Women in Neuroscience

Science is stronger with the expertise and input of diverse voices, including women.

SfN is committed to the continued advancement of women in neuroscience. The Society provides opportunities to highlight the scientific excellence of women neuroscientists, address the challenges women may confront in academic and other professional settings, educate about and overcome gender-bias, and advance training opportunities for women.


Programs and Activities:

Department Chair Training to Increase Diversity (IWiN)
Through IWiN, SfN seeks to provide concrete strategies focusing on recruitment, advancement, and creating a favorable work climate for female faculty and faculty from diverse backgrounds in neuroscience and neuroscience-related departments and programs.

Annual Celebration of Women in Neuroscience Luncheon
SfN honors women in neuroscience with the Celebration of Women in Neuroscience event each year at the SfN annual meeting.

Awards and Prizes:

SfN offers awards honoring individuals, both male and female, who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women in neuroscience:

Other Resources:

A Tale of Two Sexes
This year marks the first time that the largest Neuroscience societies in the U.S. and Europe are led by females. Carol Mason and Marian Joëls discuss the challenges that women face in moving through the ranks of academia and propose ways to increase women’s representation in the field.

Neuroscience Quarterly Article by President Carol Mason on Women in Neuroscience
Carol Mason urges all female scientists to take a seat at the table. Only by having more women in positions of influence will more equitable opportunities be created for everyone.

Threats to Objectivity in Peer Review: The Case of Gender
To illustrate how cognitive bias unrelated to the merit of the science could influence scientific peer review, the potential impact of applicant gender on the judgment of reviewers is described.

Policy: NIH to Balance Sex in Cell and Animal
NIH plans to address the issue of sex and gender inclusion across biomedical research multi-dimensionally — through program oversight, review and policy, as well as through collaboration with stakeholders including publishers.

Study Explores Where High Number of Women Earn STEM Degrees
Research from the University of Kansas shows that master's degree institutions that are doing the best in granting degrees to women in those fields are also the best at employing women in leadership positions within the disciplines.

Stuck in the Out-Group: Jennifer Can't Grow Up, Jane's Invisible, and Janet's Over the Hill
The authors present three vignettes to illustrate how gender stereotypes can also operate to disadvantage women in social interactions by positioning them in the “out-group” for many career-advancing opportunities.

Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?
In 2013, researchers at Yale published a study proving that physicists, chemists and biologists are likely to view a young male scientist more favorably than a woman with the same qualifications.Eileen Pollack, one of the first two women to earn a bachelor of science degree in physics from Yale, explores why and explains why she gave up on her dream.