American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Strategic Communications Planning, Media Relations, Writing/Material Development, Event Planning, New Media
In an era when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business, why are there so few women scientists and engineers? AAUW produced a report with compelling evidence to explain this puzzle. Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics present eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers – including stereotypes, gender bias and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities – that continue to block women’s participation and progress in science, technology, engineering and math. The report also includes up-to-date statistics on girls' and women's achievement and participation in these areas and offers new ideas for what each of us can do to more fully open scientific and engineering fields to girls and women.
The challenge? Publicize the report in such a way that the importance of women entering the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics would make its way into the stories that would naturally focus on the results of the research.
Turner Strategies reached out to the media in order to make the issue publically known. We helped design and organize a meeting at George Washington University for members of the women’s advocacy community as well as women in STEM fields to discuss the report. The event was live-streamed over the Internet, attracting bloggers, experts and advocates to participate in an extremely lively and impassioned concurrent online discussion that helped position AAUW as the face of STEM issues. Turner Strategies also arranged a magazine luncheon for editors and reporters of major national magazines and blogs located in the New York that focus on education, science and technology issues, as well as target women. Twenty-eight journalists attended the luncheon, which featured Mae C. Jemison, MD, former NASA Astronaut and the first African American woman, presenting the research results.
Successful placements were garnered in The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Fox News, The Boston Globe, Education Week and many, many more. KIWI Magazine ran a five-part series entitled, “Your Daughter: Rocket Scientist?” Popular Mechanics reached out to AAUW following the New York luncheon asking for nominations for their Breakthrough Awards, which kicked off an ongoing relationship when Popular Mechanics’ editor asked AAUW to help keep an eye out for likely women candidates for future awards. Nobel Laureate Carol Greider spoke at a Capitol Hill briefing on May 4, 2010 with report co-author Christianne Corbett.