Connecting Women in biohealth
Women in Biohealth (WiB) is dedicated to supporting and uplifting women in the biohealth industry.
Who we are
Women in Biohealth (WiB) was started in the fall of 2017 to provide a platform to empower and connect women in the biohealth community. Biohealth encompasses biotech, medical devices, digital health, diagnostics, and medical research. We are currently not a nonprofit organization but are utilizing BioForward, an association representing Wisconsin’s biohealth industry, as our fiscal agent and marketing entity.
As an inclusive network, WiB provides mentoring, professional development, and an environment for women and allies to connect. No membership requirements! Just connect with the group in person or online.
- Provide a platform for women in biohealth to connect and uplift one another
- Deliver opportunities for professional and leadership development
- Facilitate cross-country and industry career mentoring
Our founding partners
Past WiB Events
510 Charmany Drive, Madison, WI 53719
726 Heartland Trail, Madison, WI 53717
Meet the Steering Committee
Following the pandemic, the steering committee recently led sessions to rejuvenate WiB and discover what would bring the most value to the community. Those sessions led to the development of new leadership teams that would be empowered to lead initiatives for the community with the support of the Steering Committee.
Professional Development & Networking
Interested in encouraging professional growth and connection? The Professional Development / Networking Leadership Team’s focus is on development and execution of seminars, workshops and networking events that focus on career and professional development.
- Gauge member interest and needs in various professional development topics in order to guide event planning (e.g. résumé tips, leadership, personal development, negotiating, etc.).
- Identify potential speakers or trainings/workshops.
- Responsible for managing speakers and/or reference material.
- Connect and/or partner with outside organizations for event planning, hosting, potential sponsorship, and to foster participation.
- Publicize upcoming events via social media channels.
- Secure venues and vendors to suit the needs of upcoming events and manage all logistical details from event setup to take-down.
- Ensure good communication with the WiB Steering Committee to foster the execution and scheduling of the event.
Estimated Time Commitment: 2-4 hours/month
Steering Committee Lead: Christina Thomas-Virnig, UW-Madison
Margaret Elvekrog, Exact Sciences
The Advocacy Leadership Team will be multi-dimensional. First, this team will strive to advocate for women in executive and leadership roles and on board of directors. Second, we will propose legislation that is important to provide equality to women in the biohealth industry and all industries.
- Board of Directors Resource Directory: Develop a resource directory of women, their bios, for being candidates on board of director positions. Work with marketing team in promoting this resource statewide and posted on WiB webpage.
- Legislative Activities: Research activities in other states, industries, and develop proposals on how our organization/industry can legislatively advocate for women. Issues impacting them and how can we, collectively as a powerful voting bloc, influence legislators?
Estimated Time Commitment: 3-5 hours/month during the first few months of organization. 1-2 hours/month once advocacy team goals established and tasks assigned.
Steering Committee Lead: Maci Camara, BioForward
Women have made huge strides in the biohealth and life sciences fields. Still, we need to keep those accomplishments at the forefront and make sure that we are securing the future for the next generation of female-identifying scientists. The community outreach team will partner with leading companies, universities, hospitals, and other organizations to host highly engaging, educational, and motivational programs for young students interested in biohealth. Join our WiB Community Outreach Leadership Team to participate in the solution and give back to the community.
- Market the opportunity to the community
- Coordinate schedules when requests come in
- Make presentations onsite at your employer
- Travel to make presentations at schools or libraries
Estimated Time Commitment: 2-5 hours/month depending on role within the group
Steering Committee Leads: Grace Maass, URP
Rissa Guffey, BioForward
Do you want to build more meaningful connections in the Women in Biohealth community? Join our WiB mentoring program. Women within the biohealth field wish to grow their networks and learn from someone with more professional experience to get ahead in their careers. Others are looking for opportunities to give back to the biohealth community by offering their knowledge and expertise.
Participate as mentor, mentee or join the WiB mentoring leadership team.
For mentors and mentees:
- Mentors and mentees convene for regular one-on-one meetings, either in person or online over a three-month period.
For WiB mentoring leadership team:
- Follow previously created WiB mentoring material to plan administrative timeline
- Host WiB mentoring information session
- Host WiB mentoring end-of-program celebration
- Match participants
- Coordinate communication among WiB mentoring leadership team and with program participants
- Ensure good communication with the WiB Steering Committee to foster the execution and scheduling of events
- Organize and execute 1 round of WiB mentoring program
- Coordinate and facilitate new “circles” groups to foster group mentoring
Estimated Time Commitment: ~20 hours/year
Steering Committee Lead: Michele Smith, UW-Madison
As part of Women in Biohealth’s initiative to build community and support women in biohealth, we are launching our first series of circles! WIB circles will allow you to connect with fellow women in the community and provide the platform to discuss topics, learn from each other, and answer questions on your career.
A WIB circle will consist of fellow WIB women and will meet once a month for 1-2 hours, depending on what circle moderators decide. Each circle will consist of 8-12 members including 1-2 moderators who will bring topics to the monthly WIB circle meetings. The format for these circles is structured around Lean In Circles applying what has worked well for other professional women.
Today there are more than 33,000 Circles in over 150 countries. Circles meet everywhere from living rooms to company cafeterias—and they are spreading from city to city and country to country by word of mouth. The best part is, they work: 85 percent of members attribute a positive change in their lives to their Circle. Women are asking for more, stepping outside their comfort zones, and leaning in.
More general, regular lean in circles are forming to provide more opportunities to connect. Let us know if you would like to participate.
Moderated by Christina Thomas-Virnig
In this circle, we will recognize the talented and powerful superhero in all of us. Discussion will revolve around our expertise, professional expectations, and the challenges we have experienced. Through these reflections hopefully, you will identify your short term and long term stretch goals. At each session, we will determine topics of discussion for the next circle meeting.
Skill Set Savants
Moderated by Michele Smith
One of the key areas we as professional women find challenging is owning our own value. I would like this circle to be a group that, among other things, encourages us to recognize, acknowledge, and utilize the skills, abilities, and experience we’ve gained in both our personal and professional lives.
Women in Biohealth (WiB) Mentoring is a mentorship program designed to create connections among women within the biohealth field. Mentees benefit from the experience of their mentors to guide them in achieving their professional goals. Mentors can give back to the biohealth community by sharing their knowledge.
Mentors and mentees will convene for regular one-on-one meetings, either in person or online. Both parties agree to meet six times within a three-month period as their schedule allows, with a recommendation to meet biweekly. Support is provided by program administrators in the form of kick-off and wrap-up meetings, check-in emails, and guiding worksheets.
WiB Mentoring is appropriate for professionals at all experience levels who are looking to make connections within the biohealth community.