Empowered to Lead

The Empowered to Lead Conference consists of 3 themes:


Educators are key to shaping the next generation of leaders in industry, academia and government; these leaders will need to solve problems that haven’t been defined yet. Skills necessary to face those challenges require not just content knowledge, but the ability to continuously explore, learn, and innovate. Higher education is at the cusp of innovation and campus leaders across the nation can harness its power in the classroom and in the community. Educators advocate for the importance of innovation when they effectively integrate scholarship and research into their classrooms and when they to take advantage of opportunities to engage their communities through their work and their students. In this session, both proposed and established strategies in the areas of teaching, research, and program development will be discussed in the context of training and supporting the next generation of leaders, both on campus and in the community. Strategies and programs targeting integration of scholarship and research into the classroom, building and sustaining a research program, and channeling successful community engagement will be addressed.



Higher education has recognized the importance of collaboration in building a lasting campus legacy of academic excellence, global thinkers, and financial stability. Leaders at successful institutions foster the relational capacity necessary for working together, sharing power, and implementing a university’s strategic plan. University campuses must be equipped to engage and educate an increasingly diverse and inclusive workforce; campus leaders benefit from cultivating mindsets that support diversity, inclusion and equity. Presenters will discuss new and proven strategies to enable successful academic collaborations (e.g. starting and maintaining robust research/scholarship collaborations, identifying relevant and effective committee service, and participating in mutually beneficial mentor/mentee relationships) each of which plays a key role in moving forward an academic career.


Leverage Social Capital

One key aspect of women’s empowerment is the use of social capital- the resources and benefits that one accrues through relationships, networks, and group memberships. To have opportunities to lead and to make the most of those opportunities, it is essential that women leverage their social capital to create networks of advancement, including male mentors. Hard work and perseverance enables a leader to reach the top of their field; however it typically takes women longer to be promoted to top-level positions compared to men. Presentations in this theme will highlight the impact of social capital (e.g. early promotions, promotions to senior-level positions, low-opportunity vs. high-opportunity jobs, higher job pay, etc.) and identify the benefits of leveraging your own capital as well as contributing to others’ capital. Strategies for building, borrowing, and engaging a network of allies, advocates, and promoters that will empower opportunities for advancement will be discussed.



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