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Women in STEM: Picture a Scientist

Bioengineering Diversity Council's Town Hall addresses issues of gender parity

January 29, 2021: Women from all different stages of their scientific careers, from undergraduate students through the UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Research, met virtually to share their experiences as women in STEM for the UC San Diego Bioengineering Diversity Council’s Winter Quarter Town Hall. Stephanie Fraley, professor of bioengineering and chair of the Bioengineering Diversity Council, mediated a discussion among six panelists addressing topics from the film “Picture a Scientist,” including gendered harassment and discrimination. 

In addition to Fraley, the panelists included Sandra Brown, UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Research; Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia, professor of engineering at MIT and director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at MIT; Daniela Valdez-Jasso, a professor of bioengineering at UC San Diego; Maya Rowell, a bioengineering PhD student and a Jacobs School Racial Equity Fellow; and Rafaela Simoes-Torigoe, a bioengineering undergraduate student. 

During the discussion, the panelists shared their experiences navigating the “minority time tax,” developing a work-life balance, setting boundaries for the diversity-promoting efforts they’re asked to participate in, and addressing the outright bullying and stereotyping they’ve witnessed. The group also shared some actionable steps to create a truly inclusive research community. 

Read a thorough recap of the discussion here. 

The UC San Diego Bioengineering Diversity Council promotes the interests and advancement of women and minorities in the bioengineering department at the Jacobs School of Engineering. 

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