The Women in Innovation & Technology (WIT) program aims to close the gender gap in invention disclosure and commercialization at Washington University in St. Louis. Participation in WIT programs is open to all.

History of WIT at WashU

In 2014, the Washington University Office of Technology Management (OTM) introduced the Women in Innovation and Technology (WIT) program to address the persistent under-representation of women in technology commercialization efforts.

At the time of WIT’s inception, national studies had found that male faculty members were 43% more likely than female faculty to submit an invention disclosure, despite there being no significant difference in publication patterns. (Thursby and Thursby 2005)

WIT set out to address this gap by educating women faculty on how to navigate the commercialization process and introducing them to resources within the St. Louis region. Following the launch of WIT, there was a steady increase in invention disclosures naming women innovators.

WIT Today

In 2020, WIT was put on pause due to the pandemic and the program relaunched in 2022. In addition to supporting women faculty, the program aims to encourage and equip the next generation of innovators by engaging WashU’s postdocs and graduate students.

Read more about the history and impact of the WIT program here:

Mercier wins AAMC innovation award: Office of Technology Management director honored for work supporting female inventors, entrepreneurs

Opening minds, doors, opportunities: The Women in Innovation & Technology program, run by the Office of Technology Management, encourages women faculty to engage in entrepreneurship and to commercialize their technologies.

WIT Programming

Hightlights from the 2018 Women in Innovation & Technology Symposium.

WIT Symposium

The annual Women in Innovation & Technology (WIT) Symposium is a day of learning and networking for women academics interested in technology commercialization. Hosted by the OTM, the Symposium also invites friends from the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The event is open to all.

Recordings from the April 11, 2024 Women in Innovation & Technology Symposium.

WIT Virtual Event

The Resilient Inventor/Entrepreneur: Managing Your Mindset: In this live Zoom session, Dr. Sharon Milgram, Director of the NIH’s Office of Intramural Training and Education, provided practical, hands-on guidance to managing the mental barriers that can keep women academic researchers from seeing themselves as inventors and entrepreneurs.

View a recording of the session here:

“The Resilient Inventor/Entrepreneur: Managing Your Mindset” featuring Dr. Sharon Milgram, Director of the NIH’s Office of Intramural Training and Education.

WIT Luncheon

Hosted by the OTM, the annual WIT Luncheon brings together WashU women academic researchers to celebrate their achievements in technology commercialization and showcases successful role models. The event is open to all.

2024 WIT Luncheon date to come!

Missed the 2023 Luncheon? Check out a special post-luncheon virtual session recording featuring Professor Lan Yang sharing more of her insights as a WashU faculty startup founder. View the recording and learn more about her presentation below.

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