The Chemistry Women Mentorship Network (ChemWMN): A Tool for Creating Critical Mass in Academic Chemistry

Cossairt, Dempsey, & Young / American Chemical Society / October 2019

Despite a growing number of women obtaining Ph.D. degrees in the physical sciences, a critical gap still exists in the advancement of women into and within the academic workforce. Women now earn about 40% of the Ph.D.s in the field of chemistry, yet they comprise less than 20% of tenure-line faculty. The factors influencing women’s deviation from the “academic track” are complex, but the lack of women role models and supportive mentoring is a predominant reason. Women typically do not receive the same level and frequency of mentorship as their male counterparts, likely because of the gender disparity within the academy. Recognizing the need for enhanced mentorship of women interested in furthering their academic careers, we founded the Chemistry Women Mentorship Network (ChemWMN) in 2013 to provide interinstitutional mentor matching of graduate students and postdocs with women faculty members.