Advocacy

We Are #STEMSTRONG

Our advocacy agenda is focused on how we, as a society, can develop inclusive, fiscally responsive systems to drive research excellence, feed long-term growth, and fuel innovative solutions to the global challenges facing all our citizens.

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Ann Lee-Karlon, PhD
Senior Vice President, Portfolio Management and Operations, Genentech
Benefactor Member since 2010

Broadening Participation

Broadening Participation

While efforts to broaden participation in STEM have been effective at moving the needle numerically in some contexts, much work remains to be done to create STEM educational and work spaces that promote inclusion and value STEM contributions across the social spectrum. Our goals are to:

  • Provide strong support for STEM education.
  • Increase internship and research collaboration opportunities within federal research laboratories.
  • Require federal science agencies to collect specified standardized annual data for all applications for research and development grants to institutions of higher education and to submit the data collected to the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Equitable Workplaces

Equitable Workplaces

Women are 47% of the U.S. workforce but make up only 26% of the STEM workforce. Among science and engineering graduates, men are employed in a STEM occupation at twice the rate of women: 31% compared with 15%. Our goals are to:

  • Support pay equity.
  • Promote paid parental leave benefits.
  • Provide training on preventing sexual harassment and unconscious bias.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

STEM men are engaged in entrepreneurial activities at higher rates than STEM women are. Across STEM fields, 7% of men with PhDs are engaged in entrepreneurial activities, compared to 5.4% of women. Our goals are to:

  • Track demographic data on people disclosing technologies and earning patents; and compare ratios to make sure unconscious discrimination is not occurring.
  • Increase funding for entrepreneurship training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Reauthorize the Small Business Act and make permanent the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Leadership and Funding of STEM Research

Leadership and Funding of STEM Research

U.S. federal science and research budgets are stagnant or even shrinking. To ensure our nation’s long-term prosperity, AWIS promotes the need for a strong and independent U.S. research enterprise and sustained investment in federal basic and applied research. Our goals are to:

  • Ensure that OSTP has the leadership, access, structure, and resources to enhance the integration of S&T advice in federal policymaking within the EOP and, as appropriate, across the federal agencies.
  • Provide stable and predictable funding to enable scientists to pursue transformative research.
  • Expand NSF’s I-Corps program.
Get Involved

Be an Advocate

Now, more than ever, advocates for diversity and inclusion in STEM must lend their voices to balance the debate. Regardless of the type of discipline or employment sector, we all need to share our stories and debunk myths and misinformation. AWIS does this every day, but we need your help.

Join the AWIS Action Network

Join the AWIS Action Network

If we don’t speak up for ourselves and our concerns, who will? Receive advocacy e-mail notices about events and actions you can take and access to our advocacy toolkit.

Join us on social media, and spread the ideas that will help advance women in STEM.

Watch our advocacy webinars, led by seasoned AWIS advocates.

Get involved, and download the AWIS Advocacy Toolkit.

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