As of the last U.S. Census, only 28 percent of the workforce in science and engineering was female.
The Women in Science & Entrepreneurship Conference is addressing that disparity. It aims to help women in the sciences find the right career path and go further. WISE, as the conference is being called, will take place Friday in St. Louis. The event is sold out.
Missouri Cures, a group that works to promote medical advances, is one of the organizers of the conference. Dena Ladd, Missouri Cures' executive director said considering that 300 people have signed up to attend, the need for such an event was obvious.
"Really, the purpose of the conference is to give women in science and research the opportunity to network and share how they became leaders in the field," Ladd said.
The panel discussions in the morning are devoted to research and academia, while the afternoon sessions will focus on entrepreneurship and industry.
"I think it’s giving women the opportunity to see what different paths they can take with science and research," Ladd said.
Several institutions helped organize WISE, including Missouri Cures, BioSTL, Washington University, St. Louis University, University of Missouri, University of Missouri St. Louis and the Missouri Biotechnology Association.
Ladd said a conference will be held in Kansas City and plans are already underway for another conference in St. Louis next year.
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