Welcome to WiC+
We are a primarily graduate student- and postdoc-focused organization that aims to foster relationships between women and gender-minorities (“women+”) in the University of Chicago’s Department of Chemistry. We aim to create a supportive environment for women+ in chemistry and promote diversity and inclusivity in STEM by hosting monthly social and/or professional development events, meeting with visiting speakers, and performing outreach activities to the local Hyde Park community.
Check out the flyers for our upcoming events below:
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One of the main functions of WiC+ is to foster a community where women+ scientists can feel comfortable and supported. Thus, WiC+ holds quarterly dinners and sponsors bonding activities (i.e., craft nights, ice skating, bowling, etc.) for members.
We also have a tradition of senior graduate students mentoring women+ students of the incoming graduate class, to help them navigate through any transitions or hurdles as they adjust to graduate life at UChicago. As of 2022, the WiC+ Mentorship Program is opt-in; any first-year student interested in having a WiC+ mentor can contact the board, which will then carefully pair the student with one of the many senior graduate students who have volunteered to be mentors.
Women+ are often at a disadvantage when starting their careers due to many implicit and institutional biases in STEM. WiC+ offers professional development events where members can learn the ins-and-outs of early career tactics to stay competitive scientists despite the prejudices.
WiC+ has worked with UChicago’s myCHOICE to sponsor student attendance to workshops, hosted career talks by Chemistry faculty, arranged breakfasts with visiting speakers, and screened webinars on professionalism.
WiC+ members have a passion for sharing science. To date we have hosted booths and demos at various local science festivals aimed at all ages. Not only do we want people to be engaged in science, but we also want to demonstrate the presence of women+ in chemistry.
We have participated in the first annual Southside Science Festival, the annual Physics with a Bang!, and Girls4Science.
Besides providing the space for students to relax, we also want to nurture discussions between students on how diversity and biases have influenced the careers of women+ in chemistry, and in STEM generally. We organize a safe space for students to come together and analyze an article, book, documentary, or case study. Students discuss how to react to situations as an underrepresented group in STEM, instances of biases that they have experienced or witnessed, and what can be done to improve equality and intersectionality in chemistry (both broadly and specifically in our department).
WiC+ is run by elected graduate students and is funded as a UChicago RSO and by the Department of Chemistry.