Celebrating the Achievements of Women Microbiologists

The American Society for Microbiology celebrates the achievements and contributions of women scientists to the field of microbiology. We believe that the various perspectives, experiences and backgrounds of our diverse membership enhance innovation, broaden the research agenda and further scientific advancement.

Overcoming Gender Disparities in Scientific Publishing

In 2020, we took a step toward addressing gender inequity by conducting a study of manuscripts accepted to our own journals, finding that women are underrepresented in publications and are more likely to have their submissions rejected. The results were discouraging but provide key insight as to what our organization must accomplish to combat gender biases.

ASM Journals adopted a policy enabling publications to reflect name changes made for personal reasons including, but not limited to, marriage, divorce, religious conversion and gender identity change. 

In 2023, we also launched a curated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Journals Collection, which features articles across the ASM Journals portfolio, including papers on the challenges faced by microbiologists from underrepresented groups and how to foster DEI and inclusive accommodations in STEM education. We have also moved closer to gender parity on our editorial boards, including our editors in chief. We hope to pilot new initiatives for further equity and transparency in the future.

Addressing Wage Gaps in the Microbial Sciences

In addition to addressing gender disparities in scientific publishing, ASM acknowledges that proactive steps must be taken to address wage gaps in the microbial sciences. ASM’s Microbiology Salary Survey allows members to compare their salary and compensation packages with those of their peers and can help break down pay equity barriers across the broader microbial sciences community and various industries.

Committing to Inclusive Diversity with Equity, Access and Accountability (IDEAA)

ASM is acutely aware that there is more work to be done and will continue to advocate for policies that combat sexual harassment and promote gender equity. We advocate for affirmative steps to address and eliminate discrimination and harassment at all levels.

ASM’s Subcommittee on the Status of Women in Microbiology (SSWiM) works together with the IDEAA Committee, the Subcommittee on the Status of Historically Excluded Groups and the Subcommittee on Minority Education to ensure IDEAA is elevated, embodied and embraced within ASM and throughout the microbial sciences. SSWiM is dedicated to providing support for women microbiologists as they progress along their career paths. 

Source: American Society for Microbiology

Featured Articles

We prioritize the creation of robust content that celebrates DEI achievements in the microbial sciences, elevates the voices of scientists from historically underrepresented groups and identifies and engages with the work that still needs to be done to ensure the field of microbiology promotes IDEAA.

Ruth E. Moore: Remarkable Achievements in an Invisible Life

Ruth Ella Moore, Ph.D., is a remarkable microbiology prototype for Black scientists and for all women. Details of her incredible story remain uncaptured, until now.

Suniti Solomon: India’s Preeminent HIV Researcher & Activist

After identifying India’s first documented cases of HIV, Suniti Solomon, Ph.D., kickstarted the country’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Her efforts saved—and continue to save—thousands of lives.

Esther Lederberg and the Rise of Microbial Genetics 

Esther Lederberg, Ph.D., was a pioneer in bacterial genetics. Though overshadowed by those of her colleagues (who were men), recognizing her contributions is key to bringing her legacy out of the shadows. 

Featured Spotlights

Spotlight profile articles highlight the work and experiences of microbiologists from a diversity of backgrounds and identities in science.

Inclusive Mentoring: Spotlight on Brendaliz Santiago-Narvaez 

Brendaliz Santiago-Narvaez, Ph.D., champions the importance of representation and encourages aspiring scientists to embrace imperfection and seize as many opportunities as they can. 

Diversity Feeds Discovery: Spotlight on Arpita Bose

Arpita Bose, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology at Washington University, solves challenging problems, like climate change, and credits her unique approach to problem solving to a diverse background.

Not If, But When: Spotlight on Chelsey Spriggs

Chelsey Spriggs, Ph.D., encourages early-career scientists to believe in themselves and throw out the ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ as they pursue their goals—and find community to support them.

Featured Journals and Book Content

Scientific Societies Integrating Gender and Ethnoracial Diversity Efforts

This Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) article is a meeting report from Amplifying the Alliance to Catalyze Change for Equity in STEM Success (ACCESS+). It discusses how scientific and professional societies play a critical role in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Highly Cited Research by Women Microbiologists

ASM Journals honors the remarkable contributions of women to the microbial sciences, as well as allies who have championed equity, diversity and inclusion for the sustainable growth of microbial science education and research. In the realm of microbiology, women have left indelible marks, and we are proud to feature research by women microbiologists in this influential collection of research articles.

Women in Microbiology

Women in Microbiology is an inspiring ASM-Wiley title that tells the stories of microbiologists who overcame obstacles and shattered barriers to create a more inclusive environment for scientists today.

Featured Videos and Podcasts

Women Scientists Discuss Representation in Microbiology

Women microbiologists reflect on the importance of representation in the microbial sciences and offer advice for early career scientists.

Arise Firebird Screening

Arise Firebird celebrates the indomitable spirit of women and people from historically underrepresented groups in the workplace, highlighting the need for fostering a supportive and engaging environment where every individual can thrive. The post-screening webinar discusses the documentary film and building more inclusive workplaces in the microbial sciences.

All Hail Females: Women in Science with Joan Bennett

Joan Bennett, Ph.D., talks about how the scientific accomplishments of women have been frequently overlooked.

Minority Mixer at ASM Microbe 2022.

Minority Mixer at ASM Microbe 2022.

Source: American Society for Microbiology

Get Involved at ASM

Interested in becoming involved with ASM’s DEI efforts?