Our Mission

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, 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, and we continue to work as advocates for women and other minorities.

We accomplish our goals through planning and hosting several different types of events:

  • department seminars by phenomenal female speakers
  • alternative career and policy talks
  • journal club about current issues in science
  • outreach activities
  • social events including happy hour, brunch, and a summer BBQ

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.