Take your messaging to the next level

We know that some AWIS chapters are ready to merge their STEM and advocacy. Dig into the messaging for policy change.

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AWIS Talking Points

Overview

The following talking points are designed to support AWIS staff, board members and network chapter members as they participate in speaking engagements, media interviews. These message points are developed with a more conversational style.

Key Messages

In an interview setting, please try to get across these three key messages, which provide a broad overview on the challenge, who we are, and a call to action to get involved with AWIS. These can be modified based on audience.

There is a lack of gender diversity in corporate leadership, academia, and in biotech and it is preventing long-term success. The STEM industry needs more professional women in leadership to start and strengthen businesses and stimulate innovation.
o It is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do for business, for corporate culture, for our nation.
AWIS is a global network that inspires bold leadership, research, and solutions. We are committed to advancing women in STEM, sparking innovation, promoting organizational success, and driving systemic change.
o There are some simple, and fully achievable steps that organizations can take to make a difference. AWIS works with organizations to develop solutions. 
o To join and learn more about AWIS, visit www.awis.org.
We are calling on all corporations, academia, research institutions – to partner with us on this mission. America’s global preeminence in the sciences is depending on us. 
o There are proven approaches to make change, including:
Recognizing unconscious biases
Paying attention to language
Creating clear, consistent and transparent evaluation processes

What is the Problem

Women Remain Underrepresented in Leadership Roles due to Bias, Gender and Race-Related Barriers 
AWIS’ 2019 Leadership survey with its members found that those who serve, or have served, in leadership roles and faced gender and race-related barriers along their career path. The research report, Transforming STEM Leadership Culture 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.

Despite women’s high representation in biotech fields, they are still significantly marginalized when it comes to leadership.

Unconscious bias is a real barrier for gender parity in STEM and entrepreneurial innovation.

  • Even in fields where women and people of color are earning degrees at or above representative rates, such as the life sciences, a whole host of cultural and systemic biases and barriers remain and impact areas such as evaluation, recognition, funding, access to resources, opportunities for advancement and leadership, workplace interactions, publication, patenting, and more. (source)
  • Men are more than twice as likely to have their entrepreneurial pitches funded than women even when the content is identical. (source)
  • AWIS data show that between 2001 and 2014, women were underrepresented among recipients of scholarly and research awards among PhDs, full professors, and disciplinary society members. (source)

Supporting Messages

More professional women in STEM are needed to grow the economy, stimulate innovation, start and strengthen businesses.

Research shows that women are key drivers of economic growth and innovation in academia, business and the health care industry.

The STEM workforce needs more women in leadership roles for businesses to realize their full potential.
Research shows that Fortune 500 companies with at least three women directors have experienced a:

  • 66% increase in return on invested capital 
  • 42% increase in return on sales
  • 53% increase in return on equity

Companies with more than 15% of their top management positions occupied by women experienced 52% greater returns on equity.

Small and mid-sized companies with at least one woman director performed 17% better in their stock prices over a 6-year period while large companies performed 26% better.

Top firms in Standard & Poor’s Composite 1500 list experienced an increase of $42 million and experienced greater financial gains from innovation priorities when they had women among their top management teams. 
Ethnically diverse companies in the top quartile for diversity are 35% more likely to outperform those in the bottom quartile.

For every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on a company’s senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes rise nearly 1%.

Gender and racially diverse leadership teams outperform homogenous teams in tasks involving decision-making, exploration, creativity, innovation, strategy, complex thinking, and scientific work.

Papers written by diverse racial and ethnic groups receive more citations and have higher impact factors than papers written by people from the same ethnic group.

What does AWIS Offer

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a global network that develops research and creates solutions that advance women in STEM and drive systemic change.

  • AWIS, founded in 1971, is the leading organization that advocates on behalf of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation.
  • With nearly 50 years of research, advocacy and corporate engagement, AWIS’ global network of professional women in STEM is unparalleled.
  • Through our partnerships with academic and research institutions and our career database, corporate partners can access a pipeline of top-qualified candidates to strengthen and grow their businesses.
  • AWIS partners are considered thought leaders and gain visibility while contributing to the advancement of women in STEM. 

Call to Action

We are calling on all corporations, academia, research institutions – to partner with us on this mission. The STEM industry needs more professional women in leadership to start and strengthen businesses and stimulate innovation, and America’s global preeminence in the sciences is depending on us.

  • Pay: There must be pay equity for women in all disciplines of STEM. Women must be compensated fairly without bias or discrimination. 
  • Promotion: The advancement of women in STEM industries is critical. Women in STEM must be recognized and promoted in all disciplines and employment sectors (e.g. Corporate America, academic and research institutions, and nonprofit organizations). 
  • Participation: Women must have access to resources, tools, and entrepreneurship opportunities to ensure that they can achieve their full potential. 

Investors can fix the funding gap and remove the bias and barriers that exist and impede women in STEM entrepreneurs from achieving their full potential.

There are some simple, and fully achievable steps that organizations can take to make a difference. To learn more or join AWIS, visit www.awis.org.

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