Molly Carnes Breaks Through Biases

As the [Center for Women’s Health Research] director, she developed a strong network of women across campus who, like her, were investigating gender bias in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). When the National Science Foundation introduced its ADVANCE Program to increase participation of women in STEM careers, Carnes added another “M” for medicine and applied for a $3.75 million grant with a co-principal investigator, Jo Handelsman, PhD, who now is the director of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at UW-Madison, as well as a professor in the UW College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. In 2002, upon helping to create the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute® (WISELI), Carnes’ work took another turn.

As WISELI co-director, she began to focus on organizational change and went deep into experimental social science research, which was generally absent from medical education.

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