Research Lab Bench


IWill MCW is a community-wide campaign that encourages dialogue to create shared language, understanding and positive action. Support for equity across gender, ethnicity, sexuality, parental choice drives this campaign. This grass-roots initiative focuses on individual action – people pledge to act, and then ask others to join them in this movement.

Our Call to Action

Time alone will not bring equity. We must act to build an environment where all genders can thrive.

IWill MCW Fall 2021 Information

IWill MCW 2.0 was a campus-wide, pledge-based campaign that encouraged faculty, staff, and students to open meaningful dialogue to create shared language, understanding and positive action. The 10-day campaign electrified personal commitments to gender equity through daily communications that included a microlesson, an action step and resources to dig deeper.

As MCW continues to seek inclusive excellence, IWill commit to gender equity by helping MCW become a place where everyone feels seen, heard, supported, and valued.

John R. Raymond, Sr., MD. President and CEO, Medical College of Wisconsin

Campaign Participation

Nearly 865 pledges from faculty, staff, students, and community members!






  • 91% of respondents in the Follow Up Survey either agreed or strongly agreed the IWill campaigns improve gender equity at MCW.
  • 88% of respondents in the Follow Up Survey either agreed or strongly agreed they have the power to create gender equity in their work environment.

The IWill MCW 2.0 campaign ran from September 20 to October 1. We encourage you to engage with it by reviewing the content from the ten days. Because this was an internal MCW campaign some links will be unavailable to the public.

If you would like to interact with future campaigns, please sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter Sign Up

I think the IWill campaign has helped to raise visibility for the importance of gender equity and the role culture plays in promoting and sustaining an equitable work community. I think the IWill campaign also has shown how top-down and bottom-up approaches are both needed to make positive change happen.

Alicia Witten, Program Director, Office of the Senior Vice President for Strategic Academic Partnerships, Kern National Network for Caring and Character in Medicine

IWill has both educated me and equipped me to improve gender equity. I know we have made a difference in our little corner of MCW, and I hope your work will continue as this must be a sustained effort.

Ryan Spellecy, PhD, Ursula von der Ruhr Chair in Bioethics; Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

IWill MCW Fall 2019 Information

What I pledge to you today is that we will move the needle... A conversation is not enough. It's time for action. It's time for change.

Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, Provost and Executive Vice President and Dean, School of Medicine | 2019 AAMC Leadership Summit

Initial Pledge Period Completed

Nearly 1,400 pledges from faculty, staff and students!


Five Pledge Themes

Participants had the opportunity to make their pledge public on MCW’s intranet; 53% of participants chose to share their pledge. The rest of the pledges were known to AWSM, but not shared.

Be a Workplace Ally – Support, Mentor and Sponsor Women

Top pledges

  • IWill strive to become a positive role model for other women by speaking up in meetings, working on apologizing less, and acknowledging my own accomplishments.
    Number of people making pledge: 271

  • IWill become (or further my work as) a workplace ally.
    Number of people making pledge: 117

Support all Parents – Increase Awareness of Maternal Bias

Top pledges

  • IWill be aware of maternal bias and work to diminish it.
    Number of people making pledge: 104

Mitigate Unconscious Bias – Respond to Microaggressions

Top pledges

  • IWill learn to recognize microaggressions and adjust my approach to the people with whom I work.
    Number of people making pledge: 120

Create Belonging – Support Inclusion and Affinity

Top pledges

  • IWill show my support for all genders by attending at least one gender-related MCW event.
    Number of people making pledge: 107

Creating a Sexual and Gender Harassment Free Environment – How You Can Help

Pledge Support and Follow Up | "Queen Bee" Pledge Resources Example

Each person who pledges immediately receives information on how to Learn, Reflect, and Act on their pledge. Resources include websites, articles, podcasts, and other learning materials.
Pledge Example

Pledge Example

IWill learn about common obstacles encountered by women leaders – such as likability bias and queen-bee perceptions – and consider whether these affect women leaders and potential women leaders around me.

Category: Be a Workplace Ally – Support, Mentor and Sponsor Women



Participants had access to linked resources that shared findings on what it’s like for women at the top.


  • For women, likability and success are negatively correlated.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to be mistaken for someone in a more junior position.
  • If women speak authoritatively, they may be seen as “too aggressive.” But if they speak more meekly, they risk being underestimated.


Participants were encouraged to schedule five minutes each week to reflect on what they learned, remain active in their participation and become more aware of the subtle biases that often go unnoticed.


  • Am I, and are the women around me, the best role models possible?
  • Consider the leaders around you. Which behaviors are they embracing? What do you think of what they are doing?
  • Does your opinion differ depending on the gender of the leader?


Participants were asked to help women leaders be as successful as possible.


  • How can you use what you have learned to support a woman leader?
  • How can you support all leaders to diversify teams?
  • If you hear a comment about a woman leader, can you provide perspective by sharing some of your knowledge?

IWill 2019 Findings

In the fall of 2019, we asked what each of us would do to be a force for gender equity. We exceeded our initial goal of 1,100 pledges. Additionally, an IWill MCW manuscript by Drs. Maurana, Raymond, Kerschner and Ellinas was published in 2021.

View our IWill MCW Initiative Initial Pledge Period Report (PDF)

View the manuscript

Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, follow-up to the original campaign was delayed until May 2020. Of the 1400 original respondents, 781 responded to the follow up survey.

View the IWill MCW Follow Up Survey (PDF)

Contact Us

Learn more about IWill MCW.

Center for the Advancement of Women in Science and Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226