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A Summary Report from the Research Partnership on Women in Science Careers

  • Phyllis L. Carr
  • Deborah Helitzer
  • Karen Freund
  • Alyssa Westring
  • Richard McGee
  • Patricia B. Campbell
  • Christine V. Wood
  • Amparo Villablanca
Original Research

Abstract

Background

In response to the landmark report “Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering,” the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health issued a request for applications that funded 14 R01 grants to investigate causal factors to career success for women in STEM. Following completion of the 4-year grants, the grant PIs formed a grassroots collaborative, the Research Partnership on Women in Science Careers.

Objective

To summarize the work of the Research Partnership, which resulted in over 100 publications.

Methods

We developed six themes to organize the publications, with a “Best Practices” for each theme at the end of each section: Barriers to Career Advancement; Mentoring, Coaching, and Sponsorship; Career Flexibility and Work-Life Balance; Pathways to Leadership; Compensation Equity; and Advocating for Change and Stakeholder Engagement.

Results

Women still contend with sexual harassment, stereotype threat, a disproportionate burden of family responsibilities, a lack of parity in compensation and resource allocation, and implicit bias. Strategies to address these barriers using the Bronfenbrenner ecological model at the individual, interpersonal, institutional, academic community, and policy levels include effective mentoring and coaching, having a strong publication record, addressing prescriptive gender norms, positive counter-stereotype imaging, career development training, networking, and external career programs such as the AAMC Early and Mid-Career Programs and Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM).

Conclusions

Cultural transformation is needed to address the barriers to career advancement for women. Implementing the best practices noted of the work of the Research Partnership can help to achieve this goal.

KEY WORDS

women’s careers biomedical sciences leadership mentoring work-life balance institutional climate 

Notes

Funding Information

Funding for the research reported in this article was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Science and the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, under award number R01 GM088470.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Presentations

There are no presentations to report.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11606_2018_4547_MOESM1_ESM.docx (12 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 12 kb)

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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis L. Carr
    • 1
  • Deborah Helitzer
    • 2
  • Karen Freund
    • 3
  • Alyssa Westring
    • 4
  • Richard McGee
    • 5
  • Patricia B. Campbell
    • 6
  • Christine V. Wood
    • 5
  • Amparo Villablanca
    • 7
  1. 1.Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Arizona College of Health SolutionsPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.Tufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  4. 4.Driehaus College of BusinessDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc.GrotonUSA
  7. 7.Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine, Davis School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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