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 monthy 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.


9:30 A.M. via Zoom

We hope all members will keep Tuesday, December 15 at 9:30 am circled on your Zoom calendar. Plan to share your unique holiday traditions.

We are fortunate to have Ksenija as our “Coordinator of Tales.” Ksenija Sostner-Olmer is a former, longtime member of our branch. She and her husband, Mirek, have been traveling for nearly three years in retirement. Covid-19 and a new granddaughter have brought them back from their adventures. Originally from Slovenia, Ksenija is a translator, writer, blogger and philanthropist. She has three grown daughters, all who have taken part in AAUW girls’ initiatives.

And … be on the watch for a Holiday Surprise, which will arrive on your doorstep along with a special invitation to our Once in a Lifetime Holiday Party at a distance.


AAUW-OML is launching a new webinar series “Girls 4 STEM”, to introduce women working in STEM careers to high school girls who at this point in their lives are making decisions about what courses to take in high school and considering careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
This series is free and open to all high school girls (and
boys too) who want to know how one gets from taking
science, computer, and math classes to choosing a career in STEM and getting a job after college. This webinar series is presented by AAUW-OML with a grant from the Bettelheim Family Foundation. We will present 1-2 webinars per month where participants will meet women in STEM careers sharing their story and how they too can find their place in a STEM career.

 WEBINAR #2  DECEMBER 13, 2020  4 PM PST

“My Career from the Lab to Launching New Consumer Products”
featuring Deborah Martin,

Register in advance for this webinar: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Deborah Martin  MPH/CIH, Global Manager. Product Stewardship & Regulatory, Dupont Nutrition and Biosciences

Learn about the dynamic field of sustainable product stewardship, which is taking a consumer product, making it more “sustainable,” and taking it to market (on grocery shelves). A great career choice for women looking to blend science and business, a skill set in high demand.  I will describe my education and career journey, give examples of the work to bring safe sustainable products to consumers. Product Stewardship is the business process responsible for the management of regulatory compliant products throughout their life cycle focusing on the health, safety and environmental issues at each phase. Case studies will be given to illustrate specific examples.


Tuesday January 19, 2021
Zoom General Meeting
7 P.M.
* (note time change)

Assemblywoman Bauer-Kahan will give a legislative update at AAUW-OML’s first monthly meeting of 2021.   A focus will be on legislation that advances equity for women.  The public is invited, with special invitation to AAUW Branch members in the communities of CA Assembly District 16 which encompasses Lamorinda and Tri-Valley Area.  Rebecca “made her mark early when she was selected by her colleagues to serve in the Assembly leadership as Assistant Speaker pro Tempore and Chair of the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health – the first committee of its kind in the nation..

Register in advance for this webinar:   HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Listen to the remarks from our September Zoom conversation with our AAUW National Leader Kimberly Churches.
Use this  Link

The passcode is 3d=Wbkkk
(please note: the first 19 seconds were missed so you will wait a bit before she begins speaking.)

Kimberly Churches, the CEO of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), began her career as a high school teacher. She then worked in development for several universities before landing at the Brookings Institution, one of Washington’s most renowned think tanks. She took over at the AAUW, an organization committed to empowering women through education and economic security founded in 1881.

CLICK HERE for wonderful information and videos covering the history of Womens Suffrage created by the Santa Cruz AAUW Branch.

Meet our new Co Presidents for AAUW-OML 2020-2021

Read about Alison                   Read About Marielle

August General Meeting via Zoom
What Helps During the Covid-19 Crisis

JILL WEST, Nutrition Consultant, will talk about strategies that help build immunity, including specific foods, exercise and stress reducers.

Use this LINK to view the meeting.

To learn more about Jill, go to her website


local violist, entrepreneur and Artistic Director of the Gold Coast Chamber Players was our speaker at the June Zoom meeting.

Pamela, formerly with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, performs internationally with leading classical musicians and will share highlights of her career, her travels and performances, and work with legendary musicians.

