Policies & Governance

The AWM’s mission is to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences, supporting individuals and institutions as we all work to make a more just and equitable community. Achieving this vision relies on the continued efforts of AWM’s committees and the work that they do. The AWM is governed by an elected Executive Committee, with support from a Board of Advisors. AWM’s bylaws and committee handbooks guide how AWM manages its business, and the Election Lifecycle indicates how nominations and appointments happen for the Executive Committee.

The timeline for AWM election cycles is below. All references are to the AWM Bylaws.

even year Nov. 24 Newsletter Ed. puts into copy for Jan. Newsletter a request to membership for suggestions (due by 12/15 to Pres.) for officers to be elected upcoming odd Fall [4.4(b&c)].
odd year Jan. 1 Newsletter carries notice described above.
odd year January Exec. Comm. mtg. Exec. Comm. appoints and charges a Nominating Comm. [President implements] [4.4(b) part 1]
odd year Feb. 1 There is no change in the individuals making up the Executive Committee. (The President-Elect becomes President and the President becomes Past President)
odd year Feb. 15 President and Past President forward suggestions received from members to Nom. Comm. Chair by 2/15.
odd year May 1 Nominating Comm. reports their slate to President & President to Executive Committee.
odd year May 24 Newsletter Ed.  puts proposed slate into copy for July issue with petitioning rights and regulations from end of 4.4(b).
odd year July 1 Newsletter appears which has slate and petition notice as above.
odd year Sept. 1 “Before September 1” a petition (20 members’ signatures) for a name to appear on ballot must reach President [4.4(b)] who notifies Newsletter Editor.
odd year Sept. 24 Newsletter Editor fixes copy for ballot for November issue.
odd year Nov. 1 Newsletter  ballot appears in Nov/Dec Newsletter [4.4(c)] and returned ballots must reach the Clerk by December 15. [4.4(d)]
odd year November Executive Committee appoints or reappoints a Newsletter Editor, Web Editor and a Meetings Coordinator. [4.2]
odd year December If any offices are contested on the ballot, Clerk should notify all concerned immediately after December 15 so January meeting travel plans can be modified if desired.
even year Jan. Exec. Comm. mtg. At the January Exec. Comm. meeting at JMM in even years, the Executive Committee is composed of the “old” officers because all new officers take office February 1.
even year Feb.1 New officers assume their offices.

This Conflict of Interest Statement applies to all people on committees or who otherwise represent AWM. A copy of this conflict of interest statement passed by the AWM Executive Committee, Vancouver, 8/16/93, shall be published once a year in the AWM Newsletter, and any member serving as an officer or on a committee shall be advised of the policy upon undertaking her duties.

A conflict of interest may exist when the interest (financial or other) or concerns of any member of AWM, or the member’s immediate family, or any group or organization to which the member has an allegiance or duty, may be seen as competing or conflicting with the interests or concerns of AWM.

When any such potential conflict of interest is relevant to a matter requiring participation by the member in any action by AWM or any of its committees to which the member belongs, the interested party shall call it to the attention of AWM or the committee and such person shall not vote on the matter. Moreover, the person having a conflict shall retire from the room in which the organization or its committee is meeting (or from a conference call) and shall not participate in the final deliberation or decision regarding the matter under consideration.

The foregoing requirements shall not be construed as preventing the member from briefly stating her position in the matter, nor from answering pertinent questions of other members, as her knowledge may be of great assistance.

The minutes of the meeting of the organization or committee shall reflect when the conflict of interest was disclosed and when the interested person did not vote. When there is a doubt as to whether a conflict of interest exists, and/or whether a member should refrain from voting, the matter shall be resolved by a vote of the organization (or its committee), excluding the person concerning whose situation the doubt has arisen.

2021 Diversity Task Force Action Plan 1

AWM Leadership will be periodically revisiting this and as such it should be treated as a living document.

AWM formed a Diversity Task Force (DTF) to examine how well AWM was supporting its community members with intersectional identities. The task force report, issued in 2018, made several recommendations for improvement. AWM began discussing and implementing changes beginning in  2018. This Action Plan is intended to document the first phase of a more formal response. It was first discussed at the March 25, 2021, meeting of the AWM Executive Committee and was approved at the September 29, 2022, meeting. Our timeline for completing this phase is two years.

