Women in cell biology: A seat at the table and a place at the podium

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The Women in Cell Biology (WICB) committee of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) was started in the 1970s in response to the documented underrepresentation of women in academia in general and cell biology in particular. By coincidence or causal rela tionship, I am happy to say that since WICB became a standing ASCB committee, women have been well represented in ASCB's leadership and as symposium speakers at the annual meeting. However, the need to provide opportunities and information useful to women in developing their careers in cell biology is still vital, given the continuing bias women face in the larger scientific arena. With its emphasis on mentoring, many of WICB's activities benefit the development of both men and women cell biologists. The WICB "Career Column" in the monthly ASCB Newsletter is a source of accessible wisdom. At the annual ASCB meeting, WICB organizes the career discussion and mentoring roundtables, childcare awards, Mentoring Theater, career-related panel and workshop, and career recognition awards. Finally, the WICB Speaker Referral Service provides a list of outstanding women whom organizers of scientific meetings, scientific review panels, and university symposia/lecture series can reach out to when facing the proverbial dilemma, "I just don't know any women who are experts."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-60
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2013


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