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Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership

This collaborative, multi-association initiative seeks to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions in higher education through programs, research, and resources.

ABOUT THE INITIATIVE

Through the Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership initiative, we will bring national awareness to the importance of achieving gender parity and diversity in higher education leadership. The mission of the Moving the Needle initiative is to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions in higher education through programs, research, and resources. 

The vision is to achieve gender parity in the percentage of higher education chief executives by 2030. 

In support of the purpose, mission, and vision of Moving the Needle, the following goals were adopted in 2014:

  • Generate a national sense of urgency elevating the need for advancing women in higher education leadership positions.  
  • Encourage governing boards and other higher education institutional decision- & policy-making bodies to consider practices for recruiting and hiring women to chief executive offices.  
  • Achieve women’s advancement to mid-level and senior-level positions in higher education administration by building capacities in women and in institutions.  
  • Suggest practices and models that recognize success in advancing women in higher education.
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Who Can Participate

Status of Women Leaders

​​While many believe that women’s battle for gender parity in the workplace has already been won, recent data suggest that this is far from reality. Although women now earn the majority of all college degrees and are well represented in entry- and mid-level positions in most sectors of the economy, they have made surprisingly little progress in advancing to chief executive positions. ​

Still, data from the American Council on Education’s American College President Study (ACPS) report show how the statistics regarding women in higher education leadership have been progressing. As the percentage of women college presidents has slowly increased over the last 30 years, additional data help us understand what that looks like: 

  • Women are more likely to lead public intuitions than private institutions in 2016, with only 8% of women presidents leading doctorate-granting institutions. 
  • 78% of women presidents are serving their first presidency.
  • Women were more likely than men to have served as a CAO/provost or dean in their immediate prior position. 
  • 32% of women presidents altered careers to care for others.

Explore more data in the infographic below, or use the ACPS data tool and ACE's Pipelines, Pathways, and Institutional Leadership report to learn more about women in the presidency. 

Using the interactive infographic: Look for clickable icons below to engage with interactive features. To view full-screen or to share, hover over the infographic's top right corner to reveal the screen and share icons.

Join the Commitment to Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership

bulletSIGN THE PLEDGE

Contact us about Moving the Needle

Pledge SIGNERS

​​Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership is a national campaign that asks higher education leaders to join us in advancing more women into senior leadership positions within higher education. This campaign, launched in 2016, has 900 signers who are dedicated to diversifying the leadership of higher education. ​

Pledge Signers​

Since 2014, higher education leaders have been signing the pledge to advance women in higher education. The data below explores some of the demographics regarding the over 900 pledge signers from over 730 institutions in the United States, Australia, Canada, Northern Marianas, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.​

Using the interactive infographic: Look for clickable icons below to engage with interactive features. To view full-screen or to share, hover over the infographic's top right corner to reveal the screen and share icons.

Join the Commitment to Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership

bulletSIGN THE PLEDGE

Contact us about Moving the Needle​​

Moving the Needle Inaugural Signers

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sign the pledge

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As a higher education leader, I recognize... 

my ability to effect change, inform perception, and elevate priorities. I have a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of leaders who will succeed me. I promote the advancement of women as a global imperative and seek ways to support the advancement of all women. By signing on to this commitment, I pledge to:

  • Nominate and promote qualified women to the highest positions of leadership in higher education wherever and whenever possible.
  • Provide opportunities for emerging women leaders to gain access to the skills and experiences necessary to advance.
  • Educate others, including but not limited to members of the board, faculty, and administrators, on the benefits of a gender-diversified leadership.
  • Empower teams in my own institution to sponsor women leaders.

Click the green button to add your name in support of Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership. Once you have signed on to the commitment, you will be redirected to a page with resources on how to engage your community, campus, and networks around Moving the Needle. 

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Information Request Policy  

Our signers are listed by institution. Limited access to signer information can be requested by email. For data requests and any questions about the initiative, please email movingtheneedle@acenet.edu​​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

WHAT YOU CAN DO​

​​Stay Connected

Thank you for joining Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership—we appreciate your support of this important initiative. Here are some more quick actions you can take to help spread the word: 

  • Spread the word about the campaign on your institution’s social media sites, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Craft your own message, use one of our suggestions​, or click an icon below to instantly share this page or a suggested message: 
  

​​Spread the Word

  • Engage with your local media about the importance of the initiative. Coordinate with your Communications Office and see these Talking Points to help frame your conversation. 
  • Share this press release template with your communications office (DOCX) 66KB. Distribute it with your institution’s and the Moving the Needle logo to announce your support of the campaign. 
  • Tailor this “Dear Colleague” letter and send it to your presidential colleagues​ (especially those working within your system, if applicable, or institutional members of associations that you are also a member of), telling them about Moving the Needle and asking for their support. 
  • Add this link on your website <www.acenet.edu/leadership/programs/Pages/Moving-the-Needle.aspx> about the progress of the campaign.
  • Include an article in your e-newsletter, print newsletter, or blog. ACE’s Public Affairs staff can help provide you with language. 

Join the Commitment to Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership

bulletSIGN THE PLEDGE

Contact us about Moving the Needle