Despite advances in the new millennium, women are much less likely than men to hold leadership positions in their fields. The gender leadership gap leaves women greatly outnumbered in top positions throughout academia, government, and industry. With generous funding from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Campus Action Projects (CAP), the “Women Leaders in STEM” (WLSTEM) program has been founded to promote and empower women leaders in our community.
In collaboration with campus partners across University of Notre Dame, the WLSTEM Program aims to promote women leaders on our campus by increasing awareness of complementary services and fostering professional development across multiple levels, including undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral scholars.
The WLSTEM program has three objectives:
1. To serve as a continuous pipeline of discussion and implementation of professional-development programs for women in STEM at all career stages;
2. To provide a forum to advocate for institutional policies that increase women’s participation in STEM fields;
3. To provide a platform for networking and mentoring of STEM women through collaborative projects with existing women’s organizations on campus.
Through collaborative efforts of the Association for Women in Science – Notre Dame Chapter, Society of Women Engineers – Notre Dame Chapter, Notre Dame Postdoc Women, the Graduate School, and the STEMentorship Program, WLSTEM program will expand our current programming to provide administrative and academic services to mentors and mentees. We will collectively advocate for institutional policies and programs that increase women’s participation in our community. Furthermore, WLSTEM will actively seek out faculty engagement by connecting with the Colleges of Science and Engineering, making the one-on- one mentoring experience seamless and more inclusive for participants at all career stages. Program efficacy will be evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively and shared with campus partners in order to improve services.