In this Phase One action plan, AWM will address a subset of the DTF findings:

  • Difficulty recruiting members and leaders from minoritized ethnic and racial groups
  • Recruitment techniques that rely on inner networks
  • A lack of support for trans women and other gender non-conforming or gender minority mathematicians
  • A lack of inclusion of younger mathematicians in programming and decision-making 

Associated recommendations from the DTF are to:

  • Make a greater effort to recruit minoritized members into leadership positions, and measure this by tracking demographics of EC and other leadership positions
  • Make a greater effort to diversify plenary speakers, and measure this by tracking demographics
  • Explore partnerships with other organizations, and measure this through tracking the number of such partnerships

Below we detail the steps the AWM intends to take or has already begun taking, divided according to EC structure. In all such steps, we commit to considering all forms of inclusivity and equity, whether or not a particular aspect appears in the task force report.

Management Team (Executive Director, President, and Past-President or President-Elect):

1. Institute broader solicitation for plenary speakers, EC position nominations, awards and other AWM opportunities.
Management has already created forms to solicit nominations for speakers and EC positions, and has received nominations for the 2022 Research Symposium and EC elected positions. We are in the process of instituting a schedule for regularly disseminating calls for submissions in these areas, as well as for award nominations. Next, we will establish regular data gathering processes to track demographics and other measures to demonstrate effectiveness in broadening participation. This will also address the DTF finding that the organization relies too heavily on inner networks. Finally, we will develop and maintain a contact list for networking with individuals and institutions.

2. Expand partnerships with other organizations.
AWM Management will reach out to organizations such as NAM and Spectra to determine ways that AWM can support the missions of those organizations. In addition, AWM will seek partnerships with other mathematical organizations that will support ethnic, racial, and gender diversity in mathematics.

3. Reexamine AWM’s gender-based mission statement and rephrase to be more inclusive of other gender identities.
AWM has consulted with Spectra about how best to support its members on the full gender spectrum and will present a revised mission statement to the EC.

4. Identify ways to include younger voices in AWM programs, committees, and the EC.
The Management Team will explore opportunities for student chapter representation on the EC and will charge the EC Standing Committees to consider where an early career seat might be appropriate. In addition, we will create structures, such as the Rising Star speaker sequence for the 2022 Research Symposium, that highlight the excellent work of our early career community members. We will track progress toward this goal by counting the number of early career participants in our various programs.

5. Initiate and support programs that educate the AWM community about issues of race, gender, and class, as well as developing key skills such as leadership and collaboration.
AWM has begun workshops (previously Moving Toward Action, now Aligning Action at Crossroads) to provide a baseline education in racial, ethnic, and gender harassment awareness and mitigation. We also have offered panels, such as the 2021 Equity, Ethics, and Bias in Math panel, to share expertise on these issues with our community.  In the future, we will develop workshops to cultivate skills that will give members of minoritized communities the skills to achieve positions of power that can help shift cultural norms. In addition, we are collaborating with other organizations to develop educational materials for our community.

6. Gather information and goals for the next diversity task force analysis as we work through this initial action plan.
One example of a topic to include more explicitly in the next task force report is disability. It was not included the original task force report and was not mentioned by participants.

Awards Portfolio

1. Establish data gathering and tracking processes to evaluate the demographic distribution of nominees and awardees of AWM awards.
The Awards Committee has already established an evaluation process related to demographics of awardees and nominees. To support those efforts, the committee will also improve data gathering processes.

2. Develop processes to increase the diversity of nominees.
An ad hoc Awards Canvassing Committee was convened several years ago. The Awards Committee will reconsider the charge, duties, and processes of that committee.

3. Streamline awards nomination and evaluation processes to provide more equitable access.
The Awards Committee will establish a schedule for examining a subset of AWM awards each year. It will consider the wording of the call for nominations as well as the material required for each award considered.

Membership Portfolio

1. Increase student membership retention after graduation.
The Membership Committee is currently reviewing the Individual Membership Dues and will consider the introductory membership rate as part of this process.
The Membership Committee will explore ways to advertise more effectively to graduating members. It plans to review promotional materials. It also plans to write a Facebook post and an email to be sent out to all student members at the end of the summer/early fall each year.

