Rutgers Summit Asks: How Can New Jersey Attract More Women to Science and Technology Careers?

Rutgers Summit Asks: How Can New Jersey Attract More Women to Science and Technology Careers?

May 23, 2007


EDITORS NOTE: Professor Joan Bennett may be contacted at 732-932-9375, ext. 386, or by e-mail at





New Brunswick, N.J. New Jersey educators, policymakers and corporate executives will gather at Rutgers University Friday, June 8, to ask and seek answers to why it is difficult to attract women to, and keep them in, scientific and technical careers. The New Jersey Women Discovery Science and Technology Workforce Summit will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Trayes Hall in the Douglass College Center at George Street and Nichol Avenue.

The summit has been organized under the leadership of Eileen Appelbaum, director of the Center for Women and Work; and Joan W. Bennett, Rutgers vice president for the promotion of women in science, mathematics and engineering. Bennett, a distinguished biologist, came to Rutgers specifically to attract, mentor and retain women scientists. The days of really explicit barriers to recruiting, mentoring and retaining women in science and technology are gone, Bennett said. But there are plenty of obstacles for women that arent there for men. Because they arent explicit, theyre harder to overcome.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, health correspondent for NBC News, will be the keynote speaker. Snyderman, a former executive at Johnson & Johnson and a member of the head and neck surgical team at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak during lunch, following two plenary sessions.

The first plenary session will feature state policymakers: Jane Oates, executive director of the Commission on Higher Education; Marilyn Davis of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development; Penelope Lattimer, chief of staff in the Department of Education; and Angie McGuire of the Department of Economic Development.

The second plenary session will feature talks by prominent women scientists and engineers: Pamela Stone, sociologist at Hunter College in New York and author of Opting Out: Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home; Michelle Tortolani, senior director of XM Satellite Radio and president-elect of the Society of Women Engineers; Laurie Brooks, vice president of Public Service Electric & Gas; and, Katherine Uhrich, professor of chemistry at Rutgers.

After lunch, participants will break into small groups to discuss specific issues concerning women in science and engineering, mentoring, work and life balance, career pathways, recruiting, and media perceptions of women in science and engineering.

Rutgers has been a leader in encouraging and supporting undergraduate women and secondary students in their pursuit of science and technical studies. The Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science and Engineering, established in 1986, provides hands-on programming, mentoring and research, and internship and peer leadership opportunities for undergraduates and high school girls interested in careers in areas where women have traditionally been underrepresented.

Contact: Ken Branson

732-932-7084, Ext. 633


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