Empowering ASU female directors

ASU female director group photo with guest presenter

On October 3, 2017, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes co-sponsored a semi-annual event with the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST) designed to bring together all female center directors within ASU.

This event, hosted by US law firm Quarles & Brady under Nicole Stanton’s leadership, saw 20 ASU female center directors discuss the opportunities and challenges women face in aspiring to positions of leadership. The event was attended by faculty, students, staff and lawyers.  Take the Lead Executive Director Gloria Feldt led the discussion, which was moderated by CGEST Director Kimberly Scott and Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Associate Director of Social Science Abigail York.

In discussing what she has learned over a 40-year career, Feldt had this to say: “I’ve learned that a man will get up, look in the mirror and say ‘I’ll run for Senate.’ And he’ll run for Senate. A woman will do the same thing but first say, ‘I better learn something first.’ By the time she’s finished… the man is the incumbent.”

Based on this observation, Feldt identified four key areas women need to succeed: mentoring/coaching, role models, training and thought leadership. These areas work together to help women redefine their own power. Despite enormous gains, female representation in top leadership positions across all economic sectors lags far behind men, at just 18% (according to Take the Lead data and metrics).

This event, one of a series of events held to promote diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) within ASU, led to provocative conversations between ASU directors across units and campuses on how to help more women succeed to executive positions.

Take the Lead is a non-profit organization dedicated to “preparing, developing, inspiring and propelling women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025.”

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is honored to join these discussion and facilitate more ways for women and men to work together towards gender parity.