AWIS is at the forefront of the movement to address the biases, conscious and unconscious, that hold women back from achieving at the highest levels in STEM professions and academia. They have emerged as a key voice for women in STEM in Washington, DC and throughout the US.
I have been a member of AWIS since I was a graduate student in the early 1980's. At every step on my career path, AWIS was a sure source of excellent contacts, advice, and resources. I volunteer for AWIS now as a way of paying it forward - I want young women in science and engineering to benefit from whatever wisdom my experience has given me, and from my network of contacts. No organization does as much for women in science as AWIS does. Every scientific and scholarly society that pays lip service to diversity and the advancement of women would do well to emulate what AWIS has done so well for more than 40 years.
AWIS is the premier organization advocating for fairness and equity for women in the STEM fields. The organization has led efforts in this area since its founding in 1971. I joined as a graduate student at the time of its founding, and the organization has been there for all the stages of my professional career in science. Members of AWIS provided mentoring support throughout my career and the opportunity to intereact with key executive leaders as I moved into the executive ranks myself.
AWIS provides outstanding service to academia and industry through its information on how to promote gender equity and create a thriving organization. I was the direct beneficiary of this when my professional society, the American Astronomical Society, sent me to a training workshop at AWIS Headquarters on how to promote recognition of women in national awards. AWIS produced a set of training materials showing how implicit bias in male-dominated fields leads committees to overlook women, and providing best practices to train committees. The same materials are helpful to search committees. All advocates for equity in STEM disciplines recognize AWIS as a leading source of information and ideas.
I have been a member of AWIS for years. They are acutely attuned to the "life" of female scientists and do much to offer support. There are job listings, events, seminars and opportunities to speak on the local and national stages about issues impinging on scientists especially female scientists. They provide publications as well. The organization strives not only to assist the female scientist but also to bring STEM, science and other related issues to the scientific and lay communities. They do a wonderful job.
There are chapters supporting the national organization and their local members. They offer local events and assistance, not to mention camaraderie. The Bethesda Chapter, of which I am a member, is very active and does a marvelous job.
This association gets an A+ from me.
In my university life I served on the “Women’s Committee” – the only man. That was an eye opener though I had previously been active on committees which advocated for increasing opportunities for women in Science. Around that time a young woman came to work for my lab who said she had always been discouraged from working in science because it was a mans field – she is now an M.D., and Medical Director of the University of Oregon Health Center. As a proud member of AWIS I have been able to continue watching women realize their goals in science, and participate as an advocate for these individuals. AWIS provides a valuable forum with intriguing topics for sharing experiences and information, and empowering women in science. I am extremely impressed with what AWIS provides and has achieved.
I have been active in many professional societies including serving as the 2006 President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and founding in 1985 the Society of Core Analysts. I am also a member of the Society of Women Engineers.
For many years I focused on succeeding in non-gender specific professional societies and trying to advance women's issues through those groups. At this stage in my career having held leadership positions in those societies, I am focusing on trying to help women in STEM careers. For the past two years, I was the Chair of the Women's Network of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and I continue to Chair the Women's Network of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. I have found many notices and references in the AWIS newsletter that I have shared more broadly with female colleagues and the women's networks in which I am active.
AWIS is providing a valuable service in collecting and disseminating information on the status of women in science. I read the AWIS email newsletters and the paper publications carefully and believe that the society provides valuable service to women in STEM careers.
I've been a member of AWIS for close to 30 years. While my level of personal involvement has varied depending on my location, job, and other responsibilities, the organization continues to provide resources for women scientists and engineers through local chapters and national leadership on public policy issues regarding women in STEM. The organization has impact far beyond its numbers.
I have recently become a part of AWIS and am still exploring the many benefits. A focus of AWIS that resonates with the leadership of the university where I am a faculty member and with myself personally, is the mentoring of women in science. As I write this paragraph, in my latest e-mail message from AWIS is a short piece entitled, “8 Ways to Reinvigorate your Career.” Little efforts like that keep this important but not urgent – and thus often overlooked - issue in the forefront. Mentoring is timely on a university level for us, as this spring we held our second mentoring one-day workshop for junior faculty. Last year’s session was for leadership only; this year’s was for all interested faculty. I was fortunate that AWIS past president and long-time Executive Board member, Donna Dean, made the effort to look me up recently when she was in town. Donna shared content of a workshop she led in her home state for junior women scientists - ideas would work well equally for us. She has written a book, published by AWIS, on mentoring that is serves as a rich resource for me personally and that my Department head, who Is active in the mentoring effort on our campus, was delighted to learn about for use going forward.
National AWIS helps me as a professional in the field (I've been involved nearly 20 years). The Washington Wire newsletter is a great overview of issues. We have an active state chapter that promotes science to middle school girls. Our local group also has monthly networking lunches.
I have been part of AWIS since I was a post-doc... some 15+ years ago. What I love about this organization is its dedication to representing the needs of women working in scientific/technologic roles in both academic and commercial settings on a national/political advocacy level and its support of local chapters which act to provide advice, mentorship and career-building tools to women in these professions. It's such a great place to network! I continue to volunteer for my local chapter because I know that the national organization is working to ensure equality and the local organization is working to help (mostly) women scientists in my community contribute and achieve to their maximum potential.