The ARC Network Moves to WEPAN

February 1, 2021



Shelley O’Brien

The ARC Network Moves to WEPAN
The STEM equity brain trust will have a new home

WASHINGTON, DC, February 1, 2021 – The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) announces that the ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network will be transitioning to a new organizational home at the Women’s Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN). The move is coming as NSF celebrates the 20th anniversary of the ADVANCE program and at a point where strategic planning is underway for the ARC Network’s sustainability. Dr. Heather Metcalf, AWIS Chief Research Officer and principal investigator for the ARC Network, will join WEPAN as Director of Research and Constituent Relations and continue to lead this important initiative.

“AWIS is pleased to have served as the home of the ARC Network and to have helped it reach its current stage,” says Sandy Robert, AWIS CEO. “We celebrate the success that the ARC Network has achieved to date, we are excited about the future of the program and we are open to opportunities for continued affiliation. I want to thank Dr. Metcalf for her many contributions to AWIS and for her leadership as principal investigator of the ARC Network.”

Funded by a multiyear grant awarded from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2017, the ARC Network seeks to achieve intersectional gender equity for faculty in higher education science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The ARC Network draws on the efforts of ADVANCE, the NSF’s program addressing systemic inequities in academic STEM, and produces new perspectives, methods and interventions with an intersectional, intentional and inclusive lens.

The ARC Network’s accomplishments thus far include 1) initiating the Virtual Visiting Scholars program – now in its third cohort, in which select scholars are supported in completing meta-analyses of research on topics central to equity in STEM; 2) developing an Online Resource Library on Mendeley housing over 2,000 curated resources on equity in STEM; 3) launching a webinar series centered on ensuring equity in institutional decision-making in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and 4) hosting key convenings, such as the Equity in STEM Community Convening and the Emerging Research Workshop on Identity-based Harassment. The ARC Network has also published in various outlets on equity in STEM. AWIS is fortunate to have been the organizational home of the ARC Network as these and other successes came to fruition.

“I’m proud of all that the ARC Network team has accomplished during its time at AWIS,” says Dr. Heather Metcalf. “This strong foundation sets the stage for continued success as we move to WEPAN. We look forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of ADVANCE this year from our new organizational home.”

WEPAN is dedicated to leveraging research and best practices to foster an environment of equity and inclusion in engineering, and is well positioned to build on the past successes of the ARC Network while also supporting the WEPAN mission and vision. “As we continue work on our strategic focus of changing the culture of the field of engineering, the alignment and synergy with the ARC Network makes us even more hopeful for reaching systemic equity in STEM,” says Dr. Ershela Sims, WEPAN Executive Director.

During the transition, anyone interested in ARC Network can visit


About the ARC Network: Funded by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program, Award HRD-1740860, the ARC Network seeks to achieve gender equity for faculty in higher education science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. As the STEM equity brain trust, the ARC Network recognizes the achievements made so far while producing new perspectives, methods and interventions with an intersectional, intentional and inclusive lens. Learn more about the ARC Network at and on social media using #EquityInSTEM.

About AWIS: The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a global network with 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates connecting more than 100,000 professionals in STEM with members, allies and supporters worldwide. Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. To learn more, visit and @AWISNational.

About WEPAN: WEPAN is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1990. It is the nation’s first network dedicated to advancing cultures of inclusion and diversity in engineering higher education and workplaces. WEPAN connects people, research, and practice. It offers power initiatives, projects and professional development to equip advocates with the tools to create sustainable, systems-level changes that allow ALL in engineering to thrive.