New support for the women of DePaul
Published: Friday, February 20, 2009
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Women make up a very significant part of the student body at universities across America. But when it comes to faculty and staff, the majority are stuck in entry-level positions with few advancement opportunities. Currently, few females serve as university presidents or similarly high positions of influence.The women behind the DePaul Women's Network (DWN) realize the importance of female leadership at American universities. With a common goal of providing networking and professional development opportunities to the DePaul women faculty and staff, the DWN has hosted many educational and networking events.
"In terms of specific service for the DePaul Women's Network, we plan to hold professional development opportunities for women faculty and staff that will meet their specific needs," said Peggy Burke, current chair of DWN. On Feb. 26, the organization will host the DePaul Women's Summit featuring Mary A. Dempsey, Chicago Public Library commissioner and the chair of the DePaul University Board of Trustees.
"Ultimately, we want to support the success of women faculty and staff at DePaul," said Burke. Providing leadership training to women from all different backgrounds and cultures is an important part of DWN's mission. "We must recognize that the women of our community face a variety of challenges," she said. "This will require that we have a strong representation of diversity among our members with all different perspectives so that we can best support women across the university."
DWN officers are prominent female leaders at DePaul including Burke, Elizabeth Ortiz, senior executive of institutional diversity and Denise Mattson, associate vice president of public relations. Together they have a female-leadership-driven focus for the DePaul faculty and staff. While they do not offer specific programs for female students, Burke said that "the women of DWN would gladly serve as mentors to women students who are about to enter the working world."
DWN originated as Women in Leadership (WIL), an organization that served women faculty and staff who held key leadership positions at DePaul. Recently, WIL re-organized as DWN with slightly different goals. "What we realized as a board is that women throughout our university exhibited leadership in their everyday lives both on the job and off," said Ortiz, "Therefore, our organization evolved to meet the needs of all DePaul women to include those who self identify as leaders both formally and informally."
DWN has been well received by the DePaul community. "The DWN has received great support in its work from Father Holtschneider and the university's executive team," said Burke, "We have received encouragement to start this organization, and the financial and administrative resources we have needed to maintain this organization."
The women of DWN are optimistic for the future. "The DWN is thrilled with the opportunity to support the women of DePaul," said Burke. "The DePaul community will only be stronger through the future success of the DePaul Women's Network.