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News & Press: Press Release

SWE and AWIS Amplify Message with Strategic Public Policy Partnership

Thursday, September 11, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Allison Kimble
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WASHINGTON, D.C., September 11, 2014—The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) are pleased to announce a partnership uniting 50,000 voices to advocate on behalf of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The two organizations will collaborate on timely public policy initiatives designed to better the lives of the roughly 1.8 million women working in these fields while working for a positive shift in the public consciousness concerning equality in STEM workplaces.

Yvonne Rodriguez, PhD, will serve as the public policy liaison for SWE and AWIS. Formerly, Rodriguez served as the deputy director and director of programs and scientific professional advancement for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). She earned her PhD in physics from the University of California – Santa Cruz (UCSC).

"This partnership strengthens the initiatives our organizations have independently spearheaded, of course, but it's the work we'll accomplish together that will be truly groundbreaking," said Karen Horting, SWE’s CEO and executive director. "Together, we are 50,000 strong and a united voice for positive change for women in STEM."

“AWIS and SWE know the power of strategic partnerships,” added Janet Bandows Koster, AWIS Executive Director & CEO. “Our complementary strengths will allow us to drive positive systemic change to ensure the future of America’s innovation pipeline. We are 50,000 strong.”

Since 1971, AWIS has tirelessly advocated for equality for women in all areas of STEM. Most recently, AWIS has focused on key issues of equality including the expansion of Title IX, pay equity and expanding the representation of women in leadership roles. AWIS recruited Yvonne Rodriguez, Ph.D., as its 2015 Phoebe S. Leboy Public Policy Fellow. Rodriquez served in the Air Force before earning her degree in physics while simultaneously navigating the challenge of raising a family. The organizations will jointly leverage her unique perspective as they advocate for public policies encouraging underrepresented minorities to pursue professions in STEM.

As the premiere global organization representing women in engineering, SWE has worked for more than 60 years to improve the lives of women in the engineering world. Year-round, SWE holds outreach events and pursues public policy initiatives designed to establish a place and a voice for women in engineering. In the course of this year alone, SWE organized the "Diversity and Inclusion Fuels Innovation in STEM" Capitol Hill Day, exhibited at Women's Policy Inc's (WPI) STEM Fair on Capitol Hill and participated in the White House Summit on Working Families.

Through their respective efforts and decades of work, SWE and AWIS have each made great strides in the quest to establish equality and encourage gender diversity in STEM workplaces. In uniting their efforts, the two groups are now poised to become the definitive voice of advocacy for women in STEM.

About AWIS

Founded in 1971, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is the largest multi-discipline organization for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. AWIS reaches more than 20,000 professionals in STEM with members and chapters nationwide. Membership is open to any individual who supports the vision and mission of AWIS.

About SWE

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and receive the recognition and credit for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders. For more information about the Society please visit or call 312.596.5223.



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