Campus Teams Use AAUW Funds to Shatter Glass CeilingJanuary 12, 2017
In 2017, more than 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs will be women, a record high number. Despite this progress, only 27 women CEOs in the entire country indicate how much more work needs to be done. To combat this gender leadership gap, we’ve awarded 11 campus teams Campus Action Project (CAP) grants to put AAUW’s research into action.
Inspired by AAUW’s research report, Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership, students, faculty, and staff will confront stereotypes and bias in their communities this spring. From building mentorship programs to creating large-scale networking events for women, these teams show us what #leadHERship is all about.
The 2017 CAP teams represent the spectrum of higher education institutions — the Ivy League, public universities, community colleges, historically black and tribal universities, and our first international school. We are thrilled to announce the grantees below.
The Women’s Leadership Project @ UDC
University of the District of Columbia (UDC)
To address the unique challenges faced by a diverse campus, UDC designed a peer mentoring program called #hearmelead to institutionalize the use of relationship building and creative media that promotes leadership skills among college women. To give female students the tools to advocate for themselves and their communities, the team designed a mentorship program that uses their voices to deliver stories of triumph through team building activities modeled after UDC’s creative writing program.
“Be The Revolution” Series: Beyond Barriers and Biases
The College at Brockport
The College at Brockport’s team “started a revolution” with a 2014–15 AAUW CAP grant. The majority-women student population is now being led by a female student government president and vice president, not to mention the college’s first female president its 149-year history. Despite this progress, more work needs to be done. This team will build on their previous project to host a month-long series of workshops and events aimed at tackling stereotypes and building effective networks.
Diné Women in Leadership
Navajo Technical University (NTU)
This speaker series featuring distinguished Navajo women leaders discussing their life stories aims to inspire students, staff, and faculty across NTU. The program was established to encourage women students to challenge common gender stereotypes perpetuated on campus and motivate them to find innovative ways to break those barriers.
Empowering Women in STEM to Lead through Inclusive Practice and Community Building
Cornell University’s CAP team aims to empower undergraduate and graduate women to be agents of change and lead the movement for greater inclusion in the sciences. Through structured dialogue, a student mentorship program, and informal receptions, the team will build solidarity among college women scientists and equip them with tools to promote greater gender and racial inclusivity within the STEM fields.
Enhancing Gender Mainstreaming in Students Leadership Structures
University of Dar es salaam
Despite Tanzania’s implementation of gendered affirmative action in 2000, the number of women in leadership remains minimal. Studies have revealed that this holds true for the University of Dar es salaam, where females lag behind in many forms of faculty, administrative, and student participation. This team will use their CAP grant to increase the number of women in their student government by addressing negative stereotypes on campus, and demanding effective policy reform for greater equity across the social, political, and economic realms.
Focus 4 Women: Empowering Leadership for Community College Student Success
Cosumnes River College
In September 2016, the Focus 4 Women Committee hosted their first annual women’s seminar on relationship building for more than 140 female students. This CAP team will continue to support underserved and underrepresented students by hosting three follow-up workshops facilitated by community members. The workshops will be centered on work-life balance, self-care, and leadership development to provide resources to help students achieve their academic goals.
Jayhawks Break Through Barriers: Women Leadership in STEM
University of Kansas
The Jayhawks Project aims to empower women through female-led, bimonthly professional development workshops. Concurrently, ten pairs of underrepresented, undergraduate women in STEM will collect data from local companies to explore the leadership gap in their community. Local business leaders, students, faculty, and administrators will then be invited to a culminating event highlighted by a keynote speaker, where students will share their findings and advocate for change.
Learn to Earn
California University of Pennsylvania
Inspired by AAUW’s salary negotiation workshops, Learn to Earn’s goals are to build leadership skills and close the gender pay gap. This project will feature distinguished local speakers, a multimedia exhibit of local women who have broken gender barriers in labor unions, and an advertising and social media campaign. The team will plan and implement these events in conjunction with many campus partners and community organizations like the Women and Girls Foundation and In Sisterhood.
The Reach Initiative
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
In collaboration with campus partners across UMBC, the Reach Initiative serves as a mentorship program connecting 20 Baltimore high school girls to college women. The initiative will provide mentors, programming, and research experience to students interested in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and economics fields. Workshops will prepare young women to combat gender, ethnic, and racial bias by facilitating discussions around women’s empowerment and leadership.
Supporting Women Inspiring a New Generation of Scientists (WINGS)
Implicit bias plays a large role in preventing college women from entering STEM fields. Rowan University’s multifaceted project will empower undergraduate female STEM students to seek leadership positions, develop skills, network, and negotiate confidently. Through workshops, panel discussions, and networking events, students will learn about the gender leadership gap in STEM, and how to see themselves as leaders throughout their professional careers.
We Are Worthy
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Mental and physical health issues affect women’s ability to obtain and sustain positions of leadership. “We are Worthy” (the W Initiative) will combat the levels of psychological and physical distress that women of color experience on campus by providing new positive networks, resources, and tools to promote the mental and physical wellness of women of color.
This blog was written by College/University Relations Manager, Paige Robnett and Campus Initiatives Intern, Jennifer Osolinski.
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These amazing college advocates have completed projects that bust gender stereotypes and the discrimination and bias that result.
The 2015–16 Campus Action Project teams designed advocacy projects tackling the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields..