Promoting gender equality in research institutions and integration of the gender dimension in research content

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by Federico Zemborain - published on , updated on


A Committee on Women in Science and Engineering was established in 1990 as a standing committee in the US National Academies with the charge to coordinate, monitor, and advocate action to increase the participation of women in science and engineering. In the spring of 2007 the Presidents of National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) determined that the committee should be an entity for all institutions in the US National Academies and the committee was renamed the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine (CWSEM).

The mandate for CWSEM is the following:

1) Serving as a resource for organizations and individuals seeking information and analysis about the status of women in employment and education;

2) Formulating strategies to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on the needs and status of opportunities for women in scientific, engineering, and medical fields;

3) Reviewing relevant policies of agencies, universities, and industry designed to enhance the role of women, in particular through institutional transformation;

4) Initiating and overseeing ad hoc committees to hold workshops and issue consensus reports with findings and recommendations for effective policies and programmes to remove barriers to the participation of women in sciences, engineering and medicine;

5) Serving as an institutional focal point in support of complementary activities across the US National Academies.

Current projects for the Committee include a focus on women in academia and industry research institutions; access to entrepreneurship training for scientists and engineers; and career paths for postdoctoral and early career researchers. In that respect, the NAS is a programme owner.

Tasks in GENDER-NET:
- Participant to all WPs

Team member:

Catherine J. Didion (10.2013-03.2016), Former Director of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine (CWSEM) of the US National Academies

Tom Rudin Director of the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

See online : Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine at the National Research Council


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