CINCINNATI—A Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) group has launched at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to address issues advocating for women’s advancement and leadership in academic medicine.
UC’s College of Medicine WIMS is an affiliate of the "Group on Women in Medicine and Science” (GWIMS)—a national organization run through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Erin Haynes, DrPH, associate professor of Environmental Health, was inspired to start a group here after attending an AAMC Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar. Following the meeting, Haynes became the university’s designee and started talking to several other women faculty and administrators about formally organizing a WIMS group for the college. The first meeting was called September 30, 2015 and has met monthly (last Wednesday of each month at noon) since then. The group has grown from about 20 to over 60 women faculty in attendance.
"WIMS is dedicated to the recruitment, advancement and retention of all women faculty and trainees in the College of Medicine,” says Haynes, the newly elected president of WIMS. "We want to work collectively to advance the careers and leaderships skills of our women faculty and trainees in both basic and clinical sciences. Our goal is to ultimately improve the work environment for all faculty within the College of Medicine.”
In January, the group approved a mission statement and bylaws, and in February, they voted on their inaugural executive committee members who will serve a one-year term. The executive committee members are:
- President: Erin Haynes, DrPH, associate professor, Department of Environmental Health
- Secretary: Jennifer Forrester, MD, assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine
- Treasurer: Mercedes Falciglia, MD, associate professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Basic Science Representatives:
- Alison Weiss, PhD, professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology
- Hala Elnakat Thomas, PhD, research instructor, Department of Internal Medicine
Clinical Science Representatives:
- Jennifer Cavitt, MD, associate professor, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine
- Pamposh Kaul, MD, associate professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
WIMS is forming subcommittees to address specific issues including benefits policies and mentoring as well as committees geared towards fundraising and data.
One of the first issues the group is working on is an assessment of benefits policies for faculty, looking particularly at parental leave policies among other peer institutions and companies. This will be the focus of the March meeting.
Based on data from 2014, provided by UC Human Resources, women make up 32 percent of the College of Medicine full-time faculty. The percentage of women and men assistant professors is fairly similar (41 versus 59 percent), yet is disparate at the full professor level (22 versus 78 percent).
The next WIMS meeting will be held on March 30 from 12-1:30 pm in MSB 7051. Membership is currently open to women faculty, postdoctoral fellows and trainees in the College of Medicine. UC LEAF, or "Leadership, Empowerment and Advancement of Women in Stem Faculty,” will sponsor lunch.