The underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, including biomedical engineering, remains a persistent challenge and emphasizes the need for initiatives that attract and retain more women in the field. Such initiatives should address this gender imbalance and aim to harness the diverse perspectives and talents of all genders. Women in engineering face unique challenges due to the field’s male-dominated nature. Gender bias, stereotypes, and family-unfriendly expectations can significantly affect women’s experiences, hindering their opportunities for recognition and career advancement. A 2021 survey of the Biomedical Engineering Department and Graduate Group at the University of California Davis revealed that women and marginalized individuals experience a different sense of belonging compared with their white male counterparts, frequently encounter challenges related to implicit bias, microaggressions, and a lack of adequate support, mentorship, and opportunities for professional development. Here, we describe and reflect on the efforts by the Biomedical Engineering Health, Equity, and Wellness Committee to begin to address these challenges. We launched the Women+ in Biomedical Engineering Lunch Series, which provides a platform for women, marginalized individuals, and their allies to come together, connect, and share experiences. The lunch series aims to facilitate open dialogue, mentorship, and support and promote networking opportunities to bridge the gender gap in the field. The initial meetings in the Spring quarter of 2023 focused on key topics such as mentoring, mental health and stress management, and the effect of legislation on women’s professional lives. By providing a safe space for discussion, sharing experiences, and addressing these topics, the lunch series aims to break down barriers and build networks, foster a supportive environment, and empower women to thrive in biomedical engineering.

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