About Us


We are an organization of working professionals, including postdocs and graduate students, at the University of Minnesota. Our objective is to enable and empower women to fulfill their career goals and to reach the highest level of leadership while advocating gender equality for all in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This group is for woman identified, non-binary, and ally scientists at the University of Minnesota to get connected! If you're a graduate student, postdoc, faculty, staff, resident, or otherwise in a STEM field -- join! By connecting, we can establish collaborations, support, mentoring and share insights to promote women and gender minorities in science. We welcome participation from non-women-identified allies who are looking for ways to improve experiences for all people in STEM.

EWIS was founded in the winter of 2016. The idea came from then-graduate student Emily Thompson, who recognized a need for a community of women scientists to empower each other. She catalyzed the formation of the group, which then consisted of postdocs, grad students, and staff located in the Center for Immunology. We have since grown and expanded our reach outside of the CFI to empower all women in STEM across UMN and Minnesota. We are a small but growing team of graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, researchers, and faculty advisors. Learn more about our mission and our steering committee, and email ewis@umn.edu to get involved.

The EWIS logo was inspired by the famous "Photo 51," an x-ray diffraction image of DNA taken by a graduate student under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin. This image was key in identifying the structure of DNA, which was later attributed to Watson and Crick (and for which they were awarded the Nobel prize). This photo exemplifies the diminishment and historic silencing of the contributions of women to science. Our logo is also reminiscent of reverberating sound waves, symbolizing our goal to amplify the voices of women in science and to empower them to thrive in their fields. The logo was designed by talented artist and medical illustrator Michelle Davis.

Our group is sponsored by the Center for Immunology within the University of Minnesota Medical School and by a Gender Equity Grant from The Women's Center.