I Want To:
- Learn more about Elizabeth McCoy: A Hidden Figure of Industrial Bacteriology.
- Read about how gender bias impacts women in science.
- Learn more about women in science with Joan Bennett.
- Read about former ASM President Robin Patel’s microbiology legacy.
- Learn more about Rebecca Lancefield’s work on the pathogenesis of streptococci.
Celebrating Women’s History Month
This March, the American Society for Microbiology joins the nation in celebrating Women's History Month by highlighting the achievements and contributions of women scientists to the field of microbiology. ASM believes that, to truly foster a culture of scientific advancement, we must offer equitable opportunities for women and historically excluded groups in STEM.
Overcoming Gender Disparities in Scientific Publishing
In 2020, ASM took a proactive 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 still 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 launched our curated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Journals Collection, which includes articles from across the portfolio of ASM's journals, with papers on the challenges faced by microbiologists from underrepresented groups and how to foster DEI and inclusive accommodations in STEM education. We have also increased our editorial boards to near gender parity, 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 and on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, religion, nationality, class, education, disability and/or social position.
ASM’s Subcommittee on the Status of Women in Microbiology (SSWiM) works together with the IDEAA Committee and other DEI-related subcommittees 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, and we are currently seeking qualified applicants who are passionate about joining us on this mission.
Source: American Society for Microbiology
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.
Women in STEM: A Profile of AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors
The AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors Program highlights influential women in STEM. This article profiles several ASM members who are program ambassadors and had their statues displayed at the Smithsonian in March 2022.
How the 1918 Flu and COVID-19 Pandemics Transformed Women's Lives
Unlike COVID-19, the 1918 flu pandemic was pivotal in advancing women's roles in the workplace and eventually the right to vote. What lessons can women today learn from the past?
Combating Microaggressions in Science: Making Science More Welcoming and Inclusive
Microaggressions are small injurious words and actions that can happen multiple times a day for some—and they add up! Making science inclusive requires that scientists to be aware of and intentional about combatting these exclusionary behaviors and perspectives.
Spotlights on Women Microbiologists
Spotlight profile articles highlight the work and experiences of microbiologists from a diversity of backgrounds and identities in science.
A Seat at the Table: Spotlight on Dr. Mary Sánchez Lanier
Dr. Mary Sánchez Lanier discusses DEI issues in the lab and urges budding scientists, especially women in STEM, to take control of their narratives and give themselves credit for their achievements.
Diversity Feeds Discovery: Spotlight on Arpita Bose
Dr. Arpita Bose, 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.
Community is Vital: Spotlight on Eva Davis
Eva Davis, a 2nd year Ph.D. student, encourages fellow early-career scientists to stay true to themselves—even when it makes others uncomfortable—and, above all, to find their people.
Featured Journals and Book Content
Scientific Societies Integrating Gender and Ethnoracial Diversity Efforts: A First Meeting Report from Amplifying the Alliance to Catalyze Change for Equity in STEM Success (ACCESS+)
This Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) article describes how scientific and professional societies play a critical role in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Gender Parity Trends for Invited Speakers at Four Prominent Virology Conference Series
Data published in the Journal of Virology focuses on aiding future organizers in achieving improved equity among the limited number of available positions for session moderators and invited speakers.
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. This March, take advantage of 2 easy ways to order a discounted copy!
Visit wiley.com/ASMbooks and use code WIM20 for 20% off print and e-book, or visit Amazon.com, where Women in Microbiology is a featured title being offered at a special discount for Kindle users.
Videos and Podcasts
Picture a Scientist: Panel Discussion
In 2021, ASM members and special guest Dr. Jane Willenbring held a screening and discussion of the film "Picture a Scientist" and the ongoing pervasive nature of sexual harassment in STEM fields.
Get Involved at ASM
Interested in becoming involved with ASM’s DEI efforts?
- Explore opportunities to volunteer for ASM’s IDEAA web writing team.
- Volunteer as a member of the Subcommittee on the Status of Women in Microbiology (SSWiM).
- Connect with peers by attending the Women's Reception at ASM Microbe 2023.