AWIS Examines Disparities in Gender and Mathematics

Jul 5, 2018Press Release


Maria Ibañez


WASHINGTON DC, July 5, 2018 – The leading organization advocating for women in STEM, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), finds that women have long been underrepresented and underrecognized in mathematics disciplines. According to Heather Metcalf, PhD, AWIS Director of Research and Analysis, the underrepresentation holds true despite significant contributions women have made to the field.

Source: AWIS original analysis of National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics publicly available data

“With mathematics awards, women received fewer than 14% of all research and scholarly awards while, at the same time, won three times as many teaching and service awards,” said Dr. Metcalf. Studying these issues for nearly half a century, AWIS research shows that marked gender disparities in awards and recognition are part of a climate that hinders the advancement of women and impairs their retention as leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Through its partnerships with mathematics societies, AWIS has helped revise the processes, recognize the bias within it, improve transparency, and hold one another accountable.

Dr. Metcalf shares her research in A Contemporary Look at Gender and Mathematics: The Necessity of Systemic Change, originally published in the National Women’s History Museum’s A Different Point of View: Women & Mathematics. The full article is available here.



About AWIS: Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for 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. In addition to scholarships, AWIS provides career resources, professional development, as well as networking, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities to build leadership skills. To learn more, visit and @AWISNational.


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