This chapter outlines the successful development of a women’s initiative from a grass roots organization to a firmly established institution within our medical school. Championed by a group of dedicated women leaders, the mission of the Alliance for Women in Medicine and Science (AWIMS) is to provide a supportive forum to promote honest discussion and positive change in the realms of gender equity, career advancement, work-life balance, and community service, and to champion professional development and promotion of women in medicine and science. What started as an informal gathering within Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine in 2015, led by Dr Vidhya Prakash, first morphed into a robust, vital organization called Women in Medicine that contributed meaningfully to SIU Medicine and to the community before it broadened its focus to women in medicine and science and expanded its reach to the entire SIU system. In January of 2018, the initiative was firmly institutionalized as AWIMS, an organization open to ALL members of the SIU community. AWIMS seeks to advance women’s rights through various initiatives. This chapter is co-authored by AWIMS director Dr Vidhya Prakash, and Dr Anne Scheer, a qualitative sociologist in the medical school’s Department of Population Science and Policy, who hopes to help tell the story of AWIMS and translate the Alliance’s successful development process into a narrative accessible to other professionals interested in creating innovations to promote women’s interests in traditionally male-dominated professional settings.
We would like to thank the following individuals who have helped and continue to help make AWIMS a success: Original WIM Executive Committee: Dr Rexanne Caga-anan, Dr Sharon Onguti, Dr Sana Waqar, Dr Najwa Pervin, Dr Zainab Obaidi, Dr Yasmine Ibrahim, Dr Chenelle Joseph, Dr Elizabeth Nielsen, Dr Vanessa Williams, Dr Yasmina Arroyo-Jimenez, Dr Nicole Abbot. AWIMS Executive Committee Current Co-Chairs: Dr Heeyoung Han, Ms Stacy Grundy, Dr Sana Waqar, Dr Andrew Wilber, Ms Patrice Jones, Dr Nana Cudjoe, Dr Christine Todd, Dr Betsy Hopkins, Ms Kimberly Palermo, Dr Robert Robinson. Past AWIMS Executive Committee Co-Chairs: Dr Sabha Ganai, Dr Nicole Abbot, Dr Rexanne Caga-anan, Dr Lana Cong. AWIMS Advisory Board: Dr Wendi El-Amin, Dr Susan Hingle, Dr John Flack, Dr Hilary Sanfey, Dr David Steward, Dr Douglas Carlson, Dr Jody Lack, Dr Debra Klamen, Dr Donald Torry, Dr Kari Wolf, Dr John Mellinger.
Scheer, A. and Prakash, V. (2019), "Advancing Women’s Rights from Within: The Story of the Alliance for Women in Medicine and Science", Segal, M., Kelly, K. and Demos, V. (Ed.) Gender and Practice: Knowledge, Policy, Organizations (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 28), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 163-180. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-212620190000028009Download as .RIS
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