Indiana is taking part in an American Cancer Society effort looking to fuel women-led cancer research. ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer aims to raise funds to support women researchers and boost programs to inspire the next generation of girls to pursue science careers. Organizers say they are looking for "ambassadors" to help meet the goal of raising $160,000 in the inaugural year of the program.
Campaign co-chair Jill Geer, who is chief marketing officer at the American College of Education in Indianapolis, says, while about half of currently-active cancer researchers are women, the higher-level research positions tend to be filled by men. According to the National Science Foundation’s Science and engineering Indicators 2018 report, women held 53 percent of biological and medical scientist occupations in 2015, but only 12 percent of National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center Director positions.
Co-chair and Ice Miller LLP Managing Partner Melissa Proffitt says Indiana is one of 15 markets focusing on the effort.
"I think there’s a reason why the selected us," Proffitt told Inside INdiana Business. "Because they believe there is a real genuine understanding of the importance of this and the need for this and for the need for women to get behind other women researchers."
Organizers say people can get involved in several ways. They are looking for nominations for influential women in the industry to spotlight as Women Fighting Cancer ambassadors and to help raise $2,500 each to help the American Cancer Society fund female cancer researchers. The organization is also hoping to connect with Indiana businesses for corporate sponsorship, matching gift and programming partnership opportunities.
You can learn more about the effort by clicking here.
Campaign co-chair Jill Geer, who is chief marketing officer at the American College of Education in Indianapolis, says women have made strides in the industry, but there is still work to do.