COD-Women’s Initiative

Who We Are

The mission of the Committee on Diversity Women’s Initiative (COD-WIN) is to promote equity for women in biological anthropology and to foster an environment in which women are encouraged, supported and respected throughout their careers. We are committed to improving the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in biological anthropology; facilitating the participation and representation of women in all aspects of academic life; and striving for a culture in which women can maintain productive and successful academic careers and a satisfying personal life. A long-term perspective on patterns of women’s participation in biological anthropology can be found in the 2018 (volume 165, Issue S65) Yearbook of Physical Anthropology by Turner, Bernstein and Taylor.


In 1996, the Membership Committee of the AAPA instituted the association’s first membership survey.  The results of this survey, published in 1997 by Trudy Turner in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, revealed a clear and significant bottleneck for early-career women.  Modest gains have been made over the years but follow-up surveys in 2002 and 2014 confirmed the persistence of significant disparities between men and women in later career stages.  The COD-Women’s Initiative was launched in 2014, with the full support of AAPA/AABA leadership and the AAPA/AABA Executive Committee, and with grant support through the Elsevier Foundation New Scholars Program.  The work of this Committee is to create a self-sustaining infrastructure administered by the AABA to improve the environment for all women biological anthropologists through workshops on mentoring, work-life satisfaction and professional development, by supporting participation of women in annual conferences through travel and family care awards, by fostering community among women scholars, and by sharing tools and information to promote strategic career planning.


Since 2014, the COD-Women’s Initiative has delivered pre-meeting workshops in advance of the annual AABA meetings funded through a combination of Elsevier and AABA support.  These workshops have provided mentoring, professional development and networking skills aimed at mid-career, postdoctoral and graduate student women.

To extend the reach of these programs,  COD-WIN has launched four satellite workshops. Women from across the globe gathered at the University of Colorado (Boulder), Durham University (England), Santa Clara University (California), and the University of Cape Town (South Africa), to participate in these first AAPA-sponsored domestic and international professional development workshops for women biological anthropology scholars. These workshops offered career development, guidance on mentoring and work-life satisfaction, and networking opportunities to a diverse group of women representing all subdisciplines in biological anthropology and all ranks within academia (Photos by Kathy West at

Upcoming Events

Past Events & Materials

Join the COD-Women’s Initiative

The COD Women’s Initiative (WIN) operates a listserv  Susan Antón is the list administrator.  Any AABA member may join the COD-WIN list at

COD-WIN Committee

Stephanie Poindexter (Co-Chair)
Megan Holmes (Co-Chair)
Andrea Taylor (Past Chair)
Robin Bernstein (Past Chair)
Rebecca Ackermann
Thierra Nalley
Jessica Rothwell
Anne Stone