Wilson College of Textiles Associate Professor Katherine Annett-Hitchcock won the 2017 Equity for Women Award at the Annual Sisterhood Dinner on Feb. 27. The award was presented by NC State University’s Council on the Status of Women.

Annett-Hitchcock is co-founder of AWE, the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs at NC State and is actively involved in numerous community groups including Redress Raleigh and Community Hope, a downtown literacy youth program in Raleigh for grades K-12.

“This means so much. It means that NC State recognizes and values gender equity and the people who make it part of their work,” said Annett-Hitchcock who is in the College’s department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management. “Entrepreneurship has been male dominated. But I think woman have a lot to bring to the entrepreneurship space. My goal with the work I do is to level the playing field a little bit and make the culture more inclusive,” she said.

The following is an excerpt from Annett-Hitchcock’s nomination:

“She is committed to helping all people improve their health, well being and overall quality of life through intelligent clothing design but puts a special emphasis on women and her students . . . Dr. Annett-Hitchcock’s scholarly research focuses on how the language women use as entrepreneurs differs significantly from the language men use. The intent of the research is to normalize the way that women and men approach entrepreneurship on equal footing . . .  As a mentor and advisor to female students of the Wilson College of Textiles, her influence is not limited to just the classroom . . . Past students are continually returning to Dr. Kate for mentorship and support as they launch their own companies . . . In her scholarship, the research that [she] conducts is extremely important in influencing universities on how they advertise and promote entrepreneurship programs, as the language used can alienate women. Many women don’t see themselves as entrepreneurs but nevertheless are business owners. Universities need to change how they address the needs of women entrepreneurs and Kate’s research will help that change come about.”