About the Initiative
Women’s Leadership Initiative is an annual collaborative event hosted by the University of Iowa Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Iowa Women’s Leadership Network, the Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) at the University of Iowa, and the Council on the Status of Women of the University of Iowa. We recognize the need for more women leaders at all levels in higher education across the state of Iowa. Thus, the Women’s Leadership Initiative was developed by women for women. The focus of this initiative is to create a community of support for the empowerment of women leaders. Presentations and conversations are led by esteemed and engaged women leaders in Iowa. Women working in or with colleges or universities have the opportunity to learn from each other in a supportive community about topics of impact for women in leadership.
The annual Women’s Leadership Initiative event is hosted every year on or Friday before the International Women’s Day. It is a lunch time event (12 pm – 1 pm) with a networking session at the beginning (11:30 am – 12 pm). Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch and attend these intimate and informal yearly events. Light refreshments are provided. All presentations are videotaped and made available on our website with a discussion guide that organizers generate. The video series is shared so that women across our campus and at others can gather in conversation around important topics impacting women’s leadership.
Creating a Community of Support for the Empowerment of Women Leaders!
Please Note: The 2021 Women's Leadership Initiative event will be held virtually due to COVID.
Talk Title: Owning Your Leadership
Dr. Michele Williams, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, is the John L. Miclot Fellow in Entrepreneurship and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Faculty Fellow at University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. She is on the board of WE Cornell, a program dedicated to expanding women’s entrepreneurship. Previously, she was a member of the faculty at Cornell University and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where she taught negotiation and women in leadership.
Dr. Williams has authored papers and case studies and published in notable academic journals. She researches how to create trust, collaboration and innovation in organizations and how stereotypes influence women leaders and entrepreneurs. Michele has spoken about women in negotiation and leadership as a podcast guest and at a wide variety of conferences and businesses, including JP Morgan, Life Changing Labs, Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, e-Cornell Online education.
Dr. Williams earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Johns Hopkins University and her Master of Arts degree in Education from Columbia University.
Our inaugural Women’s Leadership event was led by the University of Iowa’s 20th President, Sally Mason, “Unexpected Paths: Women and Leadership.” You may access a recording of her inspiring talk as well as a discussion guide at: Women's Leadership Initiative Speaker - President Sally Mason.
Christine Grant, University of Iowa Women's Athletic Director Emeritus presented "The Need for Women in Decision Making Positions" at the 2015 Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education (IOWAWHE) Leadership Conference as part of the Women's Leadership Initiative. You may access a recording of her inspiring talk as well as a discussion guide at: Women's Leadership Initiative Speaker - Christine Grant.
Lynette Marshall, University of Iowa Foundation President and CEO presented "Practicing Leadership" for our Fall 2015 kick-off. You may access a recording of her inspiring talk as well as a discussion guide at: Women's Leadership Initiative Speaker - Lynette Marshall
Adrien Wing, Associate Dean, International and Comparative Law Programs, a Bessie Dutton Murray Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law presented on "Intersectional Feminism." You may access a recording of her inspiring talk as well as a discussion guide at: Women's Leadership Initiative Speaker - Adrien Wing.
Sarah Fisher Gardial, Dean, Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa presented on "Plans and Passions: How to Navigate Your Career." You may access a recording of her inspiring talk at: Women's Leadership Initiative Speaker - Sarah Fisher Gardial.
The Spring 2019 Women’s Leadership event was led by Dr. Denise Martinez, “Crushing Imposter Syndrome.” You may access a recording of her inspiring talk as well as a discussion guide at: Women's Leadership Initiative Speaker - Dr. Denise Martinez.
The Spring 2020 Women's Leadership Initiative event was led by Dr. Tanya Uden-Holman, "What Does It Mean to Be a Leader: Having the Courage to Be True to Yourself."