Association for Women in Science

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The Association for Women in Science started up in 1971 at the annual Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) meeting in order to exchange of ideas and solutions to overcoming job discrimination, lower pay, and professional isolation. The creation of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) was intended to make science a better place for women. The main issue areas that the Association addresses are fair compensation, work-life integration, attrition, and professional development. AWIS addresses these issues through various initiatives and publications including AWIS in Action!, the AWARDS Project, and the Association’s quarterly member magazine. [1]

History[edit]

AWIS was founded in 1971 at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), after a series of champagne brunches organized by an informal women's caucus. After establishing an executive director and an office in Washington, DC, chapters were organized across the country for individual members. Early projects include the creation of the AWIS Educational Foundation (now known as the Educational Awards) to receive donations and award fellowships. AWIS focused on advocacy for women in science across all scientific and technical disciplines and at all educational levels.[2] In 1997, AWIS won the Presidents Mentoring Award.[3]

Leadership

The Association for Women in Science is led by Executive Director and chief executive officer Janet Bandows Koster.[4] She previously served as the Executive Director of the United German-American Committee of the USA, Inc. prior to becoming the CEO of AWIS. Ann Lee-Karlon serves as the President of the Board.[5]

Activities

Activities of the association range from advocacy, news publications, mentoring, scholarships, job listings, conferences, speaking, and initiatives to raise awareness about gender bias in professional and disciplinary societies, as well as research-based, industry and university environments.

AWIS extends resources to women science professionals working to advance their careers. At the national level, AWIS publishes a variety of materials to inform women about science programs and women's issues, including the quarterly AWIS Magazine and the AWIS in Action! Advocacy and Public Policy Newsletter. The organization also works with national policy through Congressional advocacy and by participating in a variety of national coalitions.

Charter[edit]

Representing the 7.4 million women working in STEM fields, AWIS members are professionals and students in fields spanning the life and physical sciences, mathematics, social science, and engineering. Over 50% of AWIS members have doctorates in their respective fields, and hold positions at all levels of industry, academia, and government.[6]

The 49 chapters of AWIS members nationwide serve as local networks and mentoring groups for professionals in every stage of their careers, connecting scientists to students and young women and girls considering careers in STEM.

Activities[edit]

Activities of the association range from advocacy, news publications, mentoring, scholarships, job listings, conferences, speaking, and initiatives to raise awareness about gender bias in professional and disciplinary societies, as well as research-based, industry and university environments.

In an effort to promote the entrance and advancement of women in science, AWIS has a long-standing commitment to fostering the careers of women science professionals. Events at the local chapters nationwide facilitate networking among women scientists at all levels. AWIS chapters also encourage the participation of girls and women in science by sponsoring educational activities in schools and communities. At the national level, AWIS publishes a variety of materials to inform girls and women about science programs and women's issues, including the quarterly AWIS Magazine and the AWIS in Action! Advocacy and Public Policy Newsletter. The organization serves as a voice for women in science by helping to shape national policy through Congressional advocacy and by participating in a variety of national coalitions.

Policy Platform[edit]

AWIS believes[7] that women in STEM are prevented from reaching their full potential – not because they are less able or less willing – but because of barriers that exist in scientific workplaces. We work to bring this message to Congress, the media, and employers by:
o Representing the 7.4 million women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce and advocating for their retention and advancement in leadership positions across all disciplines
o Engaging national legislative bodies and federal agencies in discussions and workshops about gender bias
o Advocating for STEM institutions and corporations to develop policies that increase equal gender representation on boards, conference programs, grant review panels, and committees
o Strengthening current partnerships and developing new alliances to leverage effectiveness
o Promoting gender specific data collection by national, state, and private entities
o Developing and providing useful materials to inform others about our policy initiatives and how to advocate in their own communities

Publications[edit]

Regular Publications

The AWIS magazine, quarterly members-only magazine

The AWIS in Action

The Washington Wire

Books

A Hand Up: Women Mentoring Women in Science[8]

The Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships by Donna Dean, PhD [9]

Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce[10]

Coalitions and Partner Organizations[edit]

Notable members[edit]

  • Carol Greider (Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine, 2009 "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase")
  • Joan Herbers (National President, 2010–2011)
  • Phoebe Leboy (National Past President 2008–2009)
  • Janet Koster (Executive Director)

Executive Board[edit]

  • Susan Fitzpatrick, President
  • Joan M. Herbers, Immediate Past President
  • Gail Gasparich, Secretary
  • Donna Gerardi Riordan, Treasurer
  • Gail Gasparich, Professor of Biological Sciences, Councilor
  • Rita Colwell, Councilor
  • MJ Finley Austin, Councilor
  • Ann Lee-Karlon, Councilor
  • Susanne Neuer, Councilor
  • Janet White, Councilor
  • Patricia Pedersen, Councilor
  • Laura Lorenzen, Editor-in-Chief, AWIS Magazine (ex officio)
  • Janet Bandows Koster, Executive Director (ex officio)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About AWIS". Association for Women in Science. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "AWIS History". Association for Women in Science. 
  3. ^ "Association for Women in Science, Inc. Mentoring Project". PAESMEM. 
  4. ^ "The Association for Women in Science Appoints Janet Bandows Koster, MBA, as Executive Director". Association for Women in Science. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "AWIS National Governing Board". Association for Women in Science. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "AWIS – Essential Reasons to Join". 
  7. ^ "AWIS – Advocacy and Public Policy". 
  8. ^ "New Mentoring Resource". Association for Women in Science. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships". Springer. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce". Elsevier. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 

External links[edit]