Women’s Task Force Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of the Women’s Task Force at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is to support and foster the recruitment, retention, and promotion of female faculty at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, and to raise constant awareness of issues for women in science.

Impact Statement

This task force consists of twenty rotating faculty members from the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and is currently chaired by Dr. Kara Bernstein, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Since its inception in 2018, the task force has: conducted an anonymous survey to identify key concerns amongst female faculty, started monthly female faculty/trainee luncheons, collected data concerning equity for speaker invitations, internal funding, and salary support, and identified key personnel on campus to assist with Title IX issues and support for encouraging diversity.

Director’s Letter

Letter from the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Director

Robert FerrisThe UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is proud to be promoting gender equity through the Women’s Task Force.  I established the Women’s Task Force in 2018 to address issues relating to our female faculty members.  To identify the key areas of focus, we created a climate survey for our faculty.  We initially focused on leadership development, tracking gender equity at the Cancer Center, networking and career development, and resources/guidelines to promote work-life balance.  Our efforts have improved the climate and career advancement for our women faculty and trainees.  Since starting the Women’s Task Force, we have increased the number of female recruits and females in leadership positions.  We are continuing our efforts to address barriers faced by female scientists and to mitigate these barriers through education and training.  I am proud to support the efforts of the Women’s Task Force, as we all benefit from a more inclusive and diverse environment.



Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD
Director of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center


The Women’s Task Force is currently chaired by Kara Bernstein, PhD.

Find out more about our members here.

Annual Report

The Annual Report will be made available upon completion.

Contact Us

Questions about the task force can be addressed to Dr. Kara Bernstein (karab@pitt.edu) or to the Women’s Task Force (womenstaskforce@upmc.edu).