2021 Symposium

4th Annual Chicago Women in STEM Symposium

Standing Up and Standing Out

Register HERE*
*Registration is $7 for trainees & $10 for working professionals for the entire week.

The Chicago Women in STEM Initiative was established in March of 2018 by Northwestern University postdoctoral fellows and graduate students to galvanize a local Chicago-area STEM community that actively promotes diversity, inclusion, and gender equity. Our 3rd annual symposium on March 10th in 2020 attracted over 120 participants and focused on promoting the development of tomorrow’s women leaders in STEM. 

During the 2020-2021 academic year, we have continued to fill the mentoring gap for local early career women in STEM with our monthly STEM Circuits series. We are also very excited to virtually host our 4th annual Chicago Women in STEM Symposium in March 2021, coinciding with a week-long celebration of International Women’s Day. This year’s theme will be STANDING UP and STANDING OUT, and through this Symposium we hope to celebrate local women in STEM, build a community of local students and professionals who are passionate about promoting the advancement of women in STEM, provide opportunities to share struggles and successes with like-minded scientists, and gain perspectives from influential invited women leaders. 

-Chicago Women in STEM Initiative team


• Join us for a week long virtual symposium. Stand up and Stand out with us to become future women leaders.

• Interactive workshops, panels, and keynote speaker will help participants develop tools to stand up for themselves, be a leader for others and to stand out in today’s society.

• Our keynote speaker is Dominique Carter, PhD, Agricultural Science Advisor, USDA. Using her trademark passion for science and charismatic personality, “Dr. Dom” will highlight the importance of being your own best cheerleader, advocating for yourself and your career as a woman in STEM. • The Virtual Networking and Professional Development will facilitate virtual interactions between early career women, volunteers, speakers, facilitators, and local female role models from academia and industry, as well as highlight the support of our exceptional sponsors.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday March 9th

12 pm – 12:30 pm Welcome & Opening Remarks
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Standing Up: Panel

  • Miiri Kotche, PhD, UIC Biomedical Engineering
  • Catalina Lee-Chang, PhD, NW Neurological Surgery
  • Paola Wisner, MS, VP, Hollister Incorporated
  • Jennifer Joe, MD, Vanguard Health

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Standing Up: Workshop – Sally Helgesen, Author, Speaker, & Leadership Coach “How women rise”

Wednesday March 10th

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Standing Out: Workshop – Shiz Aoki, MA, Co-founder & CEO of Biorender “Graphic design tricks & trips to make your scientific communication pop!”

Thursday March 11th

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Standing Out: Lecture – Molly Perkins, PhD, VP of Research at Stealth NewCo “Overcoming obstacles and advancing your career in a COVID world”

2:00 pm – 3:00 pmThe Researcher Journey Through a Gender Lens” – Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, PhD, VP, Research Intelligence GSN, Elsevier

Friday March 12th

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Keynote Speaker – Dominique Carter, PhD, Agricultural Science Advisor, USDA “A Woman’s Worth: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Underscores the Critical Role of Women in STEM research, policy, and advocacy”

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Virtual Networking & Professional Development

A message from our sponsor Locke Lord!
A message from our sponsor Exicure!
A message from our sponsor the Master of Science in Law Program at Northwestern University!
A message from our sponsor Proteintech!
A message from our sponsor Charles River Laboratories!