Achieving Gender Equality in Science, Engineering and Medicine – Seven Actionable Strategies for Advancing Women

Written by New York Stem Cell Foundation

Gender equality has not yet been achieved in science, medicine, and engineering, but NYSCF, through its Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering, is committed to making sure progress is made.

NYSCF convened the Inaugural Meeting of its Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering (IWISE) Working Group in February 2014, where the group put forward seven actionable strategies for advancing women in science, medicine, and engineering, and reconvened in February 2015 to further develop the strategies.

The recommendations, published in Cell Stem Cell, were divided into three categories: direct financial support strategies, psychological and cultural strategies, and major collaborative and international initiatives. The group chose to highlight the most high-impact and implementable strategies from a larger list developed during the meeting. They also sought to promote promising, long-term initiatives that will require significant collaboration among multiple stakeholders with the aim of connecting potential partners.

Changing financing structures, embedded cultural norms, and tying funding to gender balance to enact real change are the pillars underlying the seven strategies recommended by the Working Group.

The seven strategies include:

  1. Implement flexible family care spending
  2. Provide “extra hands” awards
  3. Recruit gender-balanced external review committees and speaker selection committees
  4. Incorporate implicit bias statements
  5. Focus on education as a tool
  6. Create an institutional report card for gender equality
  7. Partner to expand upon existing searchable databases of women in science, medicine, and engineering

The IWISE Working Group reconvened in February 2015 to continue to work on the Institutional Report Card for Gender Equality. The paper published in Cell Stem Cell includes the proposed Phase 1 Institutional Report Card, and the group plans to release the Phase 2 report card once finalized.

The IWISE Working Group hopes that funders and institutions will join with NYSCF to implement these and other policies, so that progress can continue to be made.

To learn more about this initiative please visit the NYSCF website at