Lessons Learned: Stories from Women Leaders in STEM

New Book Published by the American Association for Physician Leadership Addresses the Lack of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with First-Person Accounts of Successful Women

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A new book published by the American Association for Physician Leadership, Lessons Learned: Stories from Women Leaders in STEM, addresses the lack of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through the first-person accounts of notable women who have excelled in a range of STEM-related leadership roles.

“In the past 50 years, women in the United States have made great strides in terms of education, representing the majority of college graduates and master’s level programs today. In 2020, for the 12th straight year women earned the majority of doctoral (PhD) degrees,” says the book’s editor, Deborah M. Shlian, MD, MBA.

“However, men vastly outnumber women majoring in the STEM fields. While women make up 48% of the workforce, women hold only about 29% of positions in STEM specialties. The book’s contributors — who bucked this trend — share their personal and compelling stories, including obstacles and challenges faced in balancing work, family, and personal life.”

“Role models matter,” says Sheryl Sandberg, founder of LeanIn.org and former COO of Meta (Facebook). “In Lessons Learned, Deborah Shlian introduces us to more than 30 extraordinary women who’ve pushed past gender bias to expand perceptions of what it means to lead in STEM. This book will inspire so many other women and girls to reach for their goals.”

“The AAPL is proud to provide this platform and hopefully advance the cause of young women pursuing STEM careers,” Peter Angood, MD, president and CEO of AAPL, says. “The lessons learned and the achievements of the book’s contributors are astounding, and should provide a roadmap for those who follow their lead.”

The book’s contributors represent a who’s who of women in STEM:

  • Evangelyn C. Alocilja, PhD

    Professor, Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering,

    Michigan State University

    Founder, Global Alliance for Rapid Diagnostics

    Member, National Academy of Inventors
  • Cecilia Aragon, PhD

    Professor of Human-Centered Data Science

    University of Washington

  • Gilda A. Barabino, PhD

    President and Professor of Biomedical & Chemical Engineering

    Olin College of Engineering
  • Lisa D. Chong, PhD

    Editor, Science Journals
  • Daphney R. Chery, PhD

    STEM Advocate, Speaker, Innovation Lead at Northrop Grumman
  • Rita R. Colwell, PhD, DSc

    Distinguished University Professor

    University of Maryland College Park and

    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • The Honorable France A. Cordova, PhD

    President, Science Philanthropy Alliance

    14th Director, National Science Foundation

    External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute
  • Catie Cuan

    PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering

    Stanford University

    Roboticist, artist, choreographer
  • Margaret Dayhoff-Brannigan, PhD

    Regulatory Project Manager and Primary Reviewer

    Office of Vaccines Research & Review

    Food & Drug Administration
  • Claire M. Fraser, PhD

    Dean E. Albert Reese Endowed Professor, Department of Medicine

    Director, Institute for Genome Sciences

    University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Olivia L. George, PhD

    Associate Professor, Biology

    University of Hawaii-West O’ahu

    Mathematics, Natural & Health Sciences Division
  • Korie Grayson, PhD

    Chemist, Biomedical Engineer, STEM Diversity Advocate

    AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow

  • Malika Grayson, PhD

    Speaker and Founder, STEMinist Empowered LLC

    Program Manager, Northrop Grumman

  • Judith Greenberg, PhD

    Former Deputy Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

    National Institutes of Health
  • Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD

    Senior Investigator and Chief of Neurotology Branch

    National Institutes for Deafness and other Communications Disorders

    National Institutes of Health

    Professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

    Affiliate member, Institute for Genome Sciences

    University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
  • Aishwarya Iyer

    MD/PhD Student (PhD candidate in Biochemistry)

    Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

    University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Maria Klawe, PhD

    President, Harvey Mudd College

    Incoming President, Math for America
  • Kristin E. Lauter, PhD

    Director of Research Science

    North American Labs for Meta AI Research
  • Cathleen (Cat) Lutz, PhD, MBA

    Vice President, Rare Disease Transitional Center at The Jackson Laboratory
  • Marcia McNutt, PhD

    President, National Academy of Sciences
  • Estelle Russek-Cohen, PhD

    Former Director, Division of Biostatistics

    Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research

    Food & Drug Administration
  • Deborah M. Shlian, MD, MBA

    Former CEO, Shlian & Associates, Inc. (executive/physician search and medical management consulting)

    Author of fiction (shlianbooks.com) and nonfiction
  • Ida Sim, MD, PhD

    Professor of Medicine & Computational Precision Health

    University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • Barbara Simons, PhD

    Retired, IBM Research

    Former President, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

    Board Chair, Verified Voting
  • Tatiana Toro, PhD

    Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Washington

    Director, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MRSI)

    Simons Lauter Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath)
  • Lydia Villa-Komaroff, PhD

    Founder & President, Intersections Consulting: Science, Business, Diversity
  • Valda Vinson, PhD

    Executive Editor, Science Journals
  • Maggie Werner-Washburne, PhD

    Regents Professor Emerita, University of New Mexico

    Founder, STEM Boomerang


    career portal: www.boomerang-nm.com
  • Telle Whitney, PhD

    Consultant and Speaker

    Co-Founder, Grace Hopper Celebration

    Former CEO, Anita Borg Institute

  • Amie Wilkinson, PhD

    Professor of Mathematics, University of Chicago
  • Rachel Willand-Charnley, PhD

    Assistant Professor, South Dakota State University

    Department Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Jiwon Yang, PhD, MBA

    Principal Scientist, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX)

About Deborah M. Shlian, MD, MBA

Deborah M. Shlian, MD, MBA, is a board-certified family practitioner with more than three decades of clinical and management experience. Dr. Shlian has been able to balance work life with writing, producing several nonfiction articles, chapters, and books on medical management issues. She also writes fiction. All her works of fiction have won literary awards, including the Florida Book Award’s Gold Medal.

About the American Association for Physician Leadership

The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) is focused on the personal transformation of all physicians, and through them the organizations they serve. With the goal of improving patient outcomes, workforce wellness, and a refinement of all healthcare delivery, AAPL has remained the only association solely focused on providing professional development, leadership education, and management training exclusively for physicians. Since its founding in 1975, AAPL has educated 250,000+ physicians across 40 countries—including CEOs, chief medical officers and physicians at all levels of healthcare. www.physicianleaders.org

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