New Cohort Forms for 2017
Dec 16, 2016 | Atlanta, GA
“This program changed the way I see leadership,” said Carol Gibson, controller for the Controller’s Office. Similar positive sentiments were echoed at the Leading Women@Tech closing ceremony on December 2.
Sixteen women leaders were honored at the event for completing the inaugural, 10-month Leading Women@Tech program. Honorees included Lindsay Bryant, Birgit Burton, Sherry Davidson, Brandi Foley-Rodgers, Marta Garcia, Carol Gibson, Amy Henry, Mary Hallisey Hunt, Farah Kashlan, Liz Maryanski, Julie McCoy, Kimberly Mull, Aisha Oliver-Staley, Vanessa Payne, Charvette Webb, and Nazia Zakir.
Leading Women@Tech was designed to strengthen participants’ leadership abilities, enhance personal and professional growth, and support their overall career development, in addition to facilitating connections across the Institiute.
“This program was launched to respond to a call from women for more career advancement opportunities and for greater community with women leaders across the Institute,” said Julie Ancis, associate vice president for Institute Diversity and co-director of Leading Women@Tech. “We arranged for experienced thought leaders, both external and internal to Georgia Tech, to facilitate targeted sessions on efficacy, emotional intelligence, mindful leadership, multiple role management, negotiation, and networking.”
The persistent problem of low participation of women in senior management ranks requires innovative efforts, as highlighted by many recent studies. According to the Harvard Business Review1, “The obstacles women face in today’s workplaces tend to be a lot subtler. If we want to finally make real progress on promoting more women, after decades of talking about it, men, women, and organizations all need to step up and take decisive action to make it happen.”
Currently, only 28 percent of Georgia Tech staff positions above the director level are held by women. Leading Women@Tech supports and strengthens women in values-based leadership practices and navigating adaptively to change. The program increases the visibility of their current talent and skills sets, invites them to imagine advancement into the highest levels of leadership, and designs specific plans to do so.
“I’ve been in many meetings where I was the only woman. We’ve come a long way, but Georgia Tech still has a way to go,” said Nazia Zakir, assistant vice president for Environmental Health and Safety. “It would be very advantageous for other women, especially if recently promoted, to also participate in this program to become a more effective leader at Tech.”
As Farah Kashlan, director of development for the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, reflected, “This program opened me up personally and spiritually in ways that I never imagined. There was an unbelievable amount of support that came from this group of like-minded individuals.”
Following the closing ceremony, a new cohort of women leaders is actively being accepted into the Leading Women@Tech program, which will start in March 2017.
“We are creating the next generation of leaders at Georgia Tech – leaders who are introspective, listen reflexively, and understand how to master themselves, so they can honestly lead others in connected and transformational ways. We look forward to involving more of our executive and senior ranking men leaders in being brave allies by creating mentoring and sponsoring opportunities for our leading women,” said Pearl Alexander, executive director for Staff Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement and co-director of Leading Women@Tech.
For more information on Leading Women@Tech and to read the program participants’ success stories, visit www.diversity.gatech.edu/leadingwomenattech.1 Rebecca Shambaugh, “Getting More Women into Senior Management,” Harvard Business Review (May 25, 2016).