The Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) is a standing committee in the Policy and Global Affairs division of the National Research Council (NRC). Its mandate is to coordinate, monitor, and advocate action to increase the participation of women in science, engineering, and medicine. Established in 1990 as CWSE, the committee expanded its scope in 2007 to include medicine. Learn more about the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. CWSEM HIGHLIGHTS
Inside Higher Ed: Productivity or Sexism? August, 2014
A study presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting investigated the theory that men outnumber women in tenured professorships because women have a larger share of child care and so men outperform women in research. The study compared tenure rates and controlled for research productivity. The study found that men are more likely to earn tenure than women who have the same research productivity. (Article by Scott Jaschik) Read the full article
The Washington Post: Google, Silicon Valley Must Do More to Hire Female Engineers, May, 2014
Vivek Wadhwa reported that Google revealed its diversity data, only 17% of its global technology workforce is comprised of women. While that is almost impressive compared with the rest of Silicon Valley, it is not impressive in the context of the available pool of female computer scientists. The current hiring process and the culture of the technology industry may be partly to blame because the hiring process is like recruitment into a fraternity and the industry fosters a “bro culture”, both of which are unwelcoming to women. Read the full article
Science Editorial: Level the Playing Field for Women in STEM, July, 2013
Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of Science, underscored the need to advocate for more women in STEM disciplines from a high-level group such as CWSEM. The article noted that women are still underrepresented in many STEM disciplines, and they do not advance professionally at the same rate as men. It was emphasized that policies need to take into account the culture of the organization in order to be effective, or they may "go against unwritten culture expectations about what young professionals need to do to be successful in the eyes of their peers". Read the full editorial | Download PDF
Leaning in or Creating Their Own Path? Workshop on Career Outcomes of Women Engineers, April, 2013
Leaning in or creating their own path? In order to examine the career outcomes of female engineers, CWSEM convened a workshop on April 24, 2013 with the support from the National Science Foundation (under award 1137641). The workshop, coinciding with the 2013 National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Convocation of Professional Engineering Societies, looked into the career outcomes of female recipients of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and related research on women in technology. At the workshop, Dr. Gail Greenfield, Principal at Mercer Consulting, shared her analysis of engineering students’ post-graduation experiences – education, employment and family experiences using data from Department of Education’s Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B) Longitudinal Study. Dr. Nadya Fouad and Dr. Romila Singh from University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, presented their research on why do women leave engineering and what women do after they graduate with engineering degrees. A group of graduate students from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College presented their study which examined women in IT in small and medium businesses as well as the barriers for women’s recruitment, retention and advancement in those companies. This gathering of representatives from professional science and federal agencies generated fruitful discussions. Over 400 colleagues streamed in and listened to the audio webcast of the workshop. We hope that the workshop will stimulate research, conversation and actions that contribute to more effective practices and successful programs in recruiting and retaining female engineers in the workforce. A workshop summary report will be published by the National Academies Press in fall 2013. Presentation slides and audio recordings.
Women Scientists in the Americas: Their Inspiring Stories - April 2013
The InterAmerican Netowrk of Sciences Academies (IANAS) will launch its new book Women Scientists in the Americas: Their Inspiring Stories on April 17, 2013 at the National Academies. The book was released on International Women's Day and features 16 interviews with prominent female scientists from 16 IANAS member academies. Through the interviews, the book encourages students - particularly young women - to consider science as a career. Free downloads of the English and Spanish versions of the book are available on http://www.ianas.org/. The book launch event will feature the US scientist portrayed in the book: Eugenia Kalnay, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and member of the National Academy of Engineering. The launch event, organized by IANAS and its Women for Science Working Group, will take place in the Lecture Room at the National Academy of Sciences Building (2101 Constitution Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20418) at 10:00 am on April 17.