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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The Institute for Women’s Leadership holds upcoming learning sessions

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
A central goal of the Institute for Women’s Leadership will be to influence the national discussion on issues that relate to gender-based bias and underrepresentation in all sectors of the economy.

Planning sessions for the Institute for Women’s Leadership are being held this Friday in the Henke Lounge at 8:00 a.m. and March 27  in the Alumni Memorial Union at 12:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend.

During University President Michael Lovell’s fifth presidential address on January 23, 2019, he announced the creation of the institute which was made possible by a $5 million gift from the Thomas J. Rolfs Family Foundation.

The IWL will launch July 1, according to the letter from President Lovell. According to the letter, the IWL will be housed by Marquette’s Office of Research and Innovation and overseen by the vice president for research and innovation Jeanne Hossenlopp.

To gather ideas for the IWL, two open campus meetings were held in February. Hossenlopp said 85 people total attended the meetings in order to discuss ideas for research studies, ways to get students and faculty involved, topics for leadership developmental programs and opportunities for partnerships.

Hossenlopp said a central goal will be to influence the national discussion on issues that relate to gender-based bias and underrepresentation of women in all sectors of the economy.

“The IWL will also help strengthen leadership effectiveness by providing programs designed to serve a broad range of women and girls at different stages of their lives and types of careers — from students, faculty and nonprofit professionals, to emerging and rising corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, veterans and corporate board leaders,” Hossenlopp said.

Hossenlopp said programming will also include activities designed to bring men into the discussion as allies, collaborators and developing leaders.

The IWL will also conduct research to explore the development of new strategies for providing equitable and effective access to leadership opportunities in order to create proven solutions.

“As the 21st century workforce continues to evolve, the IWL will be the place to explore emerging questions around creating a diverse leadership pipeline that provides opportunities for all members of society to reach their potential,” Hossenlopp said.

The IWL will also work together with the Women’s Innovation Network which was created in fall 2017.

Sarah Parsons, the coordinator of WIN, said it is an initiative designed to support the advancement of women, people of color, first-generation college students, the LGBTQ community and others currently underrepresented in leadership.

“The impact of WIN extends beyond the university boundaries to connect with the community to collaborate with professional organizations, alumni and strengthen the pipeline of diverse innovators,” Parsons said.

Hossenlopp said WIN will help create additional opportunities for innovators through community service projects, inspiring speakers’ series and mentoring programs.

The IWL will also impact students with research experience and it will provide programming for students.

“The Institute will be able to partner with student organizations to help support their programs around related themes,” Hossenlopp said. “We are also working on a student-focused planning session in the 707 Hub to get additional input on potential Institute priorities for programs.”

Maria Bunczak, a junior in the College of Nursing and the president of Marquette Empowerment, said she hopes IWL battles gender inequalities at Marquette and educates students about issues like the gender pay gap.

“I hope (IWL) encourages Marquette to soon have a female President of our university,” Bunczak said in an email. “Our own Board of Trustees has just six women out of the 31 total members. This lack of diversity and representation needs to be changed and addressed.”

Bunczak said she also hopes IWL encourages more diverse leaders at Marquette.

“It would be even better to have more minorities, disabled, gay and non-binary people leading; especially considering Marquette’s lack of diversity and  lack of representation of non-white cisgendered people on campus.”

Parsons said the IWL initiatives are not just important for female staff and students but for everyone. WIN will host a Men as Allies: The Role of Men in Gender Equity program March 21 to highlight the ways in which men can encourage gender equity.

“This program gives actionable steps to correct the disparities research has uncovered,” Parsons said. “Gender equity is not just a problem for women to solve — it takes everyone for the sake of mothers, sisters, daughters — and to build more effective and profitable organizations.”

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