Overcoming Obstacles, Empowering Women
Supporting Today’s Women Scientists And Nurturing The Next Generation
At WISDOM, we believe diversity is the key to successful science. To help promote this ideal, we work with women scientists, students, companies in scientific fields and other interested parties around the country to empower women in science.
Our organization is dedicated to creating a supportive community where women in science can communicate and learn from one another. We’re also focused on identifying obstacles that stop women from pursuing top-tier science positions in both academia and industry. We provide the training and tools women need to empower themselves and others.
As a 501(c)(3) organization, we partner with other companies in the lab equipment manufacturing, chemical, pharmaceutical and other science-related fields to offer scholarships, internships, mentoring and other opportunities to promising women scientists.
While many organizations supporting women in the sciences approach it from an academic’s perspective, we’re taking a different approach. We’re using our experiences in industry to help drive diversity and encourage more women to build their careers in the sciences. When women take on leading positions in scientific companies, we see a real advantage in diversity and the financial success of these organizations.
A 2012 Credit Suisse study of global companies found that companies that had at least one woman on the board outperformed all-male boards by 26% over six years, while another study done at the University’s of Maryland’s business school found that having women in the top management jobs boosted firm value by $42 million.
While almost 50% of all students earning bachelor degrees in the sciences are women, those numbers drop significantly when looking at graduate and doctoral degrees. The National Science Foundation found that women earned 23% of master’s and 19% of doctorates in physics. In engineering, women earned 24% of master’s and 23% of doctorates.
While the numbers look better for the biosciences – women earned 57% of the master’s degrees and 53% of doctorates – there is clearly much room for improvement.
Looking at the Nobel Prize, just 12 women out of 214 people have won for physiology or medicine, four women out of 178 people have won for chemistry and just two women out of 206 people have won for physics. These statistics show us that, while more women are making advances in the sciences, with additional education, support and opportunities we’ll see even more women join that list.
We’ll be tackling key issues that keep women from pursuing advanced degrees in the sciences such as lack of support and resources for women with families, the need for more women mentors as well as classes designed to improve communication and other skills.
We’ll be building networks with our sponsors to create more internships and opportunities for women in the sciences.
Lastly, we’ll be celebrating the success of women in science, whether they’ve just received the Nobel Prize or were the first in their family to receive their doctorate. We’ll be regularly sharing success stories on our website that spotlight the women who are helping define the future and inspiring us all.
As we build a strong, dynamic community online, we invite everyone who’s interested in empowering women in science to join us. We want everyone to see this community as a place to have fun, empower one another and learn from our blog, videos and forums. Please join us and share your expertise, your ideas and your hopes for the community. Together we can build a world where women feel empowered to pursue fulfilling careers and leadership roles in the sciences.
WISDOM was started in 2016 by founding sponsor JULABO USA, a temperature control company. The group is lead by Executive Director Dirk Frese, Director Ralph Juchheim, President of JULABO USA, and Director Dr. Lauren Zarzar, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University.