The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.

The Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette (OML) Branch meets monthly and sponsors community outreach projects, interest groups and educational opportunities.

OML has achieved all 5 stars in AAUW’s Five-Star National Recognition Program for aligning our work with AAUW’s Strategic Plan and our initiatives that advance gender equity for women and girls.

Shelbys Scholarship Fundraiser
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
All Day

AAUW-OML and Shelby’s is partnering to raise money for scholarships for each of the local High Schools and Saint Mary’s College women. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to our scholarships!

AAUW-OML branch scholarship program provides college scholarships to senior girls at Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte high school for their community service.

Through the Saint Mary’s College High Potential Program, we provide scholarships for women undergraduate students.

Join us for lunch, dinner and takeout or both. TELL YOUR FRIENDS

Fundraise for Scholarships. Here’s how…Our scholarship committee is participating in a fundraiser where there is nothing to buy or sell; all we need is your support and your gently worn, used, or new sneakers! We will be collecting sneakers from September through May throughout our community.  See the Triad Newsletter for details.

Congratulations to Stacia Cragholm
AAUW-OML Distinguished Woman of 2022

Stacia with husband Ells Cragholm

Our May luncheon installed the new board for 2022-2023.  It was a pleasure to meet in person and reconnect.  We honored our Distinguished Woman 2022.  Stacia retired from teaching in 2009 and joined AAUW in 2011.  She assumed responsibility for the Tech Trek interviews at Stanley from 2013 to 2015.  It was during this time that the idea for a one-day STEM conference for middle school girls developed. She met Dr. Kristen Beck and Roy Wensley, Dean of Saint Mary’s School of Science who supported what has become OML’s STEM conference.  In total over 800 girls have attended the conferences in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, virtually in 2021, and in-person again in 2022– what a great success!  In addition, high school girls who participated in Sister-to-Sister and Tech Trek have honed their leadership as ambassadors to the conference.  Stacia’s idea has become a powerful reality – a life-altering experience for the girls and for Stacia a legacy to be proud of! We are privileged to celebrate Stacia Cragholm’s commitment to young women and the mission of AAUW as our Distinguished Woman of 2022!

Click Here for her Biography.

Scholarship and Awards 2022
Future Tech Trek campers, scholarship awardees, their families, and our members thoroughly enjoyed our in-person awards program on Sunday April 24, 2022. The Tech Trek girls were amazing as they asked Dr. Rosalie MGurk very thoughtful questions about astronomy and the galaxies after her fascinating presentation.

Next, we heard from our scholarship awardees:

Maristella Heo  Acalanes High School
Emma Bonardi  Campolindo High School
Caroline Hoskins  Miramonte High School
Angela Garcia  
Saint Mary’s College

A common subject matter among our recipients this year was a search for ways to connect with others. They launched many efforts and inspired others to join them. Each, in her own way, found the power of connecting to the wider community and beautifully voiced what she learned.

2022 STEM Conference a Great Success

The 2022 STEM Conference is in the books, and it was a great success.  The 120 girls were a little tentative as they were checking in, not sure what to expect.  But at the end of the day, after each attending 3 of the 15 workshops offered, they returned to the Soda Center at Saint Mary’s College talking and laughing with old and new friends.  It was rewarding to see them all talking at once, sharing experiences with excitement.  Thank you to our keynote speaker Joyce Leveque, our 15 workshop presenters and their teams, and our volunteers, especially our junior and senior workshop monitors.  And our Ambassador Team was outstanding – 10 girls who spend many hours for weeks planning the “day of the conference” flow – the opening, closing sessions, and getting the attendees to all of their workshops.   A special shout-out to the STEM Conference Committee.  It takes over 80 volunteers to put on the conference, thank you to all of you.

Joyce Leveque was the 2022 AAUW-OML STEM Conference Speaker

“The Keynote Speaker for the 2022 STEM Conference was Joyce Leveque, Director of Quality Operations in the Biologics Development Department for Bayer Healthcare at their Berkeley campus.  This site is part of Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the 16th largest pharmaceutical company in the world with about $18 Billion in sales in the U.S. alone for 2021.  Bayer aims to discover and manufacturer innovative medicines that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing, and treating diseases as well as focusing on developing innovative products finding solutions to major health challenges in the areas of the heart, cancer, women’s health, blood and eyes.

Membership Update

It is that time of year for membership renewal. Where has the time flown!

With the dangers of the pandemic waning, we are back to holding our events in person! Many interest groups are meeting in person. Look for membership renewal forms electronically and in the mail during May. Dues are $111 (Natl. $67, State $20, Branch $24; $63 tax deductible), a $5 increase due to an increase in National dues. This increase is needed because of inflation and rising expenses.

Did you know that AAUW has been transforming women’s lives for more than a century. And now that we’ve won the fight to give women equal access to education, we’re taking on one of the most defining issues of our time: gender equity. But we can’t do it alone.

Your AAUW membership will help close the gender pay gap by 2030, ensure schools and workplaces are free of discrimination and harassment, and create more opportuni- ties for women to lead. And did you know that you are part of a powerful network of more than 170,000 women and men across the country who are as passionate as you are about building a fairer future. You directly fund our work to:

• Train millions of women to negotiate for higher salaries and benefits,
• Support federal, state and local leg- islation, such as fair-pay, a women’s right to choose, and   much more,
• Develop more women leaders through workshops and conferences, and
• Fund the research that is informing national conversations on the gender pay gap, women’s student-debt bur- den, and other key equity issues.

Thank you for your past membership and support. We look forward to working with you in 2022-23 to further AAUW’s efforts for gender equity.

