World Women in Neuroscience (WWN) is an independent consulting, mentoring, and networking body with the mission and vision of promoting career development of women neuroscientists across the globe through mentoring and networking activities. In 2008 Dr. Judy Illes (Professor at University of British Columbia, Canada), and the former IBRO President Dr. Albert Aguayo initiated the WWN committee. The group functioned as an IBRO ad hoc committee for about eight years (2008 -2016) but in late 2016 the IBRO Regional Committees were required to include gender bias and diversity in their charge. Since then WWN has functioned as a separate body outside the IBRO umbrella.
The WWN Executive Committee strongly believes that there are still many disparities with regards to women in the neurosciences and sees the need to incorporate women at all levels of the scientific research enterprise. WWN’s activities have highlighted disparities regarding women in the neurosciences by promoting equality and addressing gender and minority bias within the varying regional needs and cultural traditions of women neuroscientists across the world.
Past activities have included:
- Sixteen mentoring circles (e.g., at SFN, IBRO, FENS, SONA)
- Peer mentoring in the Caribbean, Africa and East Asia
- Science Policy Forums at IBRO in South Korea (2019) and China (2012)
- Health Policy Forum at SONA in 2015 on Implicit Bias Impact on Career Success for Women Neuroscientists.
- Focus Groups in Africa, Asia, and other regions to learn about concerns and guide initiatives
- Professional development workshops at SFN
- Seed grants for six women ($2,500 each) to establish collaborations and develop concepts for grant submissions
World Women in Neuroscience aims to improve career development, mentoring and networking opportunities for female neuroscientists around the world, with special attention to women in disadvantaged regions.