The History of AWIS National, Established in 1971
Estelle Ramey, PhD
The Association for Women in Science (AWIS), founded in 1971, is the leading organization that advocates on behalf of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. 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 has helped guide Congress, the United Nations, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, institutions and other professional organizations on decisions and best practices to achieve gender diversity and positive system transformation in STEM. AWIS is a global network with 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates connecting more than 100,000 professionals in STEM with members, allies and supporters worldwide. Learn more about the contributions of AWIS.
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.
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.
Moving on Up
Estelle Ramey, AWIS President, establishes the first national office of AWIS at 1717 R Street, NW, in Washington, D.C.
From Humble Beginnings
Mary Moller, Jeri Sechzer, and Anne Briscoe found the first AWIS chapter in Greater New York.
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.
AWIS Wins Lawsuit Against the NIH
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.
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.
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.
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.
AWIS cosponsors a history of women in science symposium in Chicago at the AAAS annual meeting.
At First Glance
Grants-At-A-Glance is founded as first comprehensive compendium of funding opportunities made available to AWIS members.
AWIS chairs the Coalition for Women’s Appointments Environmental and Scientific Taskforces, involving over eighty organizations.
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.
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.
AWIS wins the Presidential Mentoring Award for Creating Tomorrow’s Scientists: Models of Community Mentoring.
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.
AWIS staff testify in Congress on “The Advancement of Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development Act” (H.R. 3007).
Sloan Foundation Mentoring Grant is awarded to AWIS for development of Institutional Climate Assessment Survey and Model Academic Policies.
Remarks and Rebuttal
Following remarks made by Harvard’s president,
Lawrence Summers, AWIS launches media campaign in rebuttal.
The Elesevier Grant
Elsevier Foundation grants AWIS an award to launch national Work/Life Balance Program.
Carol Greider, the first AWIS member to receive the
Nobel Prize in Medicine, is recognized for her work on telomeres.
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.
Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of AWIS, in conjunction with the AAAS annual meeting, takes place in Washington, D.C.