The Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) is a standing committee 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.
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.
CWSEM lauches the workshop summary report Blueprint for the Future: Framing the Issues of Women in Science in a Global Context - October 2012
CWSEM lauched a workshop summary report Blueprint for the Future: Framing the Issues of Women in Science in a Global Context at the National Academies' Keck Center on October 18, 2012. CWSEM Chair Dr. Rita Colwell gave the welcome at the launch. Dr. Susan Gardner, Deputy Director at the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation from US Department of State delivered remarks on the global context for women in STEM and introduced Department of State's recent efforts on increasing women's participation and advancement in STEM globally. Lisa M. Frehill, Principal Analyst at Energetic Technology Center, Willie Pearson, Jr., Professor of Sociology from Georgia Institute of Technology and Catherine Didion, Director of CWSEM, led a panel discussion of the report's major findings, impact and next steps. The event brought over 75 attendees including representatives from National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, NASA, US Navy, US Department of State and several professional societies and generated a fruitful discussion. Over 300 visitors streamed in to listen to the audio webcast of the event. Learn more about the report launch | Download PDF of the report
CWSEM Conference Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talents by Advancing Women of Color in Academia - June 2012
CWSEM hosted a conference Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia on June 7-8, 2012 in Washington, DC. The changing demographics in our country and increasing international competition underscore the need for a more diverse STEM workforce to ensure the country maintains its scientific vitality, economic prosperity, and national security. This gathering of representatives from institutions of higher education, professional science and engineering societies and federal agencies was convened to discuss the current status of women of color in academia and explore the challenges and successful initiatives for creating the institutional changes required to increase representation of women of color at all levels of the academic workforce.
The conference addressed the importance of this issue and included five breakout discussions on "What Data Can & Cannot Tell Us?", "Using a Legal Framework Successfully", "How Does Gender Bias Differ by Race and Ethnicity?", "Where Are Women of Color: Contingent & Administrative Positions in Academia?" and "Work-life and Career Issues for Women of Color". Effective programs and practices were highlighted to shed light on future actions that will help advance institutional transformations. For more information, please visit the conference website. Conference Agenda and Presentations | Written Testimonies
NAE Workshop Creating a Game-Changing Environment for All in the Industrial Workforce - May, 2012
The Workshop Creating a Game-Changing Environment for All in the Industrial Workforce will review the existing data and exemplary policies and programs designed to enhance the status and participation of women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines with a focus on industrial careers. This is an event for the National Academy of Engineering's project that is focused on the status of women and underrepresented minorities in scientific and engineering industries. The workshop will be held on May 21 at the National Academies' Keck Center. Workshop Agenda
African Women Scientists and Engineers Visited The National Academies - April, 2012
On April 24, a group of African women scientists and engineers visited the National Academies and met with CWSEM staff. The meeting provided an opportunity for the group to network and discuss with the Academies staff about practices and programs that advance women in scientific research and innovation. Grant programs that support collaborative research project between the US and counterparts in developing countries were also discussed. This group was hosted by the US Department of States’ Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs’ Office of International visitors and was selected by U.S. embassy officers in nine countries to visit the United States on the State Department International Visitor Leadership Program. These women were in the U.S. to review the evolution and advancement of U.S. women in scientific research and innovation; illustrate policies, organizations and educational institutions that champion the interest of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program provided opportunities for the visitors to network with professional counterparts at scientific academies, associations, universities and agencies across the United States as well as showcases their scientific accomplishments through participation in a conference/workshop/symposium. These women also visited schools that promote math and science, especially for girls, examined public/private partnerships designed to accelerate student learning in STEM subjects, especially for girls from diverse backgrounds and learned about programs that promote mathematics for women.
Federal Demonstration Partnership's Task Force on Parental and Family Leave for Research Trainees Releases Report A Forgotten Class of Scientists - March, 2012
The report A Forgotten Class of Scientists: Examining the Parental and Family Benefits Available to Research Trainee was prepared by the Federal Demonstration Partnership’s Task Force on Parental and Family Leave for Research Trainees. The report, which was released in March 2012, describes finds from FDP member institution representatives and data from prior reports to provide a consolidated summary of recommendations for the equitable treatment of postdoctoral researchers and employees with regard to parental and family leave. The recommendations include calls for (1) collaboration and partnerships; (2) further research into existing and efficacious programs and their costs; (3) policy reform, including a minimum baseline for all research trainees; (4) institutional climate change and support; and (5) increased outreach and dissemination of clear policies at academic institutions and federal agencies. Catherine Didion, director of CWSEM, participated as a member in the Task Force which was charged with: (1) providing information that enables federal agencies and universities to remove barriers for young people to become the next generation of scientific researchers; and (2) providing information that can increase clarity and streamline processes for university administrators and federal agencies associated with parental and family leave for research trainees. Download Executive Summary | Download Full Report