Women in Genome Sciences (WiGS) is a group of genome scientists working to make our department and our field more accepting. We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to be successful in science, regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, class, age, nationality, ability, religion etc. These aspects of our selves should not affect how we are respected as scientists.
WiGS was started in 2006 by a group of graduate students, staff, and postdocs who noticed an underrepresentation of females in recently recruited students and recent faculty hires. Led by Joanna Kelly, Charla Lambert, Kiran Dhillon, Laura Certain, Genn Merrihew, Rori Rohlfs, and Diane Dickel, WiGS set out to address female recruitment and retention issues within the department. Many positive changes have improved the gender balance in the department. Recently, we have broadened our focus to improve other types of diversity within the department as well. We’re also interested in examining how our research ultimately affects minorities and society at large.
We accomplish our goals through planning and hosting several different types of events:
- department seminars by speakers from many varied backgrounds
- talks by department alumni
- policy talks
- alternative career talks
- career transition talks
- outreach activities (in cooperation with GS outreach)
- annual WiGS barbeque
We encourage all members of the department (students, faculty, staff, postdocs, male, female… everyone!) who are interested in these issues to join us at WiGS-hosted events and at our monthly organizational meetings.