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Empowerment Mission

Our impact mission is to understand the neuroscience underlying the challenges underrepresented leaders face in professional settings and how alterations to those settings change neurobiology and performance. By embracing authenticity and individual differences, we discern the pivotal social and environmental factors that empower leadership to create structural change. 

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Neurosciences K-Series Empowerment Bootcamp for Women

Pathways to Neurosciences is partnering with the Grant Writing Academy to offer the K-series Empowerment Bootcamp designed to facilitate successful K Award applications from promising women postdoctoral researchers. This Bootcamp is for Pathways to Neurosciences postdocs who are open and committed to immersing themselves in powerful self-awareness and self-efficacy activities while constructing their K-Award. Within a safe community, you will craft your proposal using self-empowering strategies and design thinking tools. The empowerment bootcamp is led by Dr. Stephanie Balters.

Empowerment Workshops

Dr. Balters facilitates evidence-based empowerment workshops to increase self-awareness, work productivity, self-efficacy, and belonging in women leaders. At Stanford University, she collaborates with the Stanford Grant Writing Academy, the School of Medicine Women Faculty Networking Steering Committee, the Stanford Medicine Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, and the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. 

Evidence-based Workshop Interventions

We have empirically validated workshop tools through interaction neuroscience studies. In these studies, we utilized simultaneous neuroimaging with portable fNIRS to understand inter-brain function. We recently examined two belonging interventions (i.e., expressing appreciation and sharing of emotional needs) and demonstrated that both interventions increase interpersonal closeness and cause distinct inter-brain signatures in dyads. Understanding neural underpinnings can inform the design of more effective and individualized interventions. The findings of our studies will enhance evidenced-based education programs that aim at increasing self-efficacy and belonging in leaders from diverse backgrounds.


Please reach out to Dr. Stephanie Balters to learn about workshop opportunities and potential research collaborations.