The Women in Academic Medicine Committee was established as a standing committee of the School of Medicine in 1993 to address issues of concern that affect women faculty including career advancement, career satisfaction, participation by women on decision-making bodies at OHSU, pay equity, discrimination, and parenting and schedule flexibility issues.
On July 1, 2019, after a careful review process and stakeholder meetings, the committee expanded to become an OHSU-wide committee representing all schools, affiliated units, and the College of Pharmacy, and a structured standing committee within the OHSU Faculty Senate. Our new name is the Women in Academic Health and Medicine Committee.
All perspectives dedicated to the advancement of women medical and graduate students and residents are sought. Recommendations from the committee are designed to benefit all members of the academic units and the entire OHSU community.
Latest annual conference: January 2020
This year's event was "Creating Structural Change to Promote Equity," with keynote speaker Beverly Emerson, Ph.D.
In their own words
"For me, I see WAM serving the role of assuring that women who are currently residents at OHSU have a tangible example of an academic center who cares about the advancement of women in academia as a whole. WAM has the unique opportunity to inspire young women residents to strive to become successful clinicians in a supportive academic environment. I believe this role is extremely important in the greater goal of populating the medical community with an equal and diverse representation of the population it serves." - Rachel C. Danczyk, M.D., Resident, Department of Surgery
"The women and academic medicine committee serves the distinct goal to increase the visibility, leadership, and professional success of women faculty at OHSU. I believe in the important work of this committee, who continue to influence and improve opportunities for both women and men on campus and uphold the diversification mission of the institution in tangible and effective ways." - Rebecca Harrison, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
"WAM has been beneficial in establishing contacts for me and in productive environment to voice concerns in and brain storm about solutions." - Kirsten J Lampi, M.S., Ph.D., Professor, Integrative Biosciences, School of Dentistry
"WAM is important to me because the equality of women and men is integral to the advancement of humanity on the individual, institutional, community and world level. WAM is one avenue to help improve the status and contributions of women in all areas of OHSU and thereby the population it serves." - John D. Ng, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.S., Professor, Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery
"I have always been an advocate of preserving a healthy work-life balance for all physicians – an issue that is particularly important to women in academic medicine. My wife is a radiation oncologist and has given me a first-hand appreciation of the needs and desires of women in medicine." - Y Pritham Raj, M.D., F.A.C.P., Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry
"The future of academic medicine depends on its ability to attract and retain talented young men and women by offering opportunities that afford success and satisfaction in both their professional and personal lives. For OHSU to succeed in this mission, it must identify and eliminate institutional barriers to success and provide more institutional support, not just for women but for the sake of attracting a diverse work force. It is a fact that although equal numbers of men and women enter academic medicine; women have been less likely than men to be promoted or to serve in leadership positions. I see my role on the WAM committee as important for the process that identifies where inequities exist in career trajectories and supports policy to promote institutional change at OHSU that not only value the talents of all our faculty, but benefit from their unique insights and perspectives." - Charles E. Roselli, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Strategy for advancing women leaders
Women remain underrepresented in mid career and senior level positions in leadership and promotion at OHSU. WAHM’s priority is to establish a specific strategy for advancing women faculty leaders to higher level leadership positions at OHSU. We provide funding for training programs to equip women to lead.
Tracking process for advancement of women leaders
Create specific processes to insure internal promotion of women at OHSU; specific examples would be tracking how many women move from junior faculty to positions of leadership (defined as division chair, FPP leadership, etc.) within OHSU. Provide transparency as to the operations of this process.
Avenues of expanding the focus on women
In addition to the university’s strategic focus on diversity, expand the focus on women faculty affairs. Ensure that there is a critical mass of women, rather than a token few, in executive positions which interface with OHSU strategic decisions.
WAHM committee members serve the distinct goal to increase the visibility, leadership, and professional success of women faculty at OHSU. The important work of this committee continues to influence and improve opportunities for both women and men on campus and upholds the diversification mission of the institution in tangible and effective ways.
WAHM committee members help to identify where inequities exist in career trajectories and support policy to promote institutional change at OHSU that not only value the talents of all our faculty, but benefit from their unique insights and perspectives.
Representation of women in leadership at OHSU
WAM highlighted the lack of women on the Faculty Practice Plan committee (FPP) and the President’s advisory council to the Dean and President. We recruited OHSU women faculty who are ready to serve on these committees, sent these names to the leaders overseeing the make up of these committees, then followed up with face-to-face meetings with former leaders Dean Richardson and President Robertson to assess the process of diversifying leadership and discussed the need of creating a process to improve the pipeline/training of women in meaningful leadership positions at OHSU.
Child care at OHSU
WAM campaigned for a childcare facility for several years. In 2011, OHSU opened Healthy Starts Children's center at the South Waterfront campus, an accomplishment due largely to the efforts of the Women in Academic Medicine (WAM) committee.
President’s Council on Diversity
WAM raised awareness in a similar fashion with regards to the lack of diversity in the President’s Council. In this process, we focused on the Vision 2020 business case for diversity which stresses the importance of having diversity in order to attract top talent, promote innovation and creativity, flourish in a competitive market and maximize the return on our investment.
WAM to WAHM expansion
On July 1, 2019, the committee expanded to become an OHSU-wide committee representing all Schools, Affiliated Units, and the College of Pharmacy, and a structured standing committee of the OHSU Faculty Senate. The committee changed to the new name of Women in Academic Health and Medicine (WAHM) to reflect this expansion.
Expansion of the WAM committee to residents and fellows, researcher and dental representation, continues to provide diversity to committee of often underrepresented groups.
"For OHSU to succeed in this mission, it must identify and eliminate institutional barriers to success and provide more institutional support, not just for women but for the sake of attracting a diverse work force."- Charles E. Roselli, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Support our work
Donate to the Fund for the Advancement of Women's Leadership to help sponsor events and career development opportunities for faculty members.