5 Reasons You Can’t Miss This Year’s Women In Bio HERstory Gala

By Sarah Ellinwood
March 8, 2023

Warm weather and cherry blossoms are just around the corner, and with that it’s also almost time for the 5th Annual Women In Bio HERstory Gala.

The HERstory Gala is the signature event for the WIB Capital Region Chapter that brings together members and non-members alike to celebrate the successes of female trailblazers in the greater BioHealth Capital Region. This event, which branched off from the annual holiday dinner that the early WIB leaders put on for their members, features networking, dinner, and keynote speeches from local leaders in biotech and healthcare. 

The first HERstory Gala was held in December 2018 and was subsequently held during the winter holidays for the next two years, with the event shifting to a virtual format in 2020. Since then, the Gala has become a spring celebration with the 4th Annual Gala occurring on April 21st, 2022. The HERstory Gala also features the presentation of the Capital Region Chapter Rising Star Award, which is presented to an early or mid-career WIB member who has made a substantial impact in the local bioscience sector through community service, mentorship, and outstanding professional achievement. 

“Each Gala, both during the ‘online times’ and in-person, has always drawn a wide array of attendees, whether from the private sector, government, or academia,” explains Geeta Peverada, PhD, 2020 HERstory Gala Chair, 2021-2023 Chapter Vice Chair, Current Chapter Chair. “Every time I’ve been able to connect with someone different; like the Gala speakers, they always have one thing in common: a connection to the industry and the desire to support fellow women in the life sciences!”

If you haven’t been to a past HERstory Gala, you’re in for a treat. Here are some of the reasons you’ll want to attend:

Catch up with old friends and make new connections in an amazing venue

Like in years past, this year’s Gala will be held at VisArt Studio in Rockville Town Square. The night will start with libations and refreshments in the studio’s atrium, where attendees will also get the opportunity to view works-in-progress from local artists.

If you’re more on the introverted side and networking isn’t really your “thing”, never fear – attendees range from students and early career professionals all the way to seasoned leaders. And no matter which level of the career ladder they’re at, they’re warm and welcoming. It’s a great way to meet people without the intimidation and pressure you might feel at other networking events.

Hear from incredible women trailblazers

Sally Allain, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC and Dr. Marie Bernard, Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity at NIH, will be giving keynote addresses during the dinner. Both women are incredible trailblazers and advocates for the BioHealth Capital Region. You can read more about their incredible backgrounds here.

Learn more about the Women In Bio Capital Region Chapter

The Capital Region Chapter is the founding chapter of WIB. Started in 2002, founders Cynthia W. Hu, Robbie Melton, Anne Mathias, and Elizabeth Grey wanted to provide a forum for women to come together to celebrate and support each other’s success, and created a dynamic and invaluable forum for the local community. 

Twenty-one years later, the chapter is still going strong and Women In Bio has expanded to 14 chapters, helping women across the nation (and Montreal) achieve success in leadership, influence, and decision-making. You’ll hear from members of the local chapter leadership on what opportunities WIB offers to its members, including:

  • Networking events
  • Panel discussions
  • Webinars
  • Mentoring
  • Community
  • Volunteering and Outreach

Enjoy cocktails and an elegant dinner with colleagues and local biotech industry leaders

If you’re looking to make connections with leaders in this space, the HERstory Gala is the perfect venue. Especially in this uncertain economy, now more than ever it pays to expand your network, whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to develop your start-up or someone who was unfortunately let go in a recent round of layoffs. You never know where these connections may lead!

Celebrate this year’s 2022 WIB Inclusion Grantee and 2022-2023 Rising Star Award winners

Winners for both awards will be announced at the Gala. 

The WIB Inclusion Grant was established to encourage and advance inclusion efforts in its chapters as part of the organization’s initiative to promote equality and champion inclusivity. Last year 13 recipients were honored with the $1,000 grant.

The WIB-Capital Region Rising Star Award is a chapter-specific honor recognizing incredible women in the early to mid-stage of their careers. Nominees are chosen by HERstory Gold Sponsors as well as chapter Leading Sponsors.

Early Bird tickets are available until March 27. Additionally, all students can take advantage of a special student discount registration rate to the HERstory Gala. Be sure to register today