b'MAKINGINROADSJessica W. Hui-Beckman, M.D.Boettcher Investigators Share the Importance ofNational Jewish Health Mentorship and Community for Women in STEMJaclyn A. Stephens, Ph.D., OTR/LWRITTEN BY C HRISTOPHER LOWELLColorado State UniversityT heBoettcherFoundationsWebb- Association. Their inspiring stories highlightwork soon after having children, and deciding Waring Biomedical Research Awardsthe importance of mentorship and commu- that a career in science is incompatible with Program turns 12 in 2022.nity building to break down barriers andhaving a family are common themes. The prestigious award supports promising,achieve more. In healthcare fields, women are twice as likely early-career scientific researchers, allowingDisparities as men to cite parenthood and increased them to advance their independent researchhome responsibilities as reasons for missing in Colorado and compete for major federal andWorkforce disparities and systemic careerout on promotion opportunities, according to private awards. Each Boettcher Investigatorimpediments are nothing new to womenMcKinsey and Company. While these themes receives a $235,000 grant to support up toacross sectors and industries. Women inare well known, stories and strategies of three years of biomedical research. the biomedical sciences can face complexwomen facing them head on are less widely personal and professional barriers.known. 2022 Boettcher Investigator Jessica As the Webb-Waring awards embarks on its second decade of grantmaking, more femaleWomen make up nearly half of the AmericanW. Hui-Beckman, M.D. recounted her story of researchers are applying for the programworkforce, yet they remain underrepresentedfinishing a research grant on deadline while and receiving grants. Since 2020, 50% of thein science, technology, engineering, and mathbeing induced to deliver her first child. investigators have been women, compared to(STEM) fields. According to the U.S. CensusHui-Beckman researches the role of temperature 35% during the programs first nine years. ThisBureau, women comprised 27% of the STEMon the atopic march. Considering the growing year, four of the eight recipients are women. labor pool in 2019, while men made up 73%effects of climate change, she is especially of all STEM workers. In Colorado, womeninterested in investigating the role that envi-More women are entering STEM fields. Itsaccount for 29% of the STEM workforce. exciting to see them advance in their careers,ronmental factors, especially temperature, especially securing funding that supportsFor many women in bioscience, the questionhave on the patterns of clinical progression their promising work and growth as leadersof parenthood spotlights the daily inequities.of allergic sensitization.in our ecosystem, said Elyse Blazevich,Timing pregnancies based on academic orEven though I work with a really supportive President and CEO of Colorado BioSciencefunding cycles, feeling pressure to return toteam, I still felt like it was my duty to give Bryan Grant/Pixil Studio Photography10 BIOSCIENCECOLORADO 2022-2023 2022-2023 BIOSCIENCECOLORADO 11'