junming, et al. “Historical Comparison of Gender Inequality in Scientific Careers across Countries and Disciplines.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 117, no. 9, 2020, pp. 4609-4616.
“WMIS Leadership.” Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2021.
“Women and Minorities in Science (WMIS).” Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2022.
Women and Minorities in Science. “WMIS Needs a New Logo.” Instagram, 2022. Web.