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About Us

Mary Elizabeth Garrett
Mary Elizabeth Garrett

Philanthropist Mary Elizabeth Garrett provided the financial support for the founding of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (SOM) in 1893. She not only contributed financially, but did so with rigorous stipulations, which included the admittance of women on equal terms as men. The leadership of Mary Elizabeth Garrett transformed not only the role of women in medicine, but also improved the quality of medical education in America. Her early vision of gender equity ultimately inspired the creation of the Office of Women in Science and Medicine (OWISM) in 2008.

A 2005 report by the SOM Committee on Faculty Development and Gender summarized the status of women at the School of Medicine and offered nine recommendations to maximize the hiring, promotion, and retention of female faculty. As a result of the report, a Joint Oversight Committee was formed to monitor equity factors in the SOM. Additionally, the OWISM was formed to address the recommendations. View the JOC 2009 Summary Report and the 2014 Committee on the Status of Women Report.

Our Mission

Our mission is to foster the academic progress of the SOM women faculty, through education, advocacy, mentoring and networking. In addition to providing opportunities for women to acquire the skills and strategies for professional development, we also work to increase the representation of women in leadership roles. By identifying and addressing barriers to advancement, we promote the importance of diversity, humanism, varied career paths, personal wellness and work-life balance.

Our goals are to:

  1. Improve pathways to leadership and career advancement for women
  2. Advocate for the women faculty in the SOM, in regards to their scholarship, educational contributions, and clinical care
  3. Allow for transparency in leadership at the SOM
  4. Improve the work climate for all SOM women faculty

Additional information

To learn more about the Office of Women in Science and Medicine, email us at