June 15, 2022

The Pearls of Wisdom series features Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., former Director of the NIH.  In this Pearls of Wisdom video clip, Dr. Collins discusses how to increase the opportunity for women’s advancement into leadership roles.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) serving from 2009 to 2021. During Dr. Collins’s tenure, NIH has made remarkable achievements in women’s health research and the advancement of women in biomedical careers. Today, women lead 11 NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), and dozens of women hold deputy director positions across NIH.

Dr. Collins served as co-chair, with ORWH Director Dr. Janine A. Clayton, for the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers. The goal of the Working Group is to consider barriers for women in science and develop innovative strategies to promote the entry, recruitment, retention, and sustained advancement of women in biomedical and research careers. Under Drs. Collins’s and Clayton’s leadership, the Working Group has sponsored national workshops on mentoring women in biomedical careers and other programs.  These efforts include the 

The Pearls of Wisdom online series of short videos aims to inspire, motivate, and inform individuals at all stages of their biomedical careers, with a particular focus on women in STEMM fields. Produced and funded by the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), it features prominent scientists and physicians at NIH and beyond – many from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups–sharing words of wisdom, perspectives, and advice to current and future women scientists. 

The Pearls of Wisdom series is located on the NIH “Women in Science” website, which describes the history of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers and provides information on the working group’s subcommittees, supported programs, grants, career development resources, NIH diversity resources, and career flexibility initiatives.