Women have always been a minority at MIT, albeit a growing one, and a new student group, Graduate Women at MIT, seeks to support the personal development, individual growth, and empowerment of all graduate women while enhancing connections among existing women’s services. In 2009, 31% of grad students were female (compared to 45% of undergrads), a number that has increased 55% in the past 15 years. GWAMIT founder Kay Furman wanted to ensure that valuable resources were not underutilized by this growing population and that their needs were addressed Institute-wide.

At the kick-off dinner, sponsored by the MIT police, Sergeant Cheryl Vossmer and Captain Al Pierce spoke on the role of MIT police on campus and legal issues in domestic violence cases.

At the internal kick-off dinner, sponsored by the MIT police, Sergeant Cheryl Vossmer and Captain Al Pierce spoke on the role of MIT police on campus and legal issues in domestic violence cases.

GWAMIT will host a spring kick-off week April 26-30 (coinciding with Sexual Assault Awareness Week) that will include a keynote speaker, negotiation and invention workshops, panel on work-life balance, and more.

Here’s where you can help. The group is currently seeking collaborators, sponsors, and panelists for the week as well as other programs in the works. Are you a successful alumna? Have you studied women’s issues or workplace interactions? Could you lead a workshop on a particular skill set (i.e. leadership, negotiation, etc.)? Contact GWAMIT.

GWAMIT’s upcoming plans for the 2010-11 school year include a mentoring program, fall leadership conference, and spring empowerment conference. Check out the Web site to learn more (some events will be open to all alumni), join the student and alumni membership list, and support GWAMIT.

Some 20 women, representing various schools and departments, attended GWAMIT's internal kick-off dinner. Front row, from right: executive board members Megan Brewster, Kay Furman, and Jean Yang.

Some 20 women, representing various schools and departments, attended GWAMIT's internal kick-off dinner. Front row, from right: executive board members Megan Brewster, Kay Furman, and Jean Yang.