About AWIS

AWIS History

The History of AWIS National, Established in 1971

Estelle Ramey, PhD
Founding Mother

1971

Founding

Inspired by the Women’s Rights Movement and fired up by frustration and injustice in their own personal careers, thirty-five women establish the Association for Women in Science, incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in New York State in September.

1971

AWIS Takes on NIH

AWIS et al. v Richardson and Marston—National Institutes of Health (NIH) is required to freeze appointments to
study sections and advisory groups until women are given the chance to suggest names for the open positions. AWIS files suit against the NIH for underrepresentation of women.

1973

Moving on Up

Estelle Ramey, AWIS President, establishes the first national office of AWIS at 1717 R Street, NW, in Washington, D.C.

Estelle_Ramey_at_work (2)

1974

From Humble Beginnings

Mary Moller, Jeri Sechzer, and Anne Briscoe found the first AWIS chapter in Greater New York.

1975

Success on Two Fronts

NAACP and AWIS win a lawsuit against the
Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for discrimination in higher education on the basis of sex and race.

1974–1978

AWIS Wins Lawsuit Against the NIH

1981

Parity in Toronto

AWIS annual meeting convenes in Toronto in conjunction with AAAS’s annual meeting, to discuss the theme of building gender parity in math education.

1981

Presidential Proclamation

At the request of women’s organizations,
President Jimmy Carter proclaims the first
“National Women’s History Week,” incorporating International Women’s Day on March 8th.

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1982

Scientific Symposium

Symposium on “Women in Science” meets in
Washington, D.C., with the theme of improving the status of women in science and promoting equal pay.

1983

Together We Are Stronger

AWIS joins the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE), a group of nongovernmental organizations that works on a broad range of issues affecting the rights and opportunities of women and girls in education.

1987

Cosponsor

AWIS cosponsors a history of women in science symposium in Chicago at the AAAS annual meeting.

1988

At First Glance

Grants-At-A-Glance is founded as first comprehensive compendium of funding opportunities made available to AWIS members.

1992

AWIS Leads

AWIS chairs the Coalition for Women’s Appointments Environmental and Scientific Taskforces, involving over eighty organizations.

1994

NASA, DoE, and AWIS

“Taking the Initiative! A Leadership Conference for Women in Science and Engineering,” cosponsored by AWIS, NASA, and the Department of Energy (DoE), meets in Washington, D.C.

1995

AWIS at the UN

Accredited as a United Nations NGO, AWIS attends the “UN Fourth World Conference on Women” held in China, creating the first science and technology caucus for a
UN Women’s Conference.

1997

Presidential Award

AWIS wins the Presidential Mentoring Award for Creating Tomorrow’s Scientists: Models of Community Mentoring.

1999

CAWM-SET

AWIS Board Member is appointed to the Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology (CAWM-SET) report, published in July 2000.

1999

AWIS Testifies

AWIS staff testify in Congress on “The Advancement of Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development Act” (H.R. 3007).

2002

Grant Awardee

Sloan Foundation Mentoring Grant is awarded to AWIS for development of Institutional Climate Assessment Survey and Model Academic Policies.

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2005

Remarks and Rebuttal

Following remarks made by Harvard’s president,
Lawrence Summers, AWIS launches media campaign in rebuttal.

2008

The Elesevier Grant

Elsevier Foundation grants AWIS an award to launch national Work/Life Balance Program.

2009

Nobel Laureate

Carol Greider, the first AWIS member to receive the
Nobel Prize in Medicine, is recognized for her work on telomeres.

2010

AWARDS

AWARDS Project headed by Phoebe Leboy, funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE grant, is launched. Collaboration begins with STEM disciplinary societies to address the underrepresentation of women among recipients of scholarly awards.

2011

40th Anniversary

Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of AWIS, in conjunction with the AAAS annual meeting, takes place in Washington, D.C.

1667 K Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006 awis@awis.org (202) 588-8175

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