Our Women in Science Career Issues group began as a small contingent of individuals having discussions relating to gender bias in science careers, and within 6 months grew to a core team of a dozen members. The group meets monthly for 1-1.5 hours at an off campus site to discuss career development issues relating to gender communications. The overall goal of this group is to encourage an open exchange of ideas and information among men and women in scientific academic careers to promote career advancement and engage in active problem-solving. The group provides an honest and supportive environment that fosters an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust.
Participation by both men and women, and by persons of a wide range of career stages, (graduate students, assistant professors, associate professors and full professors, special and tenure tract appointments ranging from early career to senior faculty members) has afforded a diversity of ideas and perspectives during wide-ranging discussions. Topics have included published literature and life experience, communication hurdles, multi-generational workplaces, gender bias in the workplace and at scientific conferences, and differences in gender roles in the workplace. Tangible outcomes from these conversations have included: (1) helping to initiate one of the Ripple Effect-funded discussion groups; (2) advising individuals during negotiation and career decision-making processes; and, (3) encouragement to forge new collaborations.
Over the past year members of this group have realized the positive impact this community has on their career paths, and we have received contact from individuals outside of this group with considerable interest in establishing additional similar groups at Colorado State University (CSU).