Research Lab Bench

IWill MCW

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.

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!

68.7%
Women
0.6%
Non-binary
30.7%
Men

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

Learn

Learn

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

Findings

  • 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.
Reflect

Reflect

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.

Reflections

  • 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?
Act

Act

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

Questions

  • 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?

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

AWSM@mcw.edu