Annual Meeting

Brought to you (mostly) by and for women

The ASBMB’s Women in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Committee has big plans for Discover BMB 2023
Ciearra Smith
Nov. 23, 2022

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Women in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, or WiBMB, Committee, formed in 2019, is the society’s newest, and it also might be among the most active. The group, chaired by Susan Baserga, has hosted numerous events in support of gender equality. And it has plans to continue the conversation at Discover BMB 2023.

“Balancing opportunities” at dinner

Women scientists often are assigned what are known as nonpromotable tasks, or NPTs, that can hold them back from advancing in their careers by taking time away from tasks that could help them win promotion. Many women have difficulty developing strategies to avoid being saddled repeatedly with these tasks.

Over the past summer, the ASBMB WiBMB Committee led a virtual book club to discuss “The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women’s Dead-End Work” by Linda Babcock, Brenda Peyser, Lise Vesterlund and Laurie Weingart. During the book club session, participants discussed strategies for when and how to say no to nonpromotable tasks. Co-author Laurie Weingart presented a WiBMB Committee–sponsored webinar on “The No Club” on Oct. 26; ASBMB members can watch a recording of that webinar here.

Members of the ASBMB Women in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Committee pause to pose in front of Independence Hall during their walk at the 2022 annual meeting in Philadelphia.
Courtesy of Susan Baserga
Members of the ASBMB Women in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Committee pause to pose in front of Independence Hall during their walk at the 2022 annual meeting in Philadelphia.

And just as it is important to know when and how to say no, it is equally important to know when to say yes to an opportunity.

To continue the theme of the “No Club” discussion and webinar, the WiBMB Committee’s Women’s Networking Dinner at Discover BMB 2023 will include a panel of women scientific professionals sharing their experiences weighing nonpromotable tasks with the topic “When to say no and when to say yes: Balancing opportunities.”

Gira Bhabha of New York University Langone Health, winner of the society’s Early-Career Leadership Award, and Kerry-Anne Rye of the University of New South Wales, winner of the Mid-Career Leadership Award, will take part in the panel.

Attendees will be encouraged to weigh in with their experiences and questions during the discussion.

A wellness walk

The WiBMB Committee hosted its first wellness walk at the 2022 annual meeting, allowing attendees to tour Philadelphia, exercise, network and get some much-needed sunshine.

At the 2023 meeting in Seattle, the WiBMB Committee will host another wellness walk where participants can connect with other members of the ASBMB community and get their steps in. Let’s explore Seattle together!

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Ciearra Smith

Ciearra Smith is manager of diversity, equity and inclusion programs at the ASBMB.

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