Announcing the NSF ADVANCE Award

A premier goal of the UMass Lowell Center for Women & Work is to seek remedies for gender-based inequality in the workforce through disseminating information and promoting institutional change, including within our own institution.
The Center for Women & Work is proud to announce a joint effort on advancing women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). UMass Lowell, in partnership with the UMass Medical School, has recently received a prestigious ADVANCE award from the National Science Foundation.  Recent studies have noted the persistent underrepresentation of women in higher ranks of STEM fields, for both industry and academia. Despite many advances in addressing the most visible barriers to increased participation of women, the accumulation of subtle biases over years (“a thousand pounds of feathers”) can have a profound negative effect on women’s career trajectories in STEM. 

About the Center

UMass Lowell Center For Women and Work Mission

The Center for Women and Work (CWW) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is a vibrant community of scholars – representing diverse disciplines – who are dedicated to the Center's mission to: 

  • Advance knowledge about the relationship between gender and work through research.
  • Enhance understanding of this relationship through education and training. 
  • Challenge inequalities, particularly through institutional change.

Center Goals

Since its inception in 1998, the Center for Women and Work has demonstrated its strong commitment to addressing the gendered conditions of work in several key ways: by designing and implementing programs and projects that foster new ways of thinking about the gendered conditions of work; by encouraging and supporting interdisciplinary linkages across and throughout all of our networks; and by bringing to the forefront the reciprocal relationship between a woman's work and the well-being of communities.

Moreover, the CWW has a synergy with elements of the unique mission of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, including promoting sustainable regional economic and social development and fostering persity. CWW is acutely attuned to the negative impact of gendered work conditions, and we believe that fully productive and sustainable societies are not possible as long as workplace and economic barriers for women remain. CWW not only focuses on how economic opportunities vary by gender but also seeks to understand how work issues are related to race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and disability status. The Center is, therefore, dedicated to fostering creative links that benefit individuals in their personal and societal networks, advancing social innovations that benefit communities, and encouraging and supporting intellectual risk-taking to produce sustainable strategies that work toward greater equity and that make all people's lives healthier and more rewarding.

The specific goals for each of CWW's strategic priority areas as are follows:
  1. Advancing Knowledge – i.e., to promote research and scholarship that will advance our understanding of the relationship between gender and work.
    • Sponsor a focused set of innovative research projects that work toward greater gender equity and healthier work lives for women.
    • Promote creative linkages across disciplines and support a network of scholars engaged in interdisciplinary projects on women and work.
    • Support grant writing within this network.
    • Disseminate CWW scholarship to local, regional, national, and international audiences.
  2. Enhancing Understanding – i.e., to further intellectual inquiry about issues related to women and work among students and to support the professional development of a cohort of junior scholars able to generate their own scholarship on women and work.
    • Enhance understanding of women and work issues through educational programs and community forums.
    • Develop a curriculum plan for students wanting to gain expertise in the gendered conditions of work.
    • Support student involvement in CWW projects on women and work.
    • Support the general professional development of women students at UMass Lowell.
  3. Challenging Inequalities - i.e., to seek remedies for gender-based inequality in the workforce through disseminating information and promoting institutional change, including within our own institution.
    • Foster an institutional culture that supports women's advancement within the university.
    • Share information on issues related to women & work with the university and community.
    • Promote partnerships between university and community members for addressing gendered working conditions and other concerns for working women.Provide organizational consultation & technical assistance.