2023 Year in Review

Unwavering and Undeterred

“Though persistent challenges continue to impede progress for women across the country, AAUW remains undeterred. A century after the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in Congress, we still experience discrimination, which threatens women’s health, opportunities, and economic equity. Women hold two thirds of U.S. student loan debt. Wage gaps, unequal and unaffordable healthcare access, and disproportionate social burdens remain significant challenges, especially for women and girls of color, who face compounded disadvantages. In 2023, we raised our voices for gender equity and translated that advocacy into real, tangible progress. AAUW and our members buzzed with activity; we sent thousands of messages to legislators, demanding support for fair pay, standing up for stronger paid leave policies, and fighting for safe, equitable school environments for students. On Capitol Hill, our re-invigorated Lobby Corps members, supporters, and partners visited congressional office after congressional office to champion legislative change for women and girls. This unwavering commitment to action exemplifies the AAUW ethos, ensuring we move steadily towards a more equitable future for all. The path ahead may hold obstacles, but AAUW stands ready to meet them. We remain steadfast in our mission, grounded in research and evidence-based strategies, and supported by a community of passionate advocates, donors, and members like you. Together, we will keep forging a path towards a future where gender equity is not a distant aspiration, but a living reality for all.”

Evolving the Fight for Gender Equity

AAUW’s members and supporters are leading the work to support equal rights for women and girls — still standing strong after 142 years. Through advocacy, research, and the education of thousands, our network works tirelessly to remove the barriers and biases that stand in the way of gender equity.


A Year of Generous Support

  • In 2023, more than 52,000 members and thousands of donors supported AAUW — including nearly 450 college and university members and over 700 branches across the country. 
  • 29 new members joined our Legacy Circle, AAUW’s growing community of over 700 individuals committed to making a planned estate gift to AAUW to ensure AAUW’s future impact. 
  • AAUW earned a 4-star Charity Navigator rating in 2023, recognizing our commitment to best practices and industry standards in accountability, finance, culture, and community. 
  • AAUW members participated in an Oral History Project, collecting more than 900 stories detailing the lifelong relationships and impactful experiences they’ve had as a result of their dedicated membership to AAUW. 

A Year of Outreach

  • AAUW’s salary negotiation and financial literacy trainings continued to be AAUW’s most sought-after programs, reaching 4,227 people in 2023, and 197,679 people to date, thanks to generous grants from the Coca-Cola Foundation and ETS. And we continued our work to serve Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions. 
  • AAUW was thrilled to announce the in-person return of the esteemed National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). The annual event was a great success, reaching nearly 500 students from 170 campuses and featuring 50 motivational sessions and noteworthy speakers like Maryland’s Secretary of State, Susan Clair Lee, inspirational keynote speaker Minda Harts, and AAUW Women of Distinction awardees Jodi-Ann Burey, Jean Chatzky, Blair Imani, Natalie Gillard, and Swati Sharma. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing sponsors 
  • AAUW resumed other integral in-person events, including the NYC Fellowships and Grants Awardee Networking Reception, featuring guest speaker and F&G alumna Zinga Fraser, Ph.D., of the Shirley Chisholm Project, the Spring Awardee Luncheon, and AAUW’s Empower program. 
  • AAUW’s expert insights on how to achieve equity for all resulted in high-visibility media appearances in major outlets, including Forbes, MSNBC, Buzzfeed, Yahoo!, Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, Ms. Magazine, Politico, and USA Today 
  • In 2023, we made major impressions. AAUW’s message of activism and advocacy for equity for all received nearly 4.7 million views across Facebook, LinkedIn, and X (formerly Twitter). 
  • On the Ground, a podcast from the Global NGO Executive Committee, hosted AAUW CEO Gloria L. Blackwell to discuss the crucial focal points of AAUW’s work promoting gender equality and economic security for women.   
  • With funding from the National Science Foundation, we continued our work with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) focused on faculty salary equity with our Let’s Talk Money collaboration. 
  • With a focus on girls of color, AAUW’s STEMEd for Girls free online workshop series gave 277 girls and their caregivers the opportunity to learn how to transform a passion for STEM into a thriving career. In its third year, the program supports high school girls to navigate the world of STEM, with generous support from the Arconic Foundation, Baxter International Foundation, and PPG. 
Public Policy

A Year of Action

  • AAUW’s Two-Minute Activist network sent more than 47,000 messages to elected officials this year in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, urging Congress to pass paid family and sick leave bills, advocating for safe and equitable schools for all students, and calling for the Equal Rights Amendment to be recognized as the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 
  • AAUW’s tireless Lobby Corps resumed visits to Capitol Hill, visiting more than 150 congressional offices to advocate for legislation that uplifts and advance women’s equity and access to opportunity. 
  • In 2023 AAUW co-sponsored the “Not One More Year” march, marking the 100th anniversary of the Equal Rights Amendment’s (ERA) introduction in the House of Representatives. We also became a founding member of the ERA Coalition’s National Strategy Task Force. Going forward, AAUW will be a strategic thought partner in developing and shaping coalition campaigns, messaging, and initiatives, leveraging collective resources, to raise public awareness with the purpose of getting the ERA published and fully enacted. 
  • In the wake of the Supreme Court’s denial of student debt relief in June, AAUW hosted a series of policy-focused webinars on women’s economic security, including Delivering on Debt Relief: The Fight for Racial and Gender Justice with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and My student loans are due. Now what? with The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA). 
  • For years, AAUW advocated for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act—a law that requires employers to provide basic accommodations to protect workers’ ability to provide for themselves and their families without compromising their health or pregnancies—and it went into effect in 2023. The same year, we organized over 1,600 comments for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in support of final rules that will guide enforcement of the law in a way that is strong, comprehensive, and inclusive. 
Fellowships & Grants

A Year of Education Access and Engagement

  • We celebrated the 135th anniversary of AAUW’s pioneering American Fellowships Program — our largest fellowship program and the oldest non-institutional source of graduate funding for women in the U.S.  
  • We also honored activist and feminist icon Barbara Smith as the 2023 Alumnae Recognition Award recipient in a fireside chat with AAUW CEO Gloria L. Blackwell.   
  • AAUW awarded $6.1 million in fellowships and grants to 277 awardees, maintaining our leadership as the nation’s largest non-institutional funder of women’s graduate-level education. 
  • Applications to AAUW grants surged — indicating an ongoing need for educational support with more than 3,700 total applicants, a 34% increase over 2022.