Board Members





In Fall 2006, graduate women scientists from Biomedical Graduate Studies ( School of Medicine) discussed the isolation they felt in their laboratory work and their need for both scientific and social interactions; the seed was planted for what became “Women in Biomedical Graduate Studies.” An initial survey of 30 graduate women who attended the welcome meeting revealed:

  • 75% were concerned about work/life balance
  • 70% were concerned with issues of women in science
  • 80% were concerned with professional development
  • 70% wanted to hear speakers/experts on women in the workplace/ women in science
  • 50% wanted to meet and network with Penn graduate alumnae
  • 70% wanted programs that promoted relaxation and stress-relief

Initial events, including a Diet and Nutrition Q&A, a Financial Planning Q&A, and a belly dancing class, were very well-attended (25-45 graduate women).

In Spring 2007, graduate women from Physics and Biomedical Engineering joined the conversation, focusing on the need for women role models and mentors in science and engineering disciplines, advocacy and support for women-friendly policies at the University, and interdisciplinary networking between students. It quickly became clear that developing a community for Penn Graduate Women in Science and Engineering was desired. This organization set out to offer a broad range of interactive opportunities, from social events to workshops, but will also strive to advocate for and advance policies related to issues such sexual harassment, childcare, and recruitment of students and faculty.

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