The University of Georgia’s Women’s Leadership Initiative continues to make strides in fostering an environment that enables individuals to achieve their full potential.
Just last week, we announced the second cohort of Women’s Leadership Fellows—an extraordinary group of faculty members with a strong record of accomplishment and even greater ambitions for the future. Through the yearlong fellowship program, faculty members attend monthly meetings where they learn from senior administrators on campus as well as visiting speakers from academia, business and other fields. The Women’s Leadership Fellows Program concludes with weekend retreat that provides opportunities for more in-depth learning.
This year’s class of Women’s Leadership Fellows is composed of nine faculty members from eight schools and colleges as well as the Division of Student Affairs. Members of last year’s cohort have already found great success, with Jean Martin-Williams, the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, being named an associate dean in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences after completing her fellowship. Other faculty members who participated in the program say it gave them an invaluable set of mentors—both in the senior administration and in their cohort of fellows. The Women’s Leadership Fellows Program has been such a success that Human Resources is laying the groundwork for a similar program for staff that will launch in 2017.
Data from the private sector show that organizations with more diverse leadership teams tend to outperform their less diverse counterparts because they consider a broader range of viewpoints and options. Here at the University of Georgia, we recognize that leadership development programs are vital to ensuring the continued success of this institution.
In addition to cultivating the talent that exists on this campus, we also need to ensure that we recruit and retain highly qualified and skilled faculty and staff. As part of the Women’s Leadership Initiative, the Office of Faculty Affairs has partnered with Human Resources to develop guidelines and online tools to support the recruitment of diverse applicants and to minimize the impact of implicit bias during the screening of applicants. Human Resources has also hired a work-life balance coordinator and launched a website that directs faculty and staff to support services and includes resources such as a map of lactation stations on campus.
New programming and procedures implemented through the Women’s Leadership Initiative are benefitting faculty and staff while enabling the University to be even more impactful in its teaching, research and service missions. I look forward to sharing more progress from this important initiative in the coming months and years.
This story was originally published on October 24 on Written by Whitten, the blog of Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia.
Women of UGA Leadership Council
Speaking of cultivating female leaders, the UGA Alumni Association is seeking applicants for its Women of UGA Leadership Council. If you are interested in being involved with the planning and direction of the Women of UGA affinity group, consider joining this group. As the largest population of UGA graduates are female, Women of UGA Leadership Council members will have the opportunity to connect and inspire UGA alumnae through high-level programming that will enhance lives of both graduates and students. Council members will be charged with developing and implementing a strong mentorship program, Women of UGA Scholarship Fund goals and a mission that furthers the UGA Alumni Association’s strategic plan.