Links from our Speaker:

Gold Coast Chamber Players- award winning chamber music series

Immersive Experiences- a new business that engages all 5 senses



Click Here for the list of books that Pat Rudebusch from Orinda Books provided in her presentation at the first ever AAUW Zoom April General Meeting.


Congratulations to OML’s Distinguished Woman of 2019-20
Jan Cushman

On Tuesday, March 17th – the Irish Day – a few of us from the distinguished woman committee went to Jan Cushman’s house to notify her of this honor.

OML’s Distinguished Woman for 2020, Jan Cushman, was crowned!  So many things are changing in these challenging times, and happily some things stay the same.  We didn’t have a March meeting, so you didn’t get to see Jan’s surprise when we showed up at her door on March 17th at a safe distance.

Jan’s many contributions to the branch’s activities provided plenty of data for many members of our branch to write nominating letters.  Jan has passion for our mission and from the beginning volunteered for multiple jobs and soon became a pillar of our Tech Trek program.  She has a real passion for mentoring these girls in the STEM fields and has the academic and professional background to make those connections strong and oh so worthwhile.  This has spilled over into her other activities in the community where those same skills provide a strong program for senior Girl Scouts.

Nominators cite the many, many ways in which Jan works among us.  She is a rock at the discussions the board engages in with ever thoughtful and “right-on” analysis.  She acts and speaks with poise and quiet confidence, borne of experience.  Other adjectives include “extremely competent, reliable, resourceful, considerate, organized, professional, and a welcoming leader and a dear friend.”  Wherever the need or opportunity arises, Jan steps up.  When she takes on a responsibility, and she often does, the job is as good as done.

She has been a leader at AAUW Fund, at Tech Trek, with the original effort to bring a Tech Savvy conference to OML, with the STEM conference beginnings in curriculum development and for that conference the best safety plan the Saint Mary’s safety manager had ever seen.  She is now our Tech Trek lead and serves as branch coordinator, dorm mom, and tireless fund raiser, and step-in-worker wherever needed.  Her quiet confidence and willingness to engage her creativity and energy are applauded.  All are united in wanting Jan on their team and several said they couldn’t imagine the branch without her presence and contributions.

We are proud and grateful to have you with us.  Congratulations, Jan Cushman!

Thanks to this years DW Committee members: Gail Chesler chair, Sandy Fox-Sohner, Marielle Boortz, Bobbie Dodson, Pat Lopker




With the 2018-19 legislative session finally at an end, members of the AAUW California Public Policy Committee, along with our Legislative Advocate Shannon Smith-Crowley, are proud to report that 12 of our AAUW-supported bills were signed into law.

For information on CA bills,  visit our legislative bill tracker at

Walnut Creek Woman’s March a Successful Event

Women’sMarch Contra Costa will post the AAUW logo with a link to our website. As members of AAUW, “we are non-partisan, but we are not non-political.  It is the policies that are inconsistent with our mission that we are protesting when we march.  We have been and are proud to be identified with a movement that supports issues important to women.”  (Kathi Harper, AAUW CA Public Policy.)

Thousands took to the streets across the Bay Area on Saturday, January 18th for the fourth annual Women’s March, joining thousands more at an estimated 180 Women’s Marches nationwide.  Rallies focused on issues such as voter registration, climate change, education, pay equity, reproductive rights and immigration.  Women’s March Contra Costa, held in Walnut Creek, drew over a thousand with the theme of Voting is Our Super Power.  AAUW-OML had 11 members attending.  The march included a rally and was followed by a walk through Downtown Walnut Creek.  Women dressed as suffragettes commemorated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote.  Stay tuned for more opportunities to become involved as we move toward November.

Laura Monin & Jan Coe.  Public Policy Co-Chairs


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

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

An Interview with Kim Churches and Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Gender Pay Inequity

Click Here

Kimberly Churches is the chief executive officer of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), an organization devoted to advancing equity for women and girls through education, advocacy, philanthropy and research. Prior to joining AAUW, Churches served as the managing director of Brookings Institution. The views expressed in this commentary are her own.

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.

Latest 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.