years — fought for
to fund health research
with women participants
and for journals to
publish articles on
women’s issues. They
drove the development
of dozens of APA
resolutions and policy
related to equal
“From the beginning,
filing a report was not our
purpose,” says Astin, now
81. “Our purpose was to be
activists for change.”
Dr. Hortensia Amaro (right) and Dr. Pamela Reid chaired APA’s Committee on Women in Psychology in
1984 and 1985, respectively.
40 years young
Today, the committee is less activist but no less active.
“There’s a lot of sexism in society, there’s gender inequality,
violence against women, sexualization of girls,” says Joan
Chrisler, PhD, CWP’s current chair and a psychology professor
at Connecticut College. “We need psychologists to be well
trained in these areas, to understand these social problems, to
be ready to participate in making social change and to guide
interventions with clients who are suffering.”
To help achieve that, in more recent years the committee
has helped to develop task forces on violence against women,
the sexualization of girls, mental health and abortion, and
trafficking of women and girls. It initiated the development of
APA’s Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, a series
of webinars and in-person workshops that equip women in
psychology with the skills and resources to become leaders
of state associations, department chairs, deans, provosts and
The committee would also like to see more women journal
editors — “one of the thought leadership roles that has so much
power in the field over what [psychologists] are reading,” says
Shari Miles-Cohen, PhD, director of APA’s Women’s Programs
Office. As such, the office, CWP and Div. 35 (Society for the
Psychology of Women) continue to host programming at APA
conventions through which women journal editors can share
their experiences and advice.
Within the next year, the committee will begin revisiting its
1995 report on the changing gender composition of psychology.
It will collect data to find out where women are still falling
behind and why.
Chrisler remains committed to recognizing the
accomplishments of women psychologists through CWP’s
annual leadership awards. “Women’s contributions are
often overlooked,” she says. “When people think about great
psychologists, they tend to think about men.” n
To learn more about APA’s Committee on Women in Psychology,
go to www.apa.org/pi/women/committee/index.aspx.
To read “ 52 Resolutions and Motions Regarding the States of
Women in Psychology,” go to: www.apa.org/pi/women/resources/
Celebrate CWP’s 40th anniversary at
APA’s annual convention in Hawai’i
• Learn what it takes to be a woman journal
editor at “Roundtable Discussion: Why YOU
Should Consider Becoming a Journal Editor: A
Panel Discussion with Women Journal Editors”
on Aug. 1, 2–2: 50 pm, AWP/SPW Hospitality
Suite, Hilton Hawaiian Village.
• Hear from current and former chairs at
“Symposium: Living History: A Celebration
of the 40th Anniversary of the Committee on
Women in Psychology” on Aug. 2, 8–9: 50 a.m.,
Convention Center, Room 327.
• Check out the presentation of CWP’s
Leadership Awards at the Div. 35 (Society for the
Psychology of Women) Social Hour on Saturday,
Aug. 3, 3 p.m., Hilton Hawaiian Village.
For more on convention programming
on women, go to