Stanford University Unveils New Women’s Leadership Center

stanforduniversity2The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University recently opened its new Women’s Leadership Center. The new center, led by Shelley Correll, Stanford professor in sociology and director of the Clayman Institute, aims to empower the underrepresented voices of women in the workplace and promote women’s leadership in business, government and education.

The Center has laid out a clear strategy for accomplishing its goals. First, three target areas for change have been identified:

  1. Empower women to succeed with research-based programming and tools
  2. Engage men in conversations to create a level playing field for all
  3. Create effective organizations, whose cultures, practices and policies allow all people to thrive

Second, the Center will bridge the gap between academic scholarship and workplace practices by partnering with top companies and policy makers to design and carry out research on how to create more inclusive workplaces. “The Clayman Institute has an outstanding track record of translating robust academic knowledge into innovative, easy-to-implement programming,” explains Correll. “By combining research with business and industry participation, we can help other institutions learn from, contribute to, and partner with our efforts. We can also leverage research to help understand these programs, measure their impact, and scale them to meet specific needs.”

Finally, the Center will take a three-pronged approach to translating its findings into action:

  1. Educate: Develop and lead world-class leadership education for universities, corporations, and organizations, as well as broad-scale audiences
  2. Evaluate: Conduct research to deepen our understanding of the impact and effectiveness of leadership education
  3. Disseminate: Develop and promote engagement with our tools, research, and education to promote broad scale change

For more on this article, please click here.

UN Women Calls Gender Equality Into Focus




Over 17,000 participants attended the Beijing Women’s Conference last week. In an official press release, UN Women announced the launch of a major campaign to conmemorate the 20th anniversary of the historic Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. As part of this initiative, activities aimed to mobilize governments and citizens to promote gender equality and empower women will be organized around the world during the upcoming year.

UN Women announced that “events will focus on achievements and gaps in gender equality and women’s empowerment since 189 governments adopted the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This visionary blueprint paves the way for women’s full and equal participation in all spheres of life and decision-making.”

 “The Beijing Platform for Action is an unfulfilled promise to women and girls,” says UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Our goal is straightforward: renewed commitment, strengthened action and increased resources to realize gender equality, women’s empowerment and the human rights of women and girls.”

To read more about the initiative visit the following link.

Female Leaders at Davos: Lower Participation Despite Quotas

Source: The Guardian.

Source: The Guardian.

Two years ago the World Economic  Forum introduced a quota system to encourage female participation, demanding that its 100 most important partners send one woman to the annual meeting for every four men.

Despite this effort, the proportion of women has fallen from 17% in 2011 to 15% in 2014.

To read the full article, click on the link.

Source: The Guardian.

4th Annual Women Leaders of New Asia Summit in New Delhi

Article published by the Asia Society on April 15th, 2013. 

With important elections pending in key Asian countries and in the wake of a number of highly publicized acts of violence against women in the Asia-Pacific region, Asia Society convened its 4th Annual Women Leaders of New Asia (WLNA) summit. Over 35 distinguished delegates from 14 different countries across the region and disciplines gathered to identify critical issues affecting women and to develop an action plan to address these concerns in a collaborative manner.

Over the course of two days’ of deliberations, the participants repeatedly underscored why it is imperative to invest more in efforts to change social attitudes and mindsets and how they might go about doing so.  Other key components identified that would be crucial in this endeavour include  providing opportunities for proper trainings and  mentorships;  advocating for the private sector to incorporate gender issues into their strategic planning; sharing their success stories; preventing  career pipeline leakages; and exchanging best practices from across the region.   Astrid Tuminez, Regional Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Southeast Asia, and author of last year’s WLNA report Rising to the Top? A Report on Women’s Leadership in Asia will also be releasing a follow-up later this year on the role of men in mentoring and empowering women.

Photo courtesy of Asia Society 

As President Emerita of Asia Society and Special Advisor for Global Affairs at Columbia University, Dr. Vishakha N. Desai, said, “It’s not just about women having a seat at the table – it’s changing the shape of the table.”  Delegates agreed to take forward a number of concrete activities towards this, including setting up a regional chapter of WLNA in Pakistan to take forward the women’s agenda there, starting a mentorship programme for women across ages and regions (in collaboration with the Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative), and rolling out a campaign that leverages the extensive corporate, government and social sector networks of the delegates to shape mindsets for gender parity.

The summit was launched with a public program featuring: Dr. Desai; Governor of Rajasthan, Margaret Alva; Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security, Melanne Verveer;,Bangladesh Minister of Women and Children Affairs, Shirin Chaudhary; and Singapore Member of Parliament, Penny Low, who suggested that we need to develop a global shapers community that cuts across regions, disciplines and ages, to keep women linked and working towards a progressing path. Further, she said that we need to find the “killer app” to implement inclusive policy.

While the participants felt that the moment is ripe for pushing the agenda for women’s empowerment and gender equity, they were  mindful that changes will come in increments.  They also acknowledged that change will only be possible when the policy changes go hand in hand with changes in social attitudes. Vishakha Desai said that “There is a mismatch between policy and social norms – to change an attitude takes not only courage but generations. It is easier to change infrastructure than mindset or culture. It is a work in progress, we have to be relentless.”

For a link to the article, please visit the Asia Society’s Women Leaders of New Asia