The MIT Women’s Forum

The MIT Women’s Forum was born 50 years ago this month, during the second annual Independent Activities Period. In January 1972, Professor Emily Wick joined Professor Mildred Dresselhaus (pictured, teaching a class around the same period) in planning an IAP seminar to discuss the status of women at MIT at the time. About 100 women — students, faculty, staff, postdocs, alumni, and faculty wives — crammed into the Cheney Room, giving birth to what became known as the MIT Women’s Forum, which continued to meet regularly for decades. The forum’s advocacy sparked significant change at MIT, such as the creation of an ad hoc committee to review the environment for women, and the appointment of a special assistant to the president and chancellor for women and work.
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