Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
Community Search
Sign In

Login with LinkedIn


Sign In securely

Haven't registered yet?

Online Surveys
AWIS in Action! August 2012 - AWARDS
Share |

 AWIS in Action HeaderAWIS 40th Anniv Logo

AWIS In Action!

 Advocacy & Public Policy Newsletter   ~   August 2012
In This Issue
 Persistent Pool Party Misperceptions
This month has been a slow one in DC. Congress is in recess, there have been few briefings, panel discussions, or other opportunities to spread our message and raise awareness of the issues that lead women to leave STEM fields. So, we have been taking this opportunity to reach out and connect with new audiences, speaking to Congressional staff on the Hill as well as to other scientists and engineers. What has become very clear is that there is a problem with perceptions about the number and status of women in STEM fields. First off, while the data differ for each of the STEM disciplines, the general tendency is to lump all the fields together. However, we know that engineering and physics have a real pipeline problem compared to the life sciences. 

We also know that one of the key reasons women leave the STEM workforce is lack of recognition. While women’s receipt of professional awards and prizes has increased in the past two decades, men continue to win a higher proportion of awards for sch
olarly research than expected based on their representation in the nomination pool. Part of the problem is that the pool of eligible women is perceived as being even smaller than it actually is, and this persistent misconception is pervasive across the political and scientific communities as well as the general public. In fact, we regularly get into heated debates because the perception becomes reality regardless of gender, discipline, or rank.
This is not to say that we haven’t had successes with the outcomes of our endeavors. When we began the AWARDS project, we worked with several scientific societies and helped identify specific ways each one could improve their nominations and selections processes. However, some have gone even above and beyond our recommendations. The Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) Board has voted to adopt a double blind review process for their journals, about which we are ecstatic. Previous studies have demonstrated that women are less likely to have their articles accepted when the reviewers know the gender of the author and we believe this will be an important step to increasing the frequency with which women publish in the MAA journal. The American Geophysical Union has also taken progressive steps towards increasing their transparency in the nomination and selection process and recently published these seven steps in their journal. For working to set the record straight and level the playing field, we applaud you.


© 2016 AWIS
Association for Women in Science
1667 K Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006
202.588.8175  |