At the World Federation of Sleep Research Societies in Dresden in 1999 there was a joint meeting of the ESRS Forum for Women in Sleep Research and the Women in Sleep and Rhythm Research (WiSRR). The meeting was a big success with over 200 people attending. Mary Carskadon welcomed the group, and gave a brief history of the founding of WiSRR. The introduction was followed by 2 very special lectures given by Anna Wirz-Justice and Ruth Benca. During subsequent discussions other women shared their experience of combining a scientific career and raising children. It was suggested that an effort could be made to include a tutorial session at future meetings with the aim of helping young women to develop their careers. Many lively discussions between people who met at the women’s meeting continued in the course of the congress.