AWIS provides a unique national platform where essential research meets advocacy, innovation and practice in supporting the advancement of women in STEM.
One Way to Fight for Equity in Science: Nominate More Minorities for Big Prizes
On Pacific Standard magazine, AWIS research informs how awards boost careers in the STEM fields.
The nominee pool isn’t the only place in the prize process where gender bias shows up, nor is the American Geophysical Union the only professional science society that can be unrepresentative in its award-giving. Research from the Association for Women in Science, analyzing 18 science societies with a total membership of about 500,000, found that men are disproportionately likely to win prizes celebrating their intellectual contributions, while women are disproportionately likely to win teaching awards. “Unconscious biases—social stereotypes held by both men and women—de-value women’s intellectual achievements,” Heather Metcalf, the association’s director of research, writes. These stereotypes perpetuate the “myth that men are inherently better mathematicians and scientists than women” and can hurt women’s careers.