A Vanguard for Women Professionals
The Washington, DC Professional Chapter was founded on February 13, 1927. The first in a long line of Chapter presidents was Alice W. Hostetler. AWC-DC provides communications professionals in the DC area with opportunities for career development and networking.
Many prominent Washington women have belonged to the Washington, DC Chapter. Monthly meetings were attended by Lady Bird Johnson, whose husband was then a Senator; Mae Craig, renowned correspondent for the Gannett newspapers; Bess Furman Armstrong, New York Times reporter and author of books about her interviews and travels with Eleanor Roosevelt; Congresswoman Frances Bolton of Ohio; and Majorie Hendricks; owner of the Watergate Inn, located where the Kennedy Center now stands.
In 1951, the Chapter initiated Rachel Carson, biological scientist, editor, and author of The Sea Around Us. Her book raised the national consciousness about water pollution and was published that year.
Equality in the Workplace
Chapter support for equity in pay and hiring practices has taken many forms, including a forum of women representing government, media and organizations, workshops for female college students interested in the media, and participation in an early Women in Communications survey on equal pay for equal work.
As television and then cable became media forces, the DC Chapter examined relevant issues such as challenges to First Amendment rights, the gag rule, and camera in the courtroom and in congressional hearings.
With the rapid expansion in communications technology, the DC Chapter continues to offer vital information, support and assistance to women communicators. In partnership with a reputable international PR firm, AWC-DC was among the first professional organizations to offer insight into emerging social media tools and strategies.
The Matrix Spotlight
Held each year, the Matrix Event is the Chapter’s main event. The Chapter presents its Matrix Award for Professional Achievement to a top woman in the communications profession for work in the field and on behalf of women communicators. Also at Matrix, the Chapter awards a merit scholarship to a young woman student who has shown achievement and potential in the field of communications. The Chapter began awarding the scholarship in 1991 in an effort to support and promote women in careers in the field of communications.