Pioneering women of the International Society of Biomechanics

Julie R. Steele, John H. Challis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The presence of successful female role models in biomechanics can encourage girls, women, and other underrepresented groups in STEM fields to pursue and remain within the discipline. It is, therefore, vital that women and their contributions to the field are publicly visible and recognized across all areas of professional biomechanical societies, such as the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB). Enhancing the visibility of female role models in biomechanics can act to mitigate current bias and stereotyping in the discipline by broadening what it looks like to be a biomechanist. Unfortunately, women are not publicly visible in many aspects of ISB activities, and finding details of women's contributions to ISB, particularly during ISB's formative years, is challenging. This review article aims to raise the visibility of female biomechanists, particularly women in ISB leadership positions who have helped shape the Society over the past 50 years. We summarize the unique backgrounds and contributions of some of these pioneering women who blazed pathways for other female biomechanists. We also recognize the women who were charter members of ISB, women who served on ISB Executive Councils and the portfolios they have held, women who have received the highest awards of the Society, and women awarded a Fellowship of ISB. Practical strategies to enhance women's participation in biomechanics also are presented so that women can thrive and progress in ISB leadership positions and awards and, in turn, serve as positive role models to encourage girls and women to pursue and remain within this unique discipline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111547
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - May 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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