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U Chicago, Northwestern Open Professional Development Network for Women in STEM

Northwestern University and the University of Chicago have joined forces to open a professional development program for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The network, part of the Chicago Collaboration for Women in STEM — operated by both U Chicago and Northwestern — is designed to help female researchers connect with one another and advance their careers; to identify obstacles for women in STEM disciplines; to develop programs and policies that can serve as models for universities; to help with career planning; and to help encourage women to consider leadership roles, according to information released by Northwestern

Part of the effort includes an "expert portal," targeted toward researchers at U Chicago, Northwestern, Fermilab, and Argonne National Laboratory (though also open to the public). The portal, built on Elsevier's SciVal Experts platform, includes researcher profiles, publications, a community forum, access to the DIRECT Experts Network, and other tools.

"This multi-institutional research networking system is designed to stimulate networking and collaboration across disciplinary and institutional boundaries while promoting women in STEM disciplines," said Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, associate provost for faculty at Northwestern, in a prepared statement. "We hope that it will serve as a prototype for collaborative efforts to launch similar sites in other locations."

"Though women now receive half the doctorates in science and engineering in the United States, they make up only 21 percent of full science professors and only about 5 percent of full engineering professors," said Mary Harvey, associate provost for program development at the University of Chicago. "A networking site that female science faculty can leverage to identify potential female research collaborators is an important step to improving these numbers."

"In the past 10 years we have made great strides in increasing the presence of women in STEM careers, which is a vital part to broadening the pool of research scientists in the U.S.," said Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, vice president of global academic and research relations for Elsevier. "The next step to fuel the talent pipeline is supporting these women in their respective careers, making them more discoverable and enhancing their networks."

Further information can be found on the Chicago Collaboration for Women in STEM site or the expert portal.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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