March 30, 2019

Shattering the Glass Ceiling

What are some of the ACR and AAWR’s opportunities for women in radiology?


The American Association for Women Radiologists (AAWR) is a thriving, diverse organization comprising over 1100 members. The co-founders of the AAWR, Helen Redman, MD, and Ann Lewicki, MD, recognized that there were significant barriers to women in radiology achieving professional equality and created this independent organization to promote advancement of women in radiology and radiation Oncology. Established in 1981, the AAWR endeavors to provide a platform for networking, increase the visibility of women radiologists, promote women radiologists and radiation oncologists to positions of leadership, and mentor and sponsor women in radiology and radiation oncology.

Throughout my education and training, the promotion of women in radiology, as well as the care of female patients, have been the focus of my career. I was introduced to the AAWR at my first ACR Annual meeting in 2016 while attending the “Leadership and Career Transitions in Radiology and Radiation Oncology” sessions. I was inspired by women leaders in radiology and wanted to get more involved. It was very easy to join AAWR; it’s free for residents and medical students!

Later, I become more involved in AAWR through communications and social media. By participating in the ACR “Muffins and Coffee” and “Speed Mentoring” events, as well as engaging year-round on Twitter, I have had the opportunity to connect with diverse female leaders in radiology. Additionally, AAWR events at the RSNA annual meeting provide educational, networking, and celebratory opportunities for women in radiology and radiation oncology. AAWR also provides the opportunity to engage from home by participating in the AAWR Book Club. After reading The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women and participating in the book club discussion, I learned more about challenges that professional women face and discovered tools to combat barriers to success.

I enjoyed these experiences so much that I then became a member of the AAWR Communications Committee and currently serve as the co-chair of the social media committee with Rebecca Seidel, MD, assistant professor of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University. This platform gives me the opportunity to connect with women radiologists and radiation oncologists at all stages of training, as well as promote women in radiology for leadership positions.

As the AAWR continues to grow and diversify, I encourage all radiology and radiation oncology residents to get involved. The opportunities for personal and professional growth in the AAWR are vast and can be tailored to fit your specific goals.

The AAWR has opened many doors for me to advance as a leader, advocate, mentee, and mentor. To learn more about the AAWR or if you have questions about how to get involved, please email me or follow me on Twitter @kbeaversmd.