In the Spring of 2004 a group of faculty from across the university got together to explore the issue of Women's Leadership.
This collective came from: CCAS, Academic Affairs; School of Business and the School of Public Policy and Public Administration;
The Elizabeth J. Somers Center; and the Center for Innovation in Public Service. This faculty effort represented many disciplines
and departments at GWU (engineering; management; accounting; organization science; media and public affairs public policy; strategy;
I/O psychology; and entrepreneurship) focusing discussion on the nature and status of women's leadership across these many areas.
Through this past year the group has spent many hours exploring the nature and status of women's leadership at the individual,
organizational, societal, and global levels. This has resulted in a commitment to chartering an interdisciplinary Institute at GWU
whose purpose is Understanding Women's Leadership In Social Systems: Exploring Human Difference.WLI's founders came together and, as an interdisciplinary group of researchers, practitioners and faculty who have come together to explore the nature of women's
leadership in social systems, we have a mission and our vision is making a contribution to the understanding of human differences at the individual, group,
organizational and societal levels in the 21st century. Never has there been a time in human history when the issues of leadership
and exploring human difference through the lens of women's leadership been more salient. Our community and our world has been changed since the events of September 11, 2001, and those events have brought home the critical
nature of these issues. Women's leadership, more than ever, has become a global engine for creating the conditions for resolution of
human differences. We seek to develop this understanding by building a community of learning, scholarship, research and practice at GW
and beyond, of those who are interested in human differences. Our objectives for this institute include:
To build a community of practice by initiating and facilitating connected conversations among academics and practitioners,
world-wide, through face-to-face meetings and virtual communication mechanisms.To serve as a clearinghouse for the GW community, gathering and disseminating information on courses, speakers, events and other
resources for those who are interested in women's leadership.To build a community of research and scholarship by initiating and coordinating funded collaborative research on issues related to
women's leadership in organizations and other social systems.
To build a community of learning by initiating and supporting various educational activities for undergraduate and graduate students,
and working adults.
The WLI over this next year will be working to establish this Institute at the university level to continue our work. Those interested
in learning more about the GWU WLI effort can contact Dr. Elizabeth Davis. We welcome your participation and thoughts
as we move forward with this endeavor.