Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

 Email  Share  Print

ACE Convenes Discussion on Women in Higher Education Leadership

July 16, 2012


​Although women earn the majority of postsecondary degrees, they occupy just 26 percent of all college presidencies, according to recent data from ACE. To coordinate efforts to bridge that gap, ACE’s Inclusive Excellence Group last month convened Working Together to Move the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership.

More than 30 representatives from a variety of institutions and associations which have an active leadership agenda for women attended the meeting. Participating organizations included the National Council for Research on Women, the Association of Governing Boards, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and members of the ACE Women’s Network Executive Council, who helped plan the event.

“Although all these groups have done great work to address the gaps in women’s leadership, this meeting marked the first time many of the organizations had come together to discuss their efforts on the issue and to explore opportunities for collaboration,” said Diana Córdova, assistant vice president for Leadership Programs at ACE. “I hope that our cooperation and coordination will ultimately help many women move into top-tier positions, especially presidencies, in higher education.”

The group discussed the challenges that can hold women back across professional fields and in the academic world specifically. Among the topics was the evolving role of the “mentor” into a “sponsor.” Sponsors, beyond modeling and providing feedback, help their mentees find jobs and other opportunities. Participants also discussed how to better coordinate leadership programs at their organizations and raise wider awareness about the dearth of women in top positions.

ACE also honored Marie Foster Gnage, president of West Virginia University at Parkersburg and outgoing chair of its Women’s Network Executive Council, during the meeting. As chair, she oversaw the work of ACE’s Women’s Network in states across the country. She will be succeeded by Lisa Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University (GA).

The group plans to reconvene on a periodic basis to discuss the results of an ACE environmental scan of women’s leadership efforts and develop long-term goals and an action plan.

See also:

ACE’s Inclusive Excellence Group

ACE Women’s Network

National Women's Leadership Forum

Regional Women's Leadership Forum

Other ACE News

  • May 22, 2015

    Today's Headlines

    HEADLINES: Today's Top Higher Education News

    In today’s headlines, The Wall Street Journal looks at what presidential hopefuls are proposing be done to curb college costs and reduce student debt. And while the Regents of the University of California are embracing Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget...

  • Innovative Practices

    May 22, 2015

    alternative credit project

    Calling All Proposals for ACE Alternative Credit Consortium

    Institutions demonstrating a strong commitment to access and attainment, particularly those serving nontraditional students, are invited to submit proposals to join the second wave of ACE’s alternative credit consortium.

  • Law and the Courts

    May 22, 2015

    Library with Colorful Books

    Access and Diversity Collaborative Issues Syllabus

    Over the last decade, the College Board’s Access & Diversity Collaborative—working in partnership with ACE, EducationCounsel and a numerous higher education institutions and organizations—has developed a significant body of work designed to assist...

  • Institutional Capacity

    May 20, 2015

    It’s Not Too Early to Think About Applying for the Next Class of ACE Fellows

    As the ACE Fellows Program concludes its landmark 50th anniversary this academic year, it’s not too early to start thinking about applying to be a member of the 2016-17 class of the ACE Fellows Program.

  • Institutional Capacity

    May 20, 2015

    Register Now for ACE's Advancing to the Presidency

    Advancing to the Presidency, a two-day workshop scheduled for Oct.19-20 in Alexandria, VA, helps senior admnistrators prepare for the transition to the next level.


 Related Content