Women in Leadership

Women in Leadership

Maroon and gold banner for the Women in Leadership Committee

The Women in Leadership (WIL) Committee sponsored an online survey to all medical school faculty between December 2016 and February 2017. The purpose was to identify issues that are most critical for enhancing opportunities for women in the medical school, and to guide the committee in developing a relevant action plan.

Women writing on a marker board with her back to the camera

The WIL Committee currently has three active working groups designed to address important issues the survey raised: 1) leadership/mentorship; 2) salary equity; and 3) recruitment and retention. The committee's action plan includes:

  • Policies for the medical school to facilitate inclusion of women in leadership searches, and leadership training for women faculty;
  • A medical school visiting scholar program to sponsor external experts on issues related to women's career development;
  • A comprehensive salary equity study across the medical school; and
  • An exit interview program.


The University of Minnesota Medical School is committed to diversity and inclusion among its faculty, staff, and students. Dean Brooks Jackson is leading an initiative to address the gender gap in leadership roles in the medical school, and asked the Office of Faculty Affairs to create a task force on Women in Leadership (WIL).

The purpose of the task force was to provide consultation and advice to the dean to ensure a productive and professional environment for women faculty in the medical school. The task force was charged with developing recommendations regarding policies, issues, and programming that would enhance the academic environment for women faculty, and lead to an increase in the number of women in leadership positions. In October 2015, the task force released their report to the dean with their findings.

A key finding was to establish a standing committee to implement the recommendations of the report.


The committee's work will include guidance and involvement in the following areas:

  • Hiring and recruitment, including best practices from our peer institutions
  • Comprehensive mentoring in leadership and preparation for promotion
  • Implementation of unconscious bias training, particularly for search committees
  • Invitations for external speakers
  • Development of a database and metrics to evaluate our progress as a Medical School
  • Salary equity and climate assessments

WIL Committee Members

The Women in Leadership Committee is currently made up of the following Medical School faculty:

Bios of the co-chairs

The Women in Leadership Committee is co-chaired by Drs. Anne Joseph and Yoji Shimizu.

Dr. Anne JosephDr. Joseph currently holds the Wexler Professorship of Medicine. She received her medical training at the University of Michigan and received a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. She directs the Applied Clinical Research Program in the Department of Medicine to support faculty development in clinical research. The program provides a second level of mentorship for young faculty, with particular attention to career development issues specific to women and minorities. Her primary research interest is reducing harm from tobacco use. Her work has focused on smoking cessation and smoking reduction interventions for special populations of smokers that experience unique barriers to delivery of tobacco treatment. Dr. Joseph is the vice-chair for Faculty Affairs and Diversity in the Department of Medicine. Her office leads the mentoring programs for approximately 120 junior faculty in her department.



Dr. Yoji ShimizuDr. Shimizu completed his PhD in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1987. He completed his postdoctoral work in Immunology at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland before landing his first faculty position at the University of Michigan. He was recruited to the University of Minnesota in 1994, and has since built a successful laboratory and become a nationally recognized leader in the field of immunology. Dr. Shimizu is also the director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) at the University of Minnesota Medical School.





For more information on the Women in Leadership Committee, please contact the Office of Faculty Affairs at 612-624-5442 or ms-ofa@umn.edu.