I've been a member of AWIS since 1975 and have served on its board. In addition, I belonged to the local chapter of AWIS for nearly the same length of time. As a university chemistry/biochemistry professor, active in the research laboratory and classroom, AWIS provided me with a unique opportunity to meet and work with other women scientists in academe, as well as with women in the
corporate and business environment and in other professional societies. The skills I picked up through AWIS board activities and through networking with women inside and outside of academe helped me transition into academic administration. In this capacity I was able to obtain funding from NSF and DOD to support women and minority students at the university and to collaborate with other colleges in this activity, and to collaborate with other professional societies in such efforts. Although there has been some growth in the numbers of women and other underrepresented students starting science, engineering and technological careers, the recruitment and retention of women at all levels from student to faculty to industry remains a work in progress. AWIS's efforts are more vital than ever.
I have served on the AWIS Board since 2009 and have really learned so much from my involvement about strategies to advocate for women at all levels of their STEM career. My association has also provided an amazing array of mentors--such amazingly competent, intelligent and wise women serving in all capacities in a variety of volunteer roles to make the association a great representative for all Women in Science.
I joined my local chapter of AWIS at the beginning of my graduate school career. It has been an invaluable resource as I transition into an independent scientist. It has allowed me to network at the local and national level and the topics discussed are always timely. At the national level, AWIS is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
As someone that has had little external help and support to reach my career goal in science, I always wished that someone would have guided me and opened windows of opportunity for job possibilities in science. Becoming a member of AWIS has not only allowed me to further enhance my career through the support and mentorship of experienced women in my field, but given me a way to give back to my community and provide guidance to young women. I also feel that AWIS is unique because it provides support for women in STEM fields on a local and national platform. I am proud that AWIS is engaged in policy to promote women in science, it makes me feel that what we do on a local level has a more widespread impact on society.
I attended several AWIS seminars as a postdoc in New York City, but after moving to Maryland, I decided I needed to focus on developing a lifelong a career in science, rather than just holding down a job at a biotech. I can find a link between every position I’ve held since that biotech job, and networking through AWIS. I am eternally grateful to the Bethesda AWIS board members who have served as references for me. They also gave me the inside scoop on practices and policies at a future employer - information that allowed me to negotiate salary, flex time, and telecommuting every Friday from home. They helped me out with advice and support once I was on staff, and provided valuable off-the-record perspectives. Now that I am in Pennsylvania, I am still in touch with some of the gang inside the Beltway, and we still share job postings, make connections and introductions for each other, and lament how fast our kids are growing.
I have been a part of the AWIS Chicago chapter for the last 2 years both as a participating member and eventually a board member. The networks I have made both within industry and academia through AWIS have lead me to both professional and personal growth. It has been great to work with other women and men in my field who share the same passion of progressing women within STEM fields.
AWIS is an organization dedicated to raising the status of women in science and bringing more women into the science field. The organization is extremely useful to facilitate networks among female scientists. Scientists aren't usually outgoing so AWIS provides a gentle way for women to reach out to other female and male scientists. AWIS's network promotes women's ability to climb the career ladder and hopefully, one day, achieve pay parity with male scientists.