Medicine is integral in science: Which is why we are fully integrating 500 Women in Medicine into 500 Women Scientists

In December 2018, we launched 500 Women in Medicine (500WIM) as a satellite of the main 500 Women Scientists organization in an effort to reach more women in the medical sciences. Many women in medicine do not identify as scientists but do engage in scientific inquiry and research as part of their jobs. Our goal was to create a home within 500 Women Scientists for these women and to bring attention to the underrepresentation of women in medicine more broadly. Over the last year, 500WIM has grown, created an internal leadership team, published a number of articles, developed a resource center, attended a number of medical conferences, and connected with many women across medical fields.

In working with the 500WIM team, the broader 500 Women Scientists leadership has gotten a better sense of the breadth of equity and inclusion challenges that permeate the medical sciences and we have worked to tailor the organization’s outreach efforts to be more inclusive across all scientific disciplines, including medicine. In doing so, we came to realize that medical sciences and other scientific disciplines are not that far apart — both the challenges and the solutions we must enact are very similar. As a result, we are fully integrating 500 Women in Medicine into 500 Women Scientists.

How did we reach this decision?

The last year has been about learning and we know this is all part of our journey towards making science open, inclusive, and accessible. We strive to reach and support women in and across all science fields and work to enact institutional and culture change to ensure all underrepresented groups have the chance to thrive and succeed in science. Part of what we have learned over the last year is that having a satellite organization focused on medicine sends a mixed message about what kinds of experts are considered “scientists,” undermining our goal of inclusion. We believe that fully integrating 500WIM within 500 Women Scientists will help everyone involved center our shared mission to advance inclusion, equity and justice across all our scientific fields.

What does this mean for people who are involved in the organizations?

First and foremost, if you have been involved in 500WIM, you are absolutely welcome in 500 Women Scientists; we are eager for your input and participation. If you have not already done so, join a local pod (we have “pods” or local chapters all over the world), contribute to our campaigns, and consider involvement in the organization’s leadership. Members of the current 500WIM leadership team will continue to weigh in on various projects, such as revamping the Request a Woman Scientist platform, and many will continue on the 500WS leadership team. If you’ve been involved in any ongoing work with 500WIM, you should be getting an update from project leads shortly. If you haven’t received an update, please reach out to medicine@500womenscientists.org.

We thank everyone for their involvement and contribution to 500WIM and for their dedication to making science more open, inclusive and accessible.

Sincerely,

500 Women Scientists Leadership Team

Working to make science open, inclusive, and accessible.

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