NEW LONDON -- Yesterday evening, Women for Murphy held their latest roundtable at the home of Jeanne Milstein, a Murphy supporter.
With a diverse group of attendees, the conversation covered the environment, healthcare, small businesses and education. Much of the conversation centered around small businesses and education -- specifically women in science.
Shiela Hayes from Norwich spoke about the need to limit the number of hurdles that small businesses and entrepreneurs have to clear in order to operate.
"What does an entrepreneur need? They need to be able to have access to dollars, affordable health care...basic materials for owning your own business," said Hayes. "Having come from a family of entrepreneurs I know firsthand that we need help breaking through those barriers."
Murphy agreed, "There are enormous barriers to get businesses started. There are far too many bureaucratic obstacles to starting a small business that we need to streamline, which will not only help our small business owners but cut costs for the government."
From supporting small businesses the conversation shifted to education. There was a consensus among the group for the need to have more programs to encourage women to go into the sciences. Rosemary Palmieri from New Haven, recent graduate of The Sound School spoke about the importance of funding opportunities for women in the sciences.
"The opportunities I received were actually outside of the classroom," Palmieri said. "I applied for an internship through my biotechnology class. In an effort to get more women involved in the sciences my bio teacher approached me about applying. I was one of 25 women in the country to be accepted, and now I am going to Dickinson in the fall and I plan to major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry."
"There is a huge gap between women and men in the field of science and it's a failure on the part of our education system," Palmieri added. "We need to encourage women to explore fields like engineering and biosciences in and out of the classroom because we're not tapping into the resources we have and that's hurting us as a country."