UChicago, Northwestern promote women in STEM fields

The two schools are part of a collaborative that connects women scientists across the Chicago area.

By Carina Baker

UChicago and Northwestern University joined forces to launch a new network aiming to encourage scientific collaboration between women researchers.

This new initiative is part of the Chicago Collaboration for Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), a professional development program that links female researchers from both Argonne and Fermilab. The network is the latest in a series of presentations and workshops intended to assist women in STEM fields in effectively navigating their careers.

The network is intended to “stimulate networking and collaboration among participants,” especially by helping women scientists in “identifying prospective collaborators,” said Mary J. Harvey, associate provost for program development.

According to its Web site, the Chicago Collaboration currently has over 180 scientists participating in the program, including representatives from fields as diverse as neurobiology, political science, and high energy physics. Funding comes from UChicago’s and Northwestern’s provosts; the institutions seek to “diversify [their] science faculties.”

Many universities have similar networks to enable scientific researchers to collaborate more easily, according to Harvey, but “this is the first site that is exclusively for the presentation of work by women scientists and engineers.”

“We are also examining in a comparative way the climate for women scientists at our two institutions,” Harvey said.