Every year, a number of projects are undertaken by committee members in association with task forces made up of volunteers from the LSA general membership who have indicated their interest in the goals of COSWL. Projects must fall within the LSA mandate to COSWL, but also depend on the interests and skills of the current membership and available task force members. COSWL regularly publishes notices of its current activities in the LSA Update, and welcomes volunteers for existing task forces, as well as proposals for new projects.

Past and on-going projects include:

  • Ongoing collection and analysis of data from institutions regarding status of women in linguistics departments/programs, including an update on 2016-17 data collection actitives.
    • A web-based survey of chairs and directors was initiated in 2007. Survey results 1976-2008 (pdf)
  • Our Pop-Up Mentoring Program (PUMP), serving the broad community with one-off, on-conference-site mentoring meetings.
  • Sponsor Women in Linguistics Mentoring Alliance (WILMA), an on-line mentoring program which matches women in Linguistics with more experienced counterparts at different institutions and encourages long-term mentoring relationships.
    • Please note that registration and login to WILMA have been disabled until the transition to the new system is complete.
  • Compiled and published The COSWL Collection of Language and Gender Syllabi. (pdf of original) (update)Click here to see list of Survival Skills Workshops sponsored at LSA Summer Institutes.
  • Click here to see the list of LSA Meeting Colloquia.
  • Symposium: Liminal Linguists: Women in Nontraditional Professional Positions
  • Workshop: Becoming a Professional Linguist: Strategies for Survival and Success
  • Compiled and published The Cornell Lectures: Women in the Linguistics Profession. (pdf)
  • In April 1993 the Executive Committee of the LSA approved COSWL's request to include "Language and Gender" as a category for the submission of abstracts to the LSA Annual Meeting, effective 1994.
  • COSWL has consistently worked with the Executive Committee to improve the "LSA Guidelines for Nonsexist Usage." Click here to see the current guidelines, and click here to see a list of COSWL's activities on this topic.

Volunteer Activities

In order to extend participation in COSWL and to share the workload on large projects, we welcome volunteers to join an existing task force or propose a new project or task force. If you are interested, please contact the task force members listed below, or one of the other committee members.


    The Women in Linguistics Mentoring Alliance (WILMA) is now open as an internet service available here. Individual and group mentoring opportunities are available.

    Please be advised that WILMA is currently in a state of transition and therefore no new mentoring relationships are being formed. All text below refers to the old system that is currently undergoing a redesign. LSA members will be informed when the new system has been implemented. Thank you for your patience during this transition.

  • Institutional Surveys

    COSWL has an ongoing survey project, designed to monitor the status of women in linguistics, and identify potential obstacles to advancement. If you have ideas for specific types of data you'd like to see collected, or if you would be willing to help with the administration of the survey, please contact the Chair(s) of COSWL.

  • Becoming a COSWL Member

    COSWL is an open committee accepting nominations (including self-nominations).  Please contact the current chairs for more information (see "Members" page for addresses).

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