50 Years of Women in Cell Biology: Where have we been? Where are we going?

Sandra K. Masur, Ursula Goodenough, Caroline M. Kane, Elizabeth Marincola, Maria Elena Zavala, Julia Omotade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It’s been 50 years since Women in Cell Biology (WICB) was founded by junior women cell biologists who found themselves neither represented at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) presentations nor receiving the information, mentoring, and sponsorship they needed to advance their careers. Since then, gender parity at ASCB has made significant strides: WICB has become a standing ASCB committee, women are regularly elected president of the ASCB, and half the symposia speakers are women. Many of WICB’s pioneering initiatives for professional development, including career panels, workshops, awards for accomplishments in science and mentoring, and career mentoring roundtables, have been incorporated and adapted into broader “professional development” that benefits all members of ASCB. The time has passed when we can assume that all women benefit equally from progress. By strategically, thoughtfully, and honestly recognizing the challenges to women of the past and today, we may anticipate those new challenges that will arise in the next 50 years. WICB, in collaboration with the ASCB, can lead in data collection and access and can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. This work will be a fitting homage to the women who, half a century ago, posted bathroom stall invitations to the first Women in Cell Biology meetup.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberpe2
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


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