International Society of Biomechanics
Gold sponsor


Womxn face barriers to achieving equitable representation in many fields and biomechanics is no exception. This in part results in womxn “leaking” from the professional pipeline. The mission of the International Womxn in Biomechanics (IWB) group, founded by research fellows Ana Ebrahimi (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) and Jayishni Maharaj (Griffith University, Australia), is to increase the representation of womxn in biomechanics. Specifically, we aim to:

  • Support members at all career stages to achieve their personal and professional goals
  • Encourage womxn and girls to enter the biomechanics field via outreach initiatives.
  • Empower allies and all members of the biomechanics community to support womxn in creating a more equitable academy and workplace.

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Our first IWB meeting in July 2020


IWB, is a community of approximately 500 members from over 150 universities and 20 countries (including US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Iran, and South Africa). Our members range from masters and PhD students to senior faculty and industry professionals, with diverse biomechanical backgrounds and areas of study. Currently, IWB is run through the voluntary efforts of a dedicated group of members – Sarah Kessler, Caitlin Banks, Jana Montgomery, Kirsty McDonald, Kat Daniels, Armita Manafzadeh, Sarah Breen, Fraje Watson, Laura Hutchinson.

To understand the factors that contribute to the leaky pipeline problem in biomechanics specifically, we conducted a survey among our members. From over 134+ responses, we identified three key barriers / concerns faced by womxn biomechanical researchers: mental health struggles, limited professional development and training, and lack of confidence in achieving career goals. The biggest concerns womxn reported having while working in a male-dominated field were:

  • Dealing with sexism in the workplace.
  • Not having ideas heard and seriously considered.
  • Not getting the same opportunities, job offers, and promotions as male colleagues.
  • Juggling personal and family commitments.
  • Not having enough champions/allies for support and guidance.

Our solution to addressing some of these challenges is rooted in creating a strong community for womxn in biomechanics. We have developed a platform on Slack where members are able to network, seek confidential support for personal and professional issues, and celebrate each other's successes. We also host monthly meetings on the first Monday/Tuesday (time zone dependent) of every month. In the last 6 months, we have hosted some incredible speakers from Academia, Industry, and several biomechanics societies. We have had meetings on applying for grants, fellowships, and awards (in collaboration with ASB, ISB, ISBS, and other biomechanics societies); discussing challenges faced by womxn in STEM; learning about racial and implicit bias in research spaces (in collaboration with the Black Biomechanists Association and Latinx in Biomechanix groups); and more. Check out our youtube page to watch some of our past meetings!

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 Collage of presentations from recent IWB meetings and their key messages


We hope through IWB’s professional development trainings, outreach initiatives, and supportive network that womxn in biomechanics will gain a stronger sense of belonging and inclusion in the field. Learn more about IWB and support our mission by following us on Twitter and Instagram (@IntWomxnBiomech). Also, sign up to be a member by going to our website (here)!

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Examples of Instagram posts showcasing the diversity of work done by our members. We use these posts to both inspire younger generations to explore biomechanics and to increase visibility of womxn in biomechanics.