Women in Leadership
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The Women in Leadership Initiative (WiL) launched in 2018 when Syracuse University Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Candace Campbell Jackson set out to create unique experiences that encourage, promote and support the advancement of women faculty and staff at Syracuse University.

Since that time, more than 600 people have participated in 251 hours of programming. Participants learned professional development lessons from panelists, individual experts, and coaches on a diverse range of topics including managing conflict, leading interdisciplinary teams, polishing an individual brand and strengthening communication and negotiation skills.

WiL is currently led by Dr. Michele G. Wheatly, Professor of Biology and Special Advisor to Chancellor and President Kent Syverud, along with a Steering Committee. This group collaborated on a strategic planning process in 2021 that refined the vision and mission of WiL to align with the hopes and expectations of women on campus and to remain highly relevant in a post-pandemic campus environment.

With input in the form of individual interviews and a survey of WiL programming participants, the revised vision calls for Syracuse University to become a pacesetter in cultivating women’s leadership talents by catalyzing the personal and collective advancement of women on campus.

To achieve this vision and stay true to its mission, WiL will follow three core strategies: increase awareness of personalized professional development opportunities; inspire and better prepare women for their “next”; and, amplify the voices of women on campus. The organization also is expanding the number of women on the steering committee and creating sub-committees to focus on innovative and personalized development opportunities.

Finally, WiL is adding a new intensive, immersive semester-long leadership experience for a select cohort of women starting in Spring 20202022, in addition to a number of dynamic programs throughout the 2021-2022 academic year.