University of Chicago:Using 3 R’s to Elevate Women

The University of Chicago Department of Medicine Women’s Committee (DOM WC) is excited to utilize the 3R’s approach to elevating women in academic medicine: Recognition, Representation, and Resources. The DOM WC was started in 1999 to develop and enhance the academic environment for women faculty and trainees through networking, mentorship, professional development, and advocacy. The DOM has 43% women out of 319 total faculty members. The DOM WC is composed of 25 women, including 22 faculty and 3 trainees (residents and fellows). The DOM WC is led by a chair and supported by subcommittee chairs including an advocacy committee, a professional development committee, a newsletter committee, and an awards committee. Starting in 2017, we began using a more metric based approach to the challenges that women in academics face. At this time, we focused on the 3R’s approach. First, we started with a local approach to increasing Recognition for women faculty by nominating women for local awards and then expanded into regional and national awards across many sub-specialties. We are also tracking internal and external grand rounds speaking opportunities for women faculty. For Representation, we have focused on making sure that women faculty are represented in the pictures on the walls, in leadership positions, and within our training programs. We are also working to develop and expand Resources for women faculty and trainees including adequate parental leave, childcare resources, salary equity, grant opportunities, sponsorship opportunities, and support for women faculty in other departments across our institution.