Although diversity is a driving force of innovation—especially within medicine—Black women remain underrepresented in the clinical research industry. Clark Atlanta University alumna Danielle Mitchell is on a mission to change the narrative around diversity within the field through her platform Black Women in Clinical Research.
Launched in 2019, BWICR was cultivated to empower Black women at every stage of their journeys within the space. Through the network, Mitchell bridges the gap between industry leaders and those interested in charting paths in clinical research. BWICR uses education and mentorship to increase the presence of Black women within the scientific profession. The community is comprised of 6,800 members.
Through partnerships with nonprofits like the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, women who are part of the BWICR ecosystem have been aligned with pivotal networking opportunities that have elevated their careers.
Mitchell says her own career experiences inspired her to launch the network.
“We have created a community of sisterhood where we empower one another,” she shared in an interview with Dan Sfera. “We have these conversations about negotiation. We offer career services and mentorship. I noticed when I was in my clinical research profession that a lot of times, I would be the only Black woman in the room or that there would only be a few of us. I decided to see if I could create a network of Black women that could come together so that we can share tips. This really started from a small idea, and it has grown tremendously.”
The BWICR founder—who has over 15 years of experience in the field of science—has also been dedicated to helping scholars at historically Black colleges and universities launch their careers in clinical research.
Platforms like Black Women in Clinical Research are needed as studies show Black women account for less than 3 percent of U.S. doctors.