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Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 145 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608323765
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608323760
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Purcell, P.E., is a dynamic engineer, entrepreneur, and author focused on helping women create meaningful futures in the STEM fields. As the founder and president of PK Electrical, she draws on her experience to inspire young women to enter the STEM fields with confidence. Her nonprofit organization, STEMspire, was founded to support that mission. She is actively involved in the Reno Tahoe Entrepreneurs' Organization and has held numerous officer positions. She also won a 2012 Reno Gazette-Journal Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Karen is an avid marathon runner, Girl Scout troop leader, and volunteer with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. She lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband and two daughters.


More About the Author

Karen Purcell, P.E., is a dynamic engineer, entrepreneur, author and speaker. Karen draws from her personal and professional experiences to help women confidently pursue their interests in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and build successful, fulfilling careers.

Born and raised in Harrisburg, PA, Karen's journey began when she was a high school student and one of her teachers recommended that she take advantage of her strong math and science skills by considering a career in engineering. What began as a suggestion became a life-long passion for Karen, who went on to receive her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Widener University in Pennsylvania.

In 1996 Karen founded her own electrical engineering company--PK Electrical, an award-winning engineering firm that specializes in providing innovative electrical lighting, power, and communication systems for public and private sector clients. Since its creation PK Electrical has provided quality design for more than 3000 projects in 11 states as well as Guam, and has been honored as a five-time finalist on the "Best Places to Work" lists.

During her journey from engineering student to business owner, Karen has become all too familiar with the disproportionate number of women in engineering and the complex factors that contribute to the gender imbalance. Her desire to support girls and women entering her field led her to pen the book Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and to share her knowledge as a highly respected speaker on the topic of women in STEM.

Outside of her work in the business world, Karen is active in her community, where she serves as a Girl Scouts leader, a dedicated supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and a half marathoner who runs at least 40 miles per week. She currently resides in Reno, Nevada with her husband and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book would make a great gift for any mother with daughters, high school aged girls or even college aged girls (it's never too late!).
Sarah (from MaeGal)
Karen Purcell, does an amazing job of combining the two different writing styles to make not only an informative book, but one that is interesting to read as well.
HannaMarie
She goes into great detail, explaining in a simple to understand way, how to achieve what you want in life, and how to grab a hold of your dreams and thrive.
Busymommylist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It is an unfortunate fact that females are a far too low percentage of the personnel in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Twenty years or so ago, it seemed that the historic under representation would be eliminated as the curve of the female percentage in these fields was rising at a steady rate. However, that trend has reversed and is going downwards. Some of this may simply be cyclical and due to the behavior of the economy, for example the IT profession has shed thousands of jobs in the last decade. Furthermore, some of the brightest people of both sexes are now going into the financial area, hedge funds for example.
Given the clear shortage of people in the STEM fields, a natural way to solve this problem is to increase the percentage of females in these fields. Purcell is an engineer and in this book she puts forward advice for females wanting to enter and succeed in STEM fields as well as how to encourage girls to enter and stay in STEM track educational programs.
In general, the advice of seeking out mentors, especially those that are female, encouraging girls to persevere in STEM areas and to not easily give up when things get difficult is sound and effective. There are two areas where I disagree with Purcell's approach. In her writings, she describes the interactions of females in the workspace as one of calm and supportive aid for each other and that females tend to be more willing to compromise than males. The position that the interactions between two female co-workers are always supportive is nonsense. Without question the most intense and hostile rivalry between two people that I have witnessed in the workplace has been between two females that were rivals for a position.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda M. Mcmahon on October 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I went to an engineering college but went there not knowing what an engineer "does" - i studied technical communications and social sciences. As a parent of two young children (boy and girl) I really feel it is important to not pigeon hole children into gender-specific roles. It happens SOOO young. My daughter can be an engineer (like her father) or a beautician or a mechanic. My son could be any of those as well! When we talk to children about life, we shouldn't assume that a girl "can't" do something and we should be just as encouraging to girls as we are to boys and vice versa. If they have the drive, they can succeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HannaMarie on September 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is a little bit of an autobiography, but also a "strategy" book for any woman wanting to not only survive, but thrive in science, technology, engineering, and math. Karen Purcell, does an amazing job of combining the two different writing styles to make not only an informative book, but one that is interesting to read as well.

If you are looking for a job in any science, technology, engineering or math related field, this book is a must read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By thelightingguy on August 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book educated me as to just how strong gender stereotypes can be in school and the workplace. The author has an interesting story on how she overcame non-supportive surroundings and dug deep inwardly to find her own brilliance. As a father of 3 girls, my hope is that they all find careers that they can be passionate at. I found this to be an inspiring book and I feel that after reading it, I'm now better equipped to be a supportive father, husband, and coworker to the many women in my life. I'm glad I bought the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a female myself, I have to say I never really had any hurdles, any issues to deal with because I am a girl/woman. Although I do know these hurdles do indeed exist, and I have 2 daughters that I would hope never have to go through what I see and hear others go through, especially those who are seeking careers in male dominated fields.
I think this is a book that should be handed out at every graduation, to every woman, maybe even the males. Karen Purcell offers some of the most important and most wonderful advice for anybody to succeed in life. She goes into great detail, explaining in a simple to understand way, how to achieve what you want in life, and how to grab a hold of your dreams and thrive.
The fact that she wrote this book to help others, and share her own story of inspiration, makes this book extremely valuable and a book that will be opened up for many days, months and years to come. There really is something in there for everybody.
This book relates to most of us, and can help you gain more knowledge of what you desire, and want in order to become the person you want to be. Whether you are in any of the fields Karen discusses,(STEM), or not, she explains what you must do in order to get there.
STEM is, science, technology, engineering and math. and just like the title states, "Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive..."
I especially liked how the author uses her own story, and how she got interested in sharing her story, and the fact that males actually persuaded her to write this, is another positive to mention here. It shows the author has had some positive role models, and friends, from both sexes, and that alone gives hope for females who are struggling in the workplace and in college.
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