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Women continue to make history at the Wyss Institute

The Wyss celebrates Women’s History Month by recognizing some of the extraordinary role models who are changing the world

Women continue to make history at the Wyss Institute
Learn how Tiffany Lin, Haleh Fotowat, and other women at the Wyss are making history by browsing the photos below. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

As an accomplished scientific trailblazer, Wyss Associate Faculty member Sangeeta Bhatia has been advocating for gender equality throughout her academic career. Gender inequality in the biotech industry became painfully clear for her when she took a yearlong sabbatical to focus on one of her startups. Nearly half of all biotech employees are women, yet they only account for 31% of executives and 23% of CEOs. To address this problem, Bhatia, and colleagues from MIT, Susan Hockfield, and Nancy Hopkins, launched the Future Founders Initiative in 2020 to increase the female faculty members who start biotech companies.

But how can changes be made? It’s clear that there needs to be a shift; only 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the United States is comprised of women. And those women continue to face hurdles as they advance in their careers.

One important step in decreasing the gender gap in STEM and biotech is to increase the amount of representation and number of role models that girls and young women are exposed to. The more familiar they are with examples of women in these fields, the easier it is to believe that they can be successful too.

The Wyss recognizes there’s work to be done and it must start somewhere. Our female faulty are excellent mentors to young women scientists looking to pursue a variety of career paths. In 2021, 40% of our Wyss Lumineers (people who left with Wyss-enabled startups) were women, taking on founding and leadership roles.

Each day, women of the Wyss are influencing the future by developing high-impact technologies and acting as role models for young girls thinking about pursuing careers in STEM. We invite you to join us in celebrating some of our brilliant women by browsing the gallery below and learning how they are changing the world.

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