Formerly the Women Scientists and Engineers Council, the Women's Support and Empowerment Council (WSEC) was created to provide support and to address issues that affect the careers of all women at Berkeley Lab. The WSEC and Berkeley Lab’s Human Resources Department work in partnership to determine priorities and develop strategies for recruitment, retention, work-life balance, and the empowerment of all women at Berkeley Lab.  

Key activities include:

The WSEC is different from a traditional ERG because it is made up of members who are both Division-appointed as well as volunteers.  Three subcommittees (policy, networking, and empowerment) meet separately to work on WSEC goals and key activities.  WSEC members meet quarterly in January, April, July, and October.

Recent Accomplishments

Celebrating Women

For ten years, Berkeley Lab staff from across almost all research areas have mentored TechWomen Emerging Leaders from across 20 countries.  

The TechWomen program brings "Emerging Leaders" from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East mentorship, knowledge sharing, and network opportunities. Read more about it on techwomen.org.

WSEC Council: Inclusion, Empowerment and Opportunities

Read the interview on Elements

Building on the DOE’s Women @ Energy: STEM Rising project, the WSEC has held four Women@ The Lab events between 2013 - 2020. Read profiles of our honorees on the Women @ The Lab website

This year’s Women @ the Lab award ceremony was held virtually. Watch the replay where 15 talented and dedicated employees were honored for their work and achievements, as well as an overview of the Women Scientists and Engineers Council’s accomplishments to date. 

The Visible Spectrum series spotlights talented, dedicated women employees at the Lab

In 2020, all four SLAM award recipients were women. 

Peer Exchanges and Coffee hours and Special Events

The Networking Subcommittee hosts monthly networking peer exchanges and/or coffee hours where members  learn from other women their experiences and challenges, share resources, and engage in fellowship together. Examples include:

Parental Leave

WSEC has been collaborating with others at LBL to help improve parental leave information.  Sometimes events occur in an employee’s life that may require a Family and Medical Leave (FML) and the Integrated Disability & Absence Management (IDAM) Services team is here to help.

Check out LBL's new visual resources here.

Click to view 1 minute IDEA slide


Past News & Events

More information on committee missions, initiatives and accomplishments: WSEC Subcommittees


Executive Sponsors

Women’s Support and Empowerment Council (WSEC) executive co-sponsor Henrik von der Lippe shares his perspective as an ally and the importance of having an inclusive environment. Read the full interview>>

Membership is open to all LBNL employees. We ask that every member join one or more of the  subcommittees that carries out the objectives of the WSEC. Subcommittees include: Policy, Networking and Empowerment.

WSEC Member Registration 

Contact Information

For more information, please contact the WSEC Executive Committee at wsec-excom@lbl.gov