Women Remain Underrepresented in Leadership Roles due to Bias, Gender and Race-Related Barriers

Apr 24, 2019Press Release


Maria Ibañez

Women Remain Underrepresented in Leadership Roles due to Bias, Gender and Race-Related Barriers
AWIS Research Findings to Be Released at Annual Gathering of STEM Leaders

WASHINGTON DC, April 24, 2019 – New research findings from the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) show that women, especially women of color, and regardless of employment sector continue to be significantly underrepresented in leadership roles due to ongoing bias, gender and race-related barriers. AWIS, the leading organization that advocates for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), will release the preliminary findings at today’s Innovation and Inclusion Summit and Awards Dinner at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

Sandra W. Robert, CAE, AWIS CEO, will present the research findings before an audience of more than 200 STEM leaders attending today’s event. The leadership survey was conducted this past winter with AWIS members. The 125 survey respondents serve, or have served, in leadership roles and faced gender and race-related barriers along their career path. The research shows: 83 percent of survey respondents had their judgement questioned in their area of expertise; and 70 percent had their accomplishments or ideas credited to someone else.

“Our research confirms that significant gender and racial gaps continue to prevent women in STEM from career advancement in academic, research and business settings,” said Sandra W. Robert, CAE, AWIS CEO. “We need to ensure that the full spectrum of expertise from our most talented minds is intentionally applied to STEM challenges. It is a global imperative and requires systemic redesign. Today, our speakers and presenters will share their knowledge of the issues and of the practices to support change.”

STEM leaders and experts from diverse disciplines will be among the 30 executive-level speakers at the summit to discuss a range of approaches to successful recruitment and retention of women STEM professionals, including inclusive funding practices, equity practices and intersectionality.

AWIS will also present its highly coveted awards to three STEM leaders recognized for their leadership and groundbreaking contributions in the industry. The Pinnacle Award recipient is Carol W. Greider, PhD, Nobel Laureate, Director of Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins University; the Leadership Award recipient is Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, DFAPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer, Pfizer; and the Next Generation Award recipient is Mareena Robinson Snowden, PhD, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“Our awardees have dedicated their careers to creating positive social change while contributing to STEM. We applaud their impact toward advancing gender parity and diversity in these fields,” said Robert.



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 www.awis.org and @AWISNational.


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© 2021 Association for Women in Science. All Rights Reserved.