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.
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'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.
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.
Women in STEM fields face all kinds of challenges, and AWIS helps navigate these with information, awareness, education, and personalized mentoring programs. I have been a mentor with the Palo Alto Chapter of AWIS since 1997, and it has been enormously rewarding to be a sounding board for graduate students and postdocs in the sciences. I've watched many grow in their careers and make hard choices along the way; but with the benefit of a supportive network rather than the isolation I felt as a graduate student back in my day. AWIS brings attention nationally to women working in STEM, to give them the recognition they deserve.
Great Philadelphia and Palo Alto Chapters. While consulting I was able to find a welcoming chapter just about anywhere I went.
What impresses me most about AWIS is that it is not simply a membership organization. I have experienced firsthand how AWIS engages its members in activities that examine the barriers that prevent women from advancing in science fields, and strives to make changes to remove those barriers. I genuinely feel that AWIS fulfills its mission to retain and increase the number of women in STEM (science, engineering, science, and math) fields. I feel very fortunate to be a member of such a supportive and proactive organization.