The Weizmann Institute of Science is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science.
Weizmann Institute President Prof. Daniel Zajfman says, “The incongruence in the number of women scientists is not just a problem for women, but for science itself. Science must be multicultural, and women make their mark and improve science with their own unique perspective—without it, we would be missing a piece of the puzzle.”
To date, 116 women have participated in the program, the impact of which is best measured by the percentage of recipients who have gone on to attain faculty-track positions in Israel: about 65%. A decade ago, women comprised only 14% of the Weizmann Institute’s active faculty; today, the figure stands at 18%. Just this year, five of the 14 new hires are women—an unprecedented percentage. Of those five women, four are former recipients of the postdoc award.
At the 69th Annual General Meeting of the International Board, a special session was held, “Marking a Decade of Achievements of the Women in Science Program.” The session began with opening remarks by Prof. Daniella Goldfarb, the President’s Advisor for Advancing Women in Science, and Ms. Ellen Merlo, Chair, American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.
The session continued with a panel discussion of six past recipients of the Israel National Postdoctoral Award for Advancing Women in Science who are now leading their own labs in Israel. The panel was moderated by Dr. Liad Mudrik from Tel-Aviv University. The women all agreed that the award gave them the necessary push forward that they needed—both psychologically and financially—in order to pursue their academic career path.