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!
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
- 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
- IWill be aware of maternal bias and work to diminish it.
Number of people making pledge: 104
Mitigate Unconscious Bias – Respond to Microaggressions
- 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
- 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.
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?
Learn more about IWill MCW.
Medical College of Wisconsin
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Milwaukee, WI 53226