Where are we at re: Women in Neuroscience? As a field, we made important strides toward increasing the representation of women in neuroscience, but we still have a long way to go. We know that women make up half of all trainees (graduate and postdoctoral), but that as women progress through neuroscience career ladders, this proportion drastically decreases, as evidenced by their significantly lower levels of representation at the faculty and leadership levels (Metitieri & Mele, 2021). Importantly, we know that this gap is even more dramatic for women from historically excluded backgrounds (Sibener et al., 2022). In addition, the opportunities for women to secure research funding is also lower than for men, and women’s likelihood of holding multiple grants is drastically reduced compared to white men (Kaiser, 2023). Collectively, these factors and others demonstrate the continuing need to highlight, elevate, and support women in neuroscience.
Utah Women in Neuroscience (UWiN) was born out of the need to support the career development, advancement, and retention of women in neuroscience, with an emphasis on highlighting the uniqueness of the path to neuroscience that often characterizes a woman’s journey. Towards this goal, UWiN engages in several activities aimed at advancing the representation of women in neuroscience and seeks to draw support from across the neuroscience community in Utah to achieve this goal.
What we do. UWiN provides networking opportunities for trainees, empowerment activities, and additional mechanisms to support women neuroscientists. This includes hosting social networking hours, self-defense classes, women in science panels, career development workshops, and educational mentorship activities to engage young girls in STEM. Our flagship event is our monthly “UWiN Coffee & Bagels Chat” which we hold with a woman scientist who is visiting the University of Utah to present their research. This informal event highlights women speakers and provides an opportunity for trainees to hear first-hand the unscripted, “real” story behind each woman scientist. These events help to de-mystify what it means to be a woman scientist, and help reveal the many (often winding) paths a successful scientist can take in academia.
Who we are. UWiN is run by a small group of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty at the University of Utah. These include: Nicole Losurdo, Donzelle Taylor, Danielle Lopez, Dr. Rebecca Pfeiffer, Dr. Megan Williams, and Dr. Moriel Zelikowsky.
UWiN encourages ANYONE and EVERYONE interested in the advancement and support of women in neuroscience to attend any of our events. Changing the face of neuroscience will require the involvement of the entire community. PLEASE JOIN US AND HELP US DIVERSIFY THE SPACE.