2. Connect student chapters more strongly to national AWM.
In 2021 we overhauled the Institutional Membership categories and pricing so as to simplify the administration and create a systematic way tracking of student members and nominees, as well as to encourage student memberships and student chapters. (The proposal was passed by the Executive Committee in December 2021.)
The Membership Committee will explore the possibility of having the Student Chapter Committee appoint a student representative to the Membership Committee.

3. Encourage early career membership
In the 2021 overhaul of the Institutional Membership categories we stipulated that free faculty nominations be given to visiting/adjunct/junior faculty. This proposal was passed by the Executive Committee in December 2021.
The Membership Committee will explore the possibility of having a Membership Desk at the Project Next Networking Event at MathFest as well as at the Graduate Student Poster Session at the JMM.
The Membership Committee will also explore the possibility of adding a sponsorship option. Currently the Contributing Member category includes a free student nomination. We are considering extending this option to allow for the possibility of gifting a membership to other (typically early career/adjunct/aspiring) mathematicians and/or a corporation sponsoring a student chapter.

Policy and Advocacy

1. Reexamine AWM’s gender-based mission statement and rephrase to be more inclusive of other gender identities.
P&A reworked the Mission Statement to be more inclusive and the proposed updates were approved by the Executive Committee in October 2021.

2. Audit the AWM website for consistency with the new mission statement and inclusiveness.
Policy and Advocacy will develop a sustainable process for monitoring and updating the AWM website.

3. Make statements that support inclusivity. 
P&A made a number of statements between 2018 and 2021 covering related topics:

  1. 2018 Policy Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
  2. 2018 Statement of AWM Concern for Transgender Civil Rights Protections
  3. 2018 Statement of Deep Concern about the Location of ICM2022
  4. 2019 Response to Dr.Thompson’s Letter in the AMS Notices (regarding Diversity Statements)
  5. 2020 Solidarity with the National Association of Mathematicians
  6. 2020 Strike for Black Lives
  7. 2020 Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping
  8. 2021 Statement in Support of AAPI Community
  9. 2022 Reiteration of Concerns around the 2022 ICM
  10. 2022 Concern for Transgender Civil Rights Protections

In the future, P&A will continue to track current events and trends with a special focus on DEI issues, and make statements/endorsements where appropriate.

4. Recruit outside the AWM network and bring in younger students for Hill Days. 
The Government Advocacy Committee (GAC) subcommittee of the P&A has worked with groups outside the traditional pipeline, including a diverse high school STEM chapter and a college which primarily serves first-generation college students.

5. In the (post-covid?) future, the GAC subcommittee of the P&A will shape the messages for future Hill Days to emphasize inclusivity and to highlight legislation that would support minoritized communities specifically.  The GAC will also actively recruit Hill Day participants from a more diverse population in the DC area.

Education and Outreach Portfolio 
The members of the Education & Outreach Portfolio have discussed the AWM’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Report and identified the following concrete steps that we can take in support of the AWM’s goals.

1. Each committee will review its programs for ways to be more inclusive of gender minorities and, upon review, act to increase their programs’ inclusivity if possible (addressing Theme 3). 
Some of our programs are currently restricted to women (for instance, the AWM/MfA Essay Contest requires that interviewees must be women with mathematical careers); this sort of restriction will be discussed.

2. Each committee will review the language used to discuss its programs and alter it to make it more inclusive if possible (addressing Theme 3).
Some of the language on our website or in other materials specifically targets “women” or “girls” even when the programs themselves are more inclusive; we will make our language more inclusive of other gender minorities in mathematics.

3. Each committee will discuss and implement ways to acknowledge and thank our volunteers and to make volunteering less burdensome (addressing Theme 7).
This might include general offers of letters of support for volunteers, especially those whose service is not publicly visible, or finding ways for volunteers to provide a recorded presentation that could be shown at multiple events.

4. Each committee will devise a plan to advertise its programs more directly to people with gender identities and sexualities that have been historically excluded from math (addressing Themes 3 and 9).
Very few of our committees have a marketing strategy; we will advertise our programs through other organizations such as SPECTRA.

5. Each committee will devise a plan to advertise its programs more directly to people from ethnic minorities that have been historically excluded from math (addressing Themes 2 and 9).
Very few of our committees have a marketing strategy; we will advertise our programs through other organizations such as NAM, SACNAS, and Indigenous Mathematicians. We will also reach out less officially to groups of people such as mathematics department chairs at HBCUs.

