Women in Science

We are Field Museum Women in Science:

  • We are dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and increasing participation of women in the sciences.
  • We strive to eliminate gender bias through education, opportunity, mentoring, and dialogue.
  • We believe that the issues surrounding the success of women of all ages are important for everyone and we welcome participation from diverse members.
2014-2016 FMWIS Theme
Enhancing and promoting diversity in science
2013 FMWIS Theme
Inspiring the next generation of women scientists in Chicago

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do we need Women in Science groups?

    The best way to overcome bias in the sciences is to create opportunities for everyone to feel welcomed.  There are several reasons why fewer women are pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) degrees, including unconscious and implicit bias favoring male candidates over women, wage gaps, sexual discrimination, and a lack of role models. For over 30 years, women pursuing careers in the  life sciences have only made up 14.8% of full professors at top-tier research institutions, and women are less likely to receive tenured positions.  Therefore, members of Field Museum Women in Science (FMWIS) group are committed to promoting the work of women and minority scientists at every stage of their academic and professional careers in order to encourage an increase of diversity in the workforce and allow for further creativity and innovation in the sciences.

  • Who can join the FMWIS?

    The FMWIS is open to everyone; anyone can apply and all are encouraged, whether you are a Field Museum staff member or volunteer, member of the community, student, or merely interested in hearing more about how you can help and become involved as a member.

  • Why should men join the FMWIS?

    In order to increase diversity in the sciences we need the support of everyone.  The only way to create welcoming environments in any field is to have support for all members of the community.  For this reason the FMWIS has from its inception valued membership and participation from women and men alike.  Please join us to ensure that the most talented scientists are supported across STEM fields and to assure that a diversity of perspectives are included in science.

  • What does membership mean?

    Membership is free and open to anyone: you will be a part of our mailing list and receive emails about upcoming lecturers and events, intern- and mentorship opportunities both with Field Museum scientists as well as external organizations, and links to relevant articles and topical discussions. Join today!

The scientific questions confronting us have never been more urgent. The need for talent to engage those questions has never been greater. We cannot afford to squander human talent in the face of these challenges. The Field Museum is committed to fighting the gender bias that has discouraged talented people from pursuing careers in science, and to providing opportunity and encouragement to all who seek answers to urgent scientific questions.

Richard Lariviere, President and CEO of The Field Museum

The Women's Board of the Field Museum is committed to supporting women in science. The inequities within the STEM fields is an issue that is felt deeply by many of us. Supporting women and encouraging their continued involvement in these fields will benefit our entire world. Too many bright young students are discouraged and dissuaded from pursuing their passions. We recently expanded our financial support from funding fellowships for doctoral candidates to include paid internships for collegiate and high school young women. Offering these opportunities to engage with and learn from Field scientists help assure that the next generation of young women continue to be inspired and hopeful for a positive future in the sciences.

Kathleen Klaeser, Field Museum Women’s Board

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