Programs and resources for women

MIT’s women’s community center is called the Margaret Cheney Room, and was founded in 1884 in recognition of the fact that women have traditionally been denied a safe space of their own, especially in the STEM fields. In light of its founding mission, the Cheney Room exists to promote community and empower all students at MIT who experience gender-based systems of oppression. This includes (but is not limited to) self-identified women, transgender women, and non-binary individuals. Find information on organizations and student groups on the center’s website.

Offered by the OGE, the Graduate Women’s Group and the Women’s Reading Group are informal opportunities to convene graduate women.

Every other year, the OGE sponsors a Celebration of Graduate Women, honoring outstanding women graduate students.

Also sponsored by the OGE, Path of Professorship is a formal annual workshop opportunity for women who wish to explore career paths in the academy.

Graduate Womxn at MIT

Graduate Womxn at MIT (gwaMIT) is an institution-wide, student-led point of contact for graduate women. gwaMIT is a student-led organization devoted to the support of all femme-identifying and non-binary individuals at MIT.

Graduate Women’s Groups at MIT

Graduate Women’s Group

A collaboration between the OGE and Division of Student Life, this informal network for graduate women meets monthly for lunchtime discussions facilitated by the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education. The impetus for involvement is the opportunity for graduate women to build social and professional ties across departmental boundaries and to feel less isolated in their unique experiences. Lunch discussions are student directed. Topics range from the challenges of balancing personal or family life with work, to strategies for communicating effectively with lab supervisors and peers, to managing conflict.

To be added to the email list, contact gwg-request@mit.edu with only the word “subscribe” in the subject line.

Women’s Reading Group

“I think my favorite aspects usually had nothing to do with the books. From the very first meeting, our group has felt like a safe space, one where we were able to share intimate emotions without fear of being laughed at and express conflicting opinions while knowing that fundamental respect would be there. On a more pragmatic note, now when I walk down the Infinite Corridor or I’m at the gym, I actually see people I know. Just saying hello in passing makes me feel like I’m more a part of a community here at MIT than I was before.”

Support of the graduate women’s reading group expresses just one aspect of the OGE’s mission, that is, to “expose students to a broad range of cultural and interdisciplinary ideas.” The group offers a forum for graduate women students to meet, share ideas, and discuss issues they face in their lives in a supportive and relaxed setting. Led by a graduate student, the reading group has made a positive difference in the experience of 15 graduate women each year for the past seven years. The group meets monthly throughout the calendar year.

If you have an interest in providing leadership for this group, contact the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education.

“Mens et Manus et Salus

Booklet: “Mind and Hand and Health: A Healthy Living Guide for MIT Graduate Women, From MIT Graduate Women.”