As approved by the AWM Awards Selection Committee, 2022.

Purpose:  A recipient of an honor, award, or prize (“award(s)”) of the AWM is expected to not only meet commonly held standards of professional behavior, ethics, and integrity (see [3]), but also to continue to act as an advocate for the inclusion of women and other minorities in mathematics. These award(s) are intended to encourage work that furthers the goals of the AWM and/or enhances the prestige of the AWM within the mathematical profession broadly considered.  The goal of the AWM is to encourage the participation and advancement of women in mathematics.  Failure to meet professional standards can discourage participation and persistence in mathematics and thus hinders the work of the AWM.  Similarly, actions that clearly discourage women and minorities from pursuing or remaining in mathematics, even when they do not fall under the category of unprofessionalism, go against the mission of the AWM and its efforts to make mathematics a more inclusive field. Therefore, all awards granted by AWM are subject to this Revocation Policy. In the rare case that the winner of one or more AWM awards no longer meets this expectation or ceases to merit the awards(s), the AWM may revoke the award(s). A revocation may or may not be accompanied by a public announcement.  See the Scope and Procedures below.  

Scope:  This statement of policy and procedure applies only to awards available to individuals over the age of 18 (it does not apply, for example, to winners of essay contests whose entrants are often students less than 18 years old).

     The AWM will, in its sole and absolute discretion, consider and act on formal, fully documented requests for revocation of an award.  Such requests must provide a clear statement of the alleged serious breach of professional integrity or professional ethics, or of the actions that clearly discourage the participation of women and minorities in mathematics. For sample statement(s) of professional behavior, code of ethics, and integrity see [4, 5].  Each request for such a revocation will be handled consistently with the procedures below.

Examples of breaches of professional standards include (but are not limited to): 

  1. serious, damaging or intentional plagiarism and self-plagiarism, misrepresentation of sources, inaccurate citations;
  2. exploitation of junior faculty, postdocs, students, or other members of our community
  3. physical violence, threat, or coercion aimed at furtherance of professional goals;
  4. sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying;
  5. retaliation for reporting violations of professional standards; or
  6. retaliation for refusing to accommodate unprofessional demands.

Breaches of professional ethics/misconduct might also include discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, biological sex, or gender identity.  Harassment and/or retaliation for reporting harassment or misconduct may constitute a breach of professional ethics.  This policy applies to activities wherever they take place.  For the purposes of this policy, the alleged misconduct may have been directed against a superior, a peer, a subordinate, student, or other vulnerable person in the course of professional activity.

A formal request for revocation of an AWM honor or award must be signed, submitted in writing, and include a credible basis for consideration (see the Procedures below). For the avoidance of doubt, any person is permitted to submit a formal request for revocation, including, but not limited to, former or current AWM directors, officers, agents or employees. Media reports alone will not suffice as a credible basis.  AWM will consider only requests for revocation submitted within four years of the publication of information on which the request is based.  AWM will not consider requests for revocation if the honoree/award winner is deceased. Revocation may be accompanied by a public statement.   If the award included prize money or travel reimbursement, the AWM will accept repayment, but not demand repayment of monetary prizes.  Other benefits of the award will be ended.


