Developing Women Leaders on Campus: A Human Resources-Women's Center Partnership at the University of Minnesota

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The Problem.

Despite significant gains in the number of women leaders in higher education, there are still challenges for developing women leaders in higher education.

The Solution.

Effective collaboration between women’s centers and other campus organizations that support women’s leadership can provide opportunities to overcome these barriers. This article presents leadership development programs offered by the Women’s Center at the University of Minnesota, focusing on those facilitated in partnership with the university’s Office of Human Resources. Several lessons emerged from the review: the value of collaborative relationships, the importance of emphasis on individual and system-level leadership, and the need for ongoing assessment and evaluation of the climate for women leaders within postsecondary institutions.

The Stakeholders.

These lessons, and the principles used in implementing them, reveal practices that may be useful for other Women’s Centers, HR departments, and internal and external entities who seek to develop more women leaders in higher education.