Who We Are

Who are the UMass Graduate Women in STEM (UMass GWIS)?

GWIS is an all-volunteer graduate student organization, founded and run by STEM graduate students.

Our purpose

GWIS’ purpose is to broaden the participation and increase the retention of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) fields and other disciplines through committee-led initiatives in outreach, mentoring, professional development, advocacy, diversity and inclusion, networking, and leadership building. 

Our mission statement

The UMass Amherst Graduate Women In STEM organization is committed to establishing and maintaining communities which promote the advancement of women pursuing careers in STEM and other disciplines, and which support them through their academic careers and beyond. We embrace a broad membership to increase the participation and representation of women and other marginalized folks in STEM and other disciplines, to address the under-representation of marginalized groups in those disciplines, and to catalyze change in the academic and professional climate to inspire future generations of women in STEM and the broader society. We accomplish this mission by engaging with diverse communities, evaluating the best strategies and practices, developing interpersonal skills and seeking out leadership experiences. We seek to empower women to achieve academic, professional and personal excellence and to prepare them to navigate the institutional barriers associated with higher education.

Learn more about our organization:

Statement on Male Allyship

The women who organize GWIS think it’s great that men are interested in attending GWIS events in support of women scientists here at UMass and beyond.

Most of GWIS programming is open to people of all gender identities. This is especially important for our transgender and gender-nonconforming or non-binary members. When cisgender men want to participate in our programming, we encourage them to read our mission statement and ask themselves if their involvement aligns with our mission.

Example 1: A faculty mentoring luncheon

If a man wants to attend and listen to stories from women faculty in order to learn more about how he can be supportive to women in his department, that motive aligns with our mission. If a man is attending for his own professional or personal advancement, that does not align with our mission.

Example 2: A professional development seminar

We do our best to allow women to have first access to our professional development programs but are happy to offer up our extra seats. If you are a cisgender man and there is an event you’d like to attend, consider emailing ahead to ask what you can do to help out with the event.

Example 3: A networking social event

If a man wants to attend in order to show solidarity towards the women in his department, lab, or friend group, he might consider using the opportunity to chat with women about their work or career plans. If he sees somebody who is sitting alone or not talking to anyone, he might consider engaging with that person. He may also consider emailing us ahead of time to see what he can do to help out (e.g. event setup and cleanup).