  1. A request for revocation of an award must be submitted in writing to the AWM Executive Director, or if submitted by the AWM Executive Director to the chairperson of the Executive Committee (the “Chair”).  It may be submitted by postal mail or by email.  If submitted by email it must include an electronic signature.  It must detail the alleged misconduct and sources so that AWM can consult to verify the alleged misconduct.  It must provide supporting documentation. The identity of the requestor will be kept confidential, except as required by law.  The request must include a signed written agreement to maintain confidentiality of the matter until AWM concludes its review and makes a decision. 
  2. A credible basis for consideration of possible revocation must include (i) a report or formal announcement of investigative findings and/or actions by a credible body, or (ii) a signed formal admission of the conduct by the honoree.   Credible bodies include (a) a federal or state agency (e.g., NSF or Dept of Education);  (b) a professional society affiliated with the CBMS, including the AWM itself; (c) an accredited academic institution; or (d) a court of law.  AWM will not consider requests for revocation made more than 4 years after such evidence is publicly available. 
  3. The AWM Executive Director (or a deputy approved by the AWM Executive Committee) will review the request and recommend to the AWM Executive Committee whether it is substantive and contains sufficient documentation for further action.  The Executive Committee may then dismiss the request or proceed with the Procedures. 
  4. AWM will not investigate the allegations in a written request for revocation beyond verifying the documents. 
  5. If the Executive Committee decides to proceed, it will form a 4-member ad hoc Revocation Panel to hear the case.  This panel will consist of four AWM members willing to serve until the case is resolved.  The Panel will set a reasonable timeline for its work and a reasonable deadline for receiving any responses under items 6 and 7 below. The expectation is that this work will be completed no later than six months from the time the Panel has been formed. 
  6. The Executive Committee will notify in writing the person (“respondent”) whose AWM award is under consideration for revocation, stressing that the matter will be treated confidentially until a decision is reached.  The respondent will be offered a chance to resign the award before the Panel makes its decision.  The respondent may review the documentation of the request and submit a response to the Panel, either in writing or by telephone/videoconference.  Such a conference will have a structure devised by the Panel, will have limited time and scope, and will not include a lawyer or other adviser to the respondent. 
  7. The Executive Committee will also notify the chair of the committee that recommended the award and allow that chair to present a response to the revocation request. This is an exception to item 4.
  8. After its deadline for responses (see items 6 and 7) the panel will consider the question of revocation taking into account the documentation of the original request and any responses received.  Upon completion of its deliberations, the Panel will vote on a motion to revoke the award by a secret ballot offering the options “revoke” or “do not revoke.” All Panel members must vote during this secret ballot. If at least three of the four Panel members vote to revoke, the award will be considered revoked.  There will be no option of reconsideration or appeal. If the award is not revoked, and the Executive Committee determines that some infraction did occur, it may send a letter of reprimand (with or without educational materials intended for restorative justice). 
  9. The Panel will then present a summary report to the AWM Executive Committee, including the result to revoke or not to revoke, but not including the vote tally nor the names of those voting for or against the revocation.  The Executive Committee will share this report and the outcome of the vote with the respondent, the author of the original request to revoke, and with the chair of the committee that recommended the original award. 
  10.  If the award has been revoked, the Executive Committee will decide, in its sole and absolute discretion, whether to make a public announcement of that fact and how to publicize it.  The announcement may include a brief statement of the relevant background and factors leading to the decision. 
  11.  In cases where the award is not revoked, but there is evidence that the Honoree discouraged the participation and advancement of women in mathematics (via any of the items listed under Examples of breaches above), the panel may recommend that the Executive Committee issue a lesser penalty than award revocation, for example a reprimand letter (see item 8 above).
  12.  If additional information comes to light after a decision has been made, the AWM Executive Committee will determine whether the issue should be reopened. In such a case as it is reopened, the process will return to Step 5 with an initial invitation to original ad hoc committee members. When original members are unable to participate, new members will be included in the ad hoc committee. 
  13.  After Step 10, the AWM President should disband the Panel with thanks for its hard work.  In general, a Panel member should be excused from service on all subsequent Revocation Panels, except as outlined in Step 12. 

Process for approval and amendment of this proposed policy:  

(i)  The Awards Portfolio Committee will discuss and amend this document as it sees fit, by majority vote if consensus is not reached.  

(ii) The document will then be submitted to the AWM Executive Committee for approval and implementation.  

(iii) This Policy and its Procedures will be reviewed at most every 3 years, or at the discretion of the AWM Executive Committee.  

(iv) Requests for revision will be submitted to the Awards Portfolio Committee for consideration/approval as in (i/ii).

Acknowledgement:  AWM gratefully acknowledges the examples of related policies published by the AAAS and the Societies Consortium, which were helpful in drafting this policy.  

  1. AAAS Council Fellow Revocation Policy, retrieved April 15, 2020.
  2. AAAS Statement on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, retrieved April 15, 2020.
  3. AAUP Statement on Professional Ethics, retrieved April 15, 2020. 
  4. MAA Welcoming Environment, Code of Ethics, and Whistleblower Policy, retrieved April 15, 2020.
  5. AMS Ethical Guidelines, retrieved April 15, 2020.