By Kristi Charish
Why you should attend the AGM this year
All right, before you shut this blog post down, hear me out.
I’m like most of you. I care about women in STEM and I’m passionate about advancing the perception of women in their careers. I volunteer for SCWIST and make a point to attend and support SCWIST events and workshops.
Except for the AGM.
I’ve been a member of SCWIST now for two or three years, but for all my efforts I’ve never made it out to the AGM. Why is that? Most days I get home from work and I’m TIRED. All I really want to do is curl up with a good book, a glass of wine and unwind. I’ve had a busy day, but I’m nuts so I still have my volunteering activities and writing to get done for the evening. Activities like next week’s AGM just seem to fall right off my priority list.
In my mind these kinds of big meetings always struck me as a less important part of SCWIST. When it comes down to it, it’s just socialising, right? The Board gets some organisation done for the year but I don’t really have any input. My time can be better spent attending events and volunteering!
Of course, Murphy’s Law dictated that for all my tardiness over the past year, I’d be asked to write a blog about the AGM. Something struck me though as I sat down to put this together. I didn’t actually know what went on at the AGM. I knew it stood for the Annual General Meeting, but for all my assumptions I couldn’t actually say what the meeting was about.
I figured it was high time I answered those questions for myself (and other SCWIST members!) before I shirked off yet another year.
So here goes!
5 Reasons You Should Attend the SCWIST AGM This Year:
1. You are a member of SCWIST and you have a vote: In this day and age it often feels as if our solitary voices don’t amount to much in a sea of advertising media. Why should our single votes matter anymore in a non-profit organisation like SCWIST?
But your votes don’t just have an impact, they are essential to SCWIST moving forward as a relevant society that represents all of its members. Voting allows the society to represent you- it’s a cliché but each and every single vote really does matter.
2. Networking, mentoring, and building friendships: I’d say every SCWIST member joins because they are passionate about career development for women, both personally and STEM careers in general. If attendance at our networking soirees is any indication, members are keen to get out and make new contacts! The AGM is an awesome event for networking in a social setting! Whether you are looking for or to mentor, or even just meet like-minded women, this is the event to attend!
3. You get a say in the society’s direction: Are there programs and events that you love and want to see more of? Are there programs and events we don’t have that you want to see? The AGM is the place to voice those ideas and concerns! Bottom line is that if you want more career and networking events but don’t come, the SCWIST teams won’t know.
4. You want to help change the perception of women in STEM careers and increase their numbers: SCWIST is dedicated to changing the social perceptions of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. If you are passionate about helping change perceptions of women in STEM careers and encourage more women and girls to enter into these fields then come to the AGM and have a say in the direction of the organisation over the next year!
5. You’re politically minded (or would like to be!): If you are a politically-minded guy or gal, or you aspire to be, coming out to our AGM and getting involved in SCWIST should be on your to do list! SCWIST is a supportive environment where we encourage members to test boundaries and ask questions. It is also a place where people can learn about the political process through discussion of world and national events and seeing the political process for a non-profit in action (learning about bylaws, Society Act, process of an AGM, voting etc).
Hopefully I’ve convinced a few more of you to join us at the AGM Monday evening, but if not we hope to see you at a SCWIST event soon!
UPDATE July 1st 2012:
The AGM was a big success this year! We had one of our best turnouts EVER. Thanks to all you SCWIST members out there who were able to attend, and thank you to the organizers who arranged for some pretty fantastic sushi.
Our Board for 2012 is:
President, Maria Issa
Ex Officio/ Past President, Anna Stukas
Secretary, Sabeen Mapara
VP Programs, Sandy Eix
Treasurer, Kristen Hodge
VP Grants, Maddie Spenrath
Stay tuned for the director appointments, coming soon.
Thanks again to everyone who came out and voted!