Women’s Power Gap Research Report

This study: The Women’s Power Gap at Elite Universities: Scaling the Ivory Tower focuses on these same universities from our previous compensation report and who among them is leading and lagging with respect to diversity at the chief executive’s office and the immediate pathway to that office.  We hope that when universities are ranked against one another, it will create a race to the top, driving faster change.  CLICK HERE for details and to download the report.

AAUW is 140 years old!
AAUW California is 100 years old!

January 18, 2022  OML General Meeting

At our January ZOOM meeting  we had a wonderful presentation from our speaker.

“Diversity and inclusion is about having the room for people to be authentic, because that’s when creativity happens.”

– Bernard C. Coleman III

This quote is from our speaker for our January 18, 2022, General Meeting at Orinda Community Church. Bernard Coleman III will speak on DEI in the Workplace, informing us about what businesses are doing to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, and he focuses on inclusive, where employees feel like they belong. He is Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer at Gusto, an all-in-one Human Resources platform that provides an HR application for businesses. He leads Employee Engagement efforts which encompass diversity, equity and inclusion, employee relations, and people integrity/governance/compliance functions. In this role, Bernard drives the systemic and holistic diversity and belonging programs throughout Gusto and his efforts span the boundaries of Gusto working in close collaboration with people program areas like human resources, talent recruitment, analytics, marketing, communications, and branding to enhance belonging and diversity throughout Gusto. He is a dynamic and sought-out speaker, lives in Orinda, and we are lucky to have him speak to our group. Do not miss it!

The Build Back Better Act

This year, AAUW prioritized women in crisis recovery, particularly through our advocacy for the Build Back Better Act. It’s been a bumpy negotiation process, but we’ve made tremendous progress.
Because of unrelenting pressure from activists, we preserved paid leave in the legislation passed by the House of Representatives. But we need to keep up the momentum as the bill is considered in the Senate.

Build Back Better Act invests in:
• Universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds
• Affordable, high-quality childcare
• Paid family and medical leave
• Home and community-based care
• Historic climate action
• Health care, Medicare expansion, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs • Affordable housing
• An extension of the monthly Child Tax Credit
• Humane immigration reform
• Higher education and workforce development

Laura Monin and Connie Whitting Co-Chairs, Public Policy

CLICK HERE for Zoom recording from our March General meeting


Guest Speaker Leslie Pfeifer

OML member Leslie Pfeifer will speak on the history of the Flying Tigers in World War II and her experiences as a Vietnam War flight attendant taking troops to and from Vietnam in the 1960s.

The Flying Tigers were American fighter squadrons formed to defend the Republic of China against Japan during World War II.




The BEST way to become involved with AAUW Public Policy is to sign up to be a two-minute activist.  Click this link:TWO MINUTE ACTIVIST This will allow you to sign up with your email and connect  with both state and national calls to action.  Make your voice heard!

Now we are thrilled to announce the NEXT STEP IN AAUW ADVOCACY: Two-Minute Activist mobile.

Complete this form to opt in to Two-Minute Activist mobile — or simply text the word “AAUW” to phone number 21333

Pandemic Inequity: Latinas and the COVID 19 Experience

This new report examines how Latinas in the U.S. suffered disproportionate economic repercussions due to the pandemic and calls for specific policy solutions to address their needs. Stories from 41 Latinas who were interviewed dramatically illustrate the challenges these women have faced as the pandemic has exacerbated existing economic inequalities.

The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is the gap between what men and women are paid. Most commonly, it refers to the median annual pay of all women who work full time and year-round, compared to the pay of a similar cohort of men. Other estimates of the gender pay gap are based on weekly or hourly earnings, or are specific to a particular group of women.


Download Summary of 2018 Research Report
Frequently Asked Questions About the Gender Pay Gap

Know Your Rights: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault under Title IX

Image by Tony Cairns, Flickr Creative Commons

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It covers women and men, girls and boys, and staff and students in any educational institution or program that receives federal funds. Local school districts, colleges and universities, for-profit schools, career and technical education agencies, libraries, and museums are all covered under Title IX.  Read more.

How Sexual Harassment Contributes to the Gender Pay Gap
New research from AAUW finds that workplace sexual harassment can take a toll on women’s physical and mental health and reduce their lifetime earnings. The report is based on an AAUW analysis of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data, a review of academic studies on sexual harassment and an exclusive nationwide survey of AAUW members and their networks.

It shows that the experience of sexual harassment is not often one that women can quickly put behind them. Rather, its impact continues to reverberate throughout their lives, increasing their risk of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other long-term health problems. And that’s not to mention the financial repercussions: In AAUW’s survey of 311 women, 38% of women who’d been harassed said it contributed to their decision to leave a job early, and 37% said it disrupted their career advancement.

AAUW Stands against Bias and Bigotry

AAUW has always stood up against discrimination since its inception. AAUW’s history speaks for itself on how it has raised its voice against intolerance and injustice.

Once again it’s time to unite together and support refugees and immigrants to preserve diversity which makes America so strong and powerful. Continue reading.


Women take on more student debt than men … but are paid less after college

Between 1976 and 2014 the price of college attendance more than doubled, but household incomes barely budged. Today most students must bridge the gap between income and cost with student loans—followed by student debt. Women take on more loans and take longer to repay their debt, thus women hold almost two-thirds of the outstanding student loan debt in the United States.  To learn more read the research report from AAUW National.

 AAUW Report

Why do men still vastly outnumber women in leadership positions? AAUW’s newest research report, Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans. Women’s success in postsecondary education is shrinking the gender pay gap and opening up opportunities, but at what price? Women not only take on more student debt than men do, but women also pay back their loans more slowly because of the gender pay gap.