Michelle Rogers

The Importance of Role Models & Mentors in Reaching Gender Equity in Chemical Sciences: A Symposium in Honor of Judith Iriarte-Gross

Blog Post created by Michelle Rogers on Jul 27, 2017

By Cecilia Marzabadi and Samina Azad




Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross was honored for her receipt of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award for Encouraging Women into the Chemical Sciences in two, half-day sessions at the Spring 2017 meeting. The symposium was held on Sunday, April 2nd in the afternoon and Tuesday April 4th in the morning.


The over-arching theme of the symposium, which was co-sponsored by WCC, CHEM, CMA and PROF, was the importance of mentoring and role models for women in chemical fields. Several speakers at the symposium were current and former leaders in ACS. They spoke about how those who had come before them had served as mentors to them and were instrumental to their success. The state of gender equity in STEM fields (and chemistry in particular) was also discussed, as well as possible solutions to increase the representation of women in these disciplines.


Speakers and their presentations on Sunday were:

•             Ruth Woodall - Encouraging true grit women in science: The story of a grit grinder

•             Amber Charlebois- Paying it forward in mentoring

•             Freneka Minter - POM (Power of Mentorship): The role mentorship in chemical sciences played in my life

•             R.Daniel Libby - Encouragement

•             Janet Bryant – What Women can Dotm: Encouraging and retaining women in STEM

•             Temiloluwa Thomas - Reaching gender equity for women of color in STEM. The importance of role models and mentors

•             Sandra Greer - Mentors, role models, and advisors: Distinctions, examples, and ethical issues


On the second day of the symposium, the speakers and their presentations were:

•             Elizabeth Nalley - Why STEM is Still a Four-lettered Word for Women

•             Kathleen Schultz – Mentors and Role Models: Stories from the Field

•             Phillip Pulley - Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) addresses equity issues for girls in STEM

•             Diane Schmidt- Challenges and ppportunities for leadership in the 21st century

•             Donna Nelson – Underrepresentation of women in science and what we can do about it

•             Judith Iriarte-Gross - Reaching gender equity in the chemical sciences: The importance of role models and mentors. Fortune cookie wisdom for women in the chemical sciences.


Congratulations to Dr. Iriarte-Gross!