Why should I care about WiGS?

Diverse scientists bring diverse perspectives to scientific problems. If scientists are disregarded or discouraged without cause, for example due to intentional or unintentional bias, their potential to contribute to science is wasted. When everyone’s ideas are given a chance, we all benefit.


Who can come to WiGS meetings and events?

Any and all members of Genome Sciences and affiliated departments are welcome and encouraged to come to WiGS meetings and events. This includes graduate students, undergraduate researchers, post-doctoral researchers, faculty, and staff.


How do I sign up to become a WiGS member?

WiGS doesn’t have an official member roster, but you should sign up for the WiGS mailing list to get announcements about our meetings and events.

How can I stay updated on WiGS news and events?

There are several ways to stay updated:

How do I sign up for the WiGS mailing list?

Visit this webpage to sign up for the WiGS mailing list. Anyone on the list can send announcements to all the subscribers. All meeting and event announcements will be distributed through the mailing list. Many messages (such as meeting reminders and event reminders) are sent out the day of the event, so don’t sign up for digest mode or you’ll miss these last-minute messages.


How can I find out more about opportunities to participate in science outreach activities?

WiGS organizes an annual outreach event with middle school-age girls called Expanding Your Horizons. Many other outreach opportunities are available through the department outreach office, and we try to make sure these opportunities are announced on the WiGS mailing list. There’s another mailing list specifically for outreach-related announcements — visit this webpage to sign up for the GSoutreach mailing list.


Only women are allowed to come to WiGS meetings and events, right?

Wrong! Everybody is welcome at all of our events. If you think that a talk is only pertinent to women or minorities, think again. If you work with women and minority group members, these talks are pertinent to you too!


I’ve got a great idea for a WiGS event. How can I make it happen?

There are several ways to make a WiGS event happen. Send an email to womengs@uw.edu or post a comment on our contact page. If an active WiGS participant thinks your idea is exciting, they’ll make it happen. But the best way is to come to one of our organizational meetings and offer to plan the event yourself. The best events are planned by a person who’s really enthusiastic about it.


Why is the group called Women in Genome Sciences when you keep telling me that everyone is welcome?

WiGS was founded by a group of female graduate students and post-docs who were concerned about a lack of female seminar speakers, lack of recent female faculty hires, and male-oriented recruiting practices in the department. Since WiGS was founded, these issues have all improved greatly, but we don’t want to lose sight of the inspiration and purpose for the group. There is also a specific need for a group like WiGS, whereas other underrepresented groups have existing organizations to turn to such as GO-MAP and SACNAS. While we are focused on promoting women in science, we have also hosted events focusing on more general diversity and other kinds of biases in science.