AWIS Article Challenges Men to Be Allies
AWIS Article Challenges Men to Become Allies
WASHINGTON DC, July 26, 2018 – The Association for Women in Science (AWIS), the leading organization that advocates for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), released “Attention Men: How to Be an Ally.” Written by male ally and AWIS member Aspen Russell, the article urges men to proactively curb gender inequities by adopting an open-minded and respectful manner when discussing structural norms and behaviors.
“We can all begin by taking inventory of our own biases, implicit and unconscious, and making a thoughtful effort to begin unlearning our socialized sexism,” writes Russell, who holds a BS in computer science and gender studies from American University. “In many situations, we can make great progress by taking a step back and thinking of the intent and impact of our actions in relation to identity and influence. Know what is going on in your workplace and take responsibility for your role in it.”
The author in addition, challenges men to normalize allyship, and ultimately gender equity, by speaking against micro-aggressions and other manifestations of prejudice. Aware of the privileges unfairly afforded to men, an ally will advocate for gender equity in personal and professional settings.
The gender imbalance in STEM fields is glaring, with biases resulting in disparities in hiring, pay, investment, and awards and recognitions. In the last two years, only 2.2 percent of total venture capital dollars and less than 15 percent of angel funds went to companies led by women, according to AWIS report Revolutionizing the STEM Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. Similarly, while women hold approximately 35 percent of all mathematics degrees, they represent only 27 percent of mathematics jobs and comprise less than 16 percent of tenure track mathematics faculty in academia, finds AWIS research.
As a first-generation, genderqueer sociologist focused in women’s studies, Russell has worked in both the tech industry in advanced equipment manufacturing software creation and in nonprofit women’s advocacy work as a researcher with the Association for Women in Science.