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Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine
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Upcoming EVENTS

Scoping Workshop on Supporting Parents and Caregivers in STEMM
December 2, 2019 
Washington, DC

Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine
December 2-3, 2019
Washington, DC

CWSEM Bi-annual Meeting
December 2-3, 2019
Washington, DC

Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education 2019 Public Summit
November 19-20, 2019
Seattle, WA

Staying Power: A convening to examine what it takes for postdoctoral women to stay and thrive in science
November 6, 2019
Washington, DC

Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women of Color in Technical Disciplines Committee Meeting #1
October 24, 2019
Washington, DC

More past events...

Contact Us
Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Keck Center
500 5th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: 202.334.2389
Fax: 202.334.2290 



Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

The 2018 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on Sexual Harassment of Women concludes that system-wide changes to the culture and climate in higher education are needed to prevent and address sexual harassment, and provides a roadmap for institutions of higher education to make these changes. To advance these efforts, the National Academies have joined with over 40 colleges, universities, and research institutions to launch an Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. The purpose of the action collaborative is to bring together leaders from academic institutions and key stakeholders to work toward targeted, collective action on addressing and preventing sexual harassment across all disciplines and among all people in higher education. The action collaborative creates an active space where colleges, universities, and other research and training institutions will identify, research, develop, and implement efforts that move beyond basic legal compliance to evidence-based policies and practices for addressing and preventing all forms of sexual harassment and promoting a campus climate of civility and respect.

The Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine

With support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and L’Oréal USA, CWSEM has launched a new project focused on identifying concrete, evidence-based, actionable, recommendations to address the discipline-specific challenges faced by women in science and engineering. The study will involve a comparative examination of the barriers to women’s recruitment, retention, and advancement in seven fields—biology, mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, medicine, and chemistry—and, importantly, will focus on identifying evidence-based practices that have “moved the needle” on improving women’s participation and advancement in these fields. Importantly, this study will not put the onus on women, but instead will focus on helping institutions understand how to remove the barriers that exist because of outmoded institutional structures. The study will also place a strong emphasis on the intersection of race and gender by considering the accumulated research on specific barriers faced by women of color in STEM in addition to the research on policies and practices that have had an impact on their representation. 

Sexual Harassment in the Academic Workplace and its Effects on Students and Faculty.

On June 12, 2018, the study committee released the consensus report Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine with a public release event. The committee was chaired by Paula A. Johnson, president of Wellesley College, and Sheila E. Widnall, aerospace researcher and institute professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This study focused on examining how prevalent sexual harassment is for women in academic science, engineering, and medicine; determining what impacts it has on the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women pursuing careers in these fields; and identifying policies, strategies, and practices that can prevent and address sexual harassment in academia. The report describes how sexual harassment significantly damages the research enterprise and provides guidance on how academic institutions can move beyond legal compliance to prevent sexual harassment by making system-wide changes the climate and culture. To help share the messages of the report, a 2-minute video was created that describes four things academic institutions can do to prevent sexual harassment. The next steps for the project include an extensive dissemination and outreach plan to improve awareness of the impacts of sexual harassment and to motive academic institutions to implement the recommendations in the report. Follow the conversation about the study and about sexual harassment in academic science, engineering, and medicine at #ScienceToo. The study was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NASA, NIH, NIST, NOAA, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Career outcomes of female engineering bachelor's degree recipients

 Are women less likely to stay in engineering because of work and family issues? Do women have better success than men in moving from technical to managerial work in engineering? An ad hoc committee, under the auspices of CWSEM, will commission papers that will analyze existing, nationally-representative data and convene a public workshop to examine the career outcomes of women recipients of bachelor's degrees in engineering. Learn more...

Advancing institutional transformation for minority women in academia

This project focused on a topic that has long been of interest to CWSEM and is of critical importance to the committee’s ability to develop projects that have relevance to its mandate. An ad-hoc committee, under the auspices of CWSEM, convened a conference that explored how women of color can more fully participate at all levels in academia and highlight exemplary programs and practices. Learn more...

changing mindsets to promote women and girls in science u.s. state department conference: facilitating participation of international women in science and engineering

CWSEM in collaboration with PGA/BISO organized the participation of 15 women scientists and engineers from Africa and the Middle East in the U.S. State Department's Changing Mindsets to Promote Women and Girls in Science Conference held on June 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conference was envisioned as a catalyst in encouraging greater collaboration among federal agencies and non-profit organizations on their efforts for girls and women in science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more…

CWSEM Roundtable of Representatives from Federal Agencies & Professional Societies 

In November 2010 CWSEM hosted a roundtable that engaged representatives from federal agencies, academic institutions, and professional societies. This roundtable focused on programs that address the needs of postdoctoral and early career researchers and provided an opportunity for a discussion of this topic across a diverse variety of organizations and a full range of disciplines in science and engineering. Learn more...

status and participation of women in stem disciplines and careers

The scientific work of women is often viewed with a national or regional lens, but given the growing worldwide connectivity of most, if not all, scientific disciplines there needs to be recognition of how different social, political and economic mechanisms impact women’s participation in the global scientific enterprise. Studies within and across nations consistently show inverse correlations between levels in the scientific and technical career hierarchy and the number of women in science. This project convened a workshop that addressed the challenges, bringing to bear social science methods to identify strategies, core data, and important guidelines for implementing policies and procedures that will increase women’s participation and advancement in the global science enterprise in chemistry, computer science, and mathematics. Learn more…

Collaboration with Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS) women for science working group (wfs-wg)

The Women for Science Working Group (WfS - WG) was established by the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science (IANAS) in June 2010 under the sponsorship of IAP, the Global Network of Science Academies. Information exchange, collaborations and partnerships have been developed between CWSEM and WfS - WG. Learn more... 
the henry luce foundation and the gender differences report dissemination project

In 2010 the Henry Luce Foundation awarded CWSEM a grant to support the dissemination of the congressionally mandated report, Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. Learn more…   

from science to business: how to prepare female scientists and engineers to successfully transition into entrepreneurship

Does the transition from scientist or engineer to entrepreneur take place at a particular stage in a woman's professional career? Are there ideal points for this to happen? Are women equipped through their professional training or work experience as scientists and engineers to be successful in this new environment? What specific training or skills, such as how to write a business plan, how to access capital--whether personal, venture capital, or research funding--and how to patent and market products, might further a scientist's likelihood for success in this new path? An ad-hoc committee, under the auspices of CWSEM, convened a workshop to examine career transitions from academic science and engineering to entrepreneurship in the lives of women professionals and to identify specific skill sets necessary for them to become successful in the business world. Learn more…

from doctorate to dean or director: sustaining women through critical transition points in science, engineering, and medicine

A one and a half day workshop was carried out in September 2008 to explored crucial transition points in women’s career paths in academia and industry and how the changing nature of science, engineering, and medicine—specifically the growth in interdisciplinary fields—impacts career progression now and in the future. Learn more…