Musings on Women in Behavior Analysis Conference, Nashville, 2019

Written by, Beth McKee, MSEd., BCBA

This past weekend I had the pleasure to attend the Women in Behavior Analysis (WIBA) conference, a conference with a mission to highlight the work of women in behavior analysis, provide a space to discuss gender and diversity in the field, as well as connect practitioners with similar interests.

T-Shirt swap

These are some of my takeaways and thoughts:

  • WIBA is a place for the community of women behavior analysts: to exchange ideas, to get real, to be genuine, to share their vulnerability, to share the nitty grittiness of life. A space that is sometimes missing for women in the field.
  • The WIBA conference was cleverly organized, providing an environment for women to grow and connect organically by embedding the space and time needed within the daily schedule.
  • WIBA facilitates female mentorships, the core relationship for the growth of behavior analysts.
    • Women design and print some damn good T-shirts and swag.
  • The WIBA conference brought communities of women together but, there’s still room to grow in its representation of inclusivity.
  • The WIBA conference speakers exemplified women, “daring to lead”.
    • WIBA reminded me of the necessity for women to be part of a tribe.
Dropping Knowledge
  • WIBA showcased females who reminded us our voices need to be heard every day.
  • WIBA introduced us to women who are exemplary models of playing nicely with others for the purposes of the greater good
    • we desperately need more of this.
  • WIBA made me realize we need to vastly expand female leadership represented in our field and the field of technology. 
  • A big thank you to the men who were able to attend this year. We see you.
  • WIBA had my tribe discussing, “Where are the rest of the men?” Women support conferences held and led by men, yet there were so few men at this conference you could count them on one hand.
  • Men in behavior analysis need to #dobetter supporting women.
  • WIBA promoted family, self care, and mothering by providing child care and having the Behavior Momma, AJ Rodrigue, MA, BCBA, LBA speak about balance.

WIBA speakers reminded us to strive, to grow, and become, but that we are also perfect just as we are.

I finished the WIBA conference feeling filled up, energized, and inspired. I made new friends and lots of new contacts. WIBA sent me off refueled and ready to go make things happen. I go happily into 2019 knowing I’m armed with the support of my new tribe.

I will leave you with the powerful words of Carol Pilgrim, PhD, adapted from B. F. Skinner.

“We have not yet seen what [women] can make of [women]”

For information about WIBA 2020 click here

Beth McKee is collaborator, brand ambassador, and friend to BehaviorMe, working with us on all things from beta testing to social media. 
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