Association for Women in Science, Recipient

As an organization focused on gender equity, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) celebrates two key dates every year—February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science and March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD). To echo this year’s IWD theme, embrace equity, AWIS used a one by one grant to order promotional buttons that state, “Equity Strengthens STEM” (science, engineering, technology and math).Two people holding up promotional buttons in front of a branded backdrop. “We ordered the promotional buttons in January and sent them to local chapters to distribute and to individual members who requested them,” said Shelley O’Brien, chief marketing officer. “Then we encouraged everyone to wear them on those days and post photos on social media to show their support for equity in STEM. Staff members also wore the buttons while advocating with legislators on Capitol Hill.” AWIS promotes equity for all While its focus is on women, AWIS benefits all marginalized and underrepresented audiences in STEM, and men are also welcome as members. In addition to advocacy, AWIS offers career development, networking, mentorship and leadership opportunities. It also provides thought leadership and research to help members stay current on relevant trends and news. “Some members have shared that our content provides inspiration when the going gets tough for them,” O’Brien said. “It helps them stay in careers when they feel like they don’t belong.” Promotional buttons help members recognize one another In male-dominated fields, women can encounter discrimination, harassment, and other barriers to success due to unconscious biases. Networking with other women in STEM is important for sharing advice and support. AWIS encourages members to wear their promotional buttons whenever they’re at conferences or industry events to easily recognize one another. Requests for buttons have come from as far away as Germany.

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