How to make the most of your JAWS membership

By Jennifer Kho and Sandra Fish

Thanks so much for being part of the Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS)! We need all hands on deck to fulfill our mission of advancing the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and advocating for more inclusive coverage of the diverse experiences and cultures that comprise our society. Because we believe that by advancing women in journalism, we transform the world.

Wondering how to get started – or how to keep in better touch with JAWS friends new and old? If you haven’t already, start by visiting members.jaws.org, our own members-only social networking site with forums on different topics, private messaging and more. Create an account and set up your member profile so other members can find you in our member directory, then subscribe to the forums on topics you care about and enable email notifications to get alerted whenever there’s new activity. Reach out to other members via the member directory, share news, thoughts, job postings, etc., and start virtual conversations on the member site.

Check out this short, handy video of JAWS past president Sandra Fish demonstrating how to use the member site in just a few easy steps.

Looking to get more involved? We want your skills and talents at JAWS! Here are some ways to get the most from your membership and help support other women, trans and nonbinary journalists. 

    • Participate: Read the JAWS emails, take the annual member survey and attend CAMP (Conference and Mentoring Program), webinars and other JAWS activities! 
    • Connect with other members: Reach out to other members via the member directory, ask for a chat or coffee, and share news, thoughts, job postings and more on our member site. Don’t forget to also join the private Facebook group and follow @womenjournos on TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn!
    • Keep us updated: New job? Award? Exciting new project? Let your JAWS friends know news about yourself and other amazing JAWS members via this online form. We love tips so we can celebrate each other’s great work and life milestones, and support members facing challenges and tough times. 
    • Volunteer: JAWS is a member-driven organization and our committees are volunteer-run. We need your help! If you’re interested in serving on any of our committees, which include communications, diversity and inclusion, finance, fundraising, legacy, membership, mentoring, regional groups, programming, elections and CAMP, please let us know by emailing support@jaws.org. Most of these committees meet once a month throughout the year. Joining a committee is a great way to get to know – and serve with – other amazing JAWS members.
    • Bring your friends: JAWS is its members! Help grow the JAWS community by telling other women, trans and nonbinary journalists – this includes anyone who works in any part of the journalism ecosystem, not only reporters, producers and editors – about it and asking them to join. 
  • Join or start a regional group: If you live somewhere with a regional JAWS group, consider joining it to meet other JAWdesses near you. If there’s no regional group in your area, consider starting one! Email support@jaws.org for more information. 
    • Support JAWS: If you’re in the position to do so, contributing as little as $5 can make a big difference to our financial sustainability. Philanthropic funders want to see a high level of member participation, so if most of our members contribute any amount at all, that will make it easier for us to get more funding to support our staff and programming. If you’re not in the position to donate, you can still help raise money by asking people to donate to JAWS on your birthday or other occasions.
  • Improve JAWS: What do you need? Training on a topic? A mentor? A general chat session? Access to a regional group? Let us know what you want! Suggest ideas for programming or improvements via the “contact us” form on the member site or support@jaws.org