IWillMCW: Bringing Gender Equity to the Medical College of Wisconsin, One Pledge at a Time

Prose and Stories

Launched in 2019, IWill MCW was the first pledge-based gender equity campaign created by the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Center for the Advancement of Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM). It allowed staff, faculty, and learners to make unique individual pledges focused on creating a nurturing environment for all genders.  IWill 2.0 began in August of 2021 and included a 10-day resource campaign to help foster meaningful dialogue to create shared language, understanding and positive action across all three MCW campuses. The campaign included ten daily communications including a microlesson, action step, and resources to dig deeper.


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IWillMCW: Bringing Gender Equity to the Medical College of Wisconsin, One Pledge at a Time

At the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), we believe that health starts from within and that our institution can cultivate a culture of engagement through wellbeing, professionalism, and inclusion. MCW’s Center for the Advancement of Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM) believes that when all persons can bring their whole self to work, all of us benefit. MCW’s Center for the Advancement of Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM) was created to accelerate the promotion of women to higher levels of their careers. Please visit our public website at https://www.mcw.edu/departments/center-for-the-advancement-of-women-in-science-and-medicine-awsm

 Our focus areas are:

Building a culture in which all genders thrive
Integrating family into work by valuing parents and caregivers
Strengthening equity through allyship
Exploring intersections between race and gender
Empowering women leaders and expanding women’s networks
Researching and highlighting women in academic medicine

Our Vision, Mission, Why, and How:

Vision: Our vision is that MCW will cultivate an inclusive and vibrant culture that supports all genders to grow and thrive in the health sciences. 

Mission: The mission of MCW’s Center for the Advancement of Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM) is to strengthen the culture for women at MCW through data-informed strategic projects that enhance opportunity and improve workplace climate. 

Why? We want each person to bring their best every day

How? We do things with evidence. For equity.

What is IWill MCW?

IWill MCW is a personal “call to action” to the entire MCW community to create a nurturing environment for all genders. IWill MCW 2.0 is a campus-wide, pledge-based campaign that encourages faculty, staff, and students to open meaningful dialogue to create shared language, understanding and positive action. The pledge period opened in August of 2021 and the 10-day campaign helped electrify the personal commitment to gender equity of our staff, faculty, and learners from all three MCW campus locations. The resource campaign began Monday, September 20 with daily communications including a microlesson, an action step and resources to dig deeper. 

IWillMCW 2.0 Campaign

The following link shows a copy of the 10-day email campaign.
Links in the campaign emails are open to all MCW staff, faculty, and learners.
As of 10/1/2021, the opt-in number for IWillMCW 2.0 was over 800!
Follow-up focus groups are scheduled for October and November.

IWillMCW 1.0

In 2019, we encouraged participants to pick one of 18 pledges (or write their own). 

Examples included: 

I Will become a workplace ally,
Will actively seek collaborators that are not like me for projects, studies, panels, or other work groups and
I Will learn to recognize microaggressions and adjust my approach to the people with whom I work.
For more pledge examples

About the IWillMCW 1.0 Pledge Campaign

Participants were given the opportunity to make their pledge public by providing their name and pledge, just their name, or just their pledge on the IWill MCW page on InfoScope, our internal website.
We also invited participants to share their pledge on social with the hashtag #IWillMCW
View all pledges here
Following the campaign, participants were sent resources for completing their pledge.

Campaign Results

We exceeded our initial goal of 1,100 pledges.
An IWill MCW manuscript by Doctors Maurana, Raymond, Kerschner and Ellinas was published in 2021. The article can be found here.
Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, follow-up to the original campaign was delayed until May 2020. Of the 1400 original respondents, 781 responded to the follow up survey.


Overall AWSM website: here

Link to a copy of the IWill 2.0 10-day campaign: here

Link to IWill MCW website: here

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