“Supporting women, especially the brilliant and courageous colleagues I met in this program, is one way to help Georgia Tech realize authentic inclusive excellence in its leadership ranks,” said Maureen Rouhi, director of communications for the College of Sciences.
The second cohort of 23 women leaders were recently honored at the Leading Women@Tech closing ceremony for completing the program. Honorees included Joeleen Akin, Donna Ashley, Marisa Atencio, Lori Brown, Dian Chung, Carla Gilson, Amy Herron, Jennifer Hirsch, Tiffiny Hughes-Troutman, Maria Hunter, Cynthia Jennings, Keona Lewis, Connie Masters, Patrice Miles, Cynthia Moore, Susan Morrell, Pamela Rary, Mia Reini, Maureen Rouhi, Jana Stone, Kimberly Toatley, Michelle Tullier, and Kate Wasch.
With support from the Office of the President, Institute Diversity launched the Leading Women@Tech program to facilitate women’s professional development and academic and administrative leadership, and to build a community of leaders across the Institute that will advance a culture of inclusive excellence.
“Two of the major program goals include facilitating participants’ professional development and creating a larger community of women colleagues,” remarked Julie Ancis, associate vice president for Institute Diversity and co-director of the program. “Continuing to invest in programs like Leading Women@Tech is imperative to fostering equity and inclusion, and we are grateful for the Instititute’s commitment. It was gratifying to witness the two cohorts come together at different points last year and build stronger relationships with each other.”
Institute Diversity Vice President Archie Ervin concurred. “We have many opportunities to improve the gender balances among the leadership ranks at Georgia Tech, but the question is, ‘Do we have the courage and will to do that?’ Through this program, we’re saying that we can do better, and we’re committed to doing better.”
Over 10 months, 10 program faculty, comprised of national and international thought leaders and expert coaches, facilitated sessions or provided individual leadership coaching in the areas of efficacy, emotional intelligence, strengths-based leadership, intercultural communication, mindful leadership, multiple role management, career vision, and other aspects of navigating the complexities of work-life integration.
According to survey responses, 100 percent of participants thought the program was relevant, informative, and engaging. Ancis added, “We have taken under advisement the two years of data that we now have from women completing the program, and continue to refine Leading Women@Tech. We anticipate an even more powerful experience being delivered for our next cohort.”
“We appreciate the institutional support from the Office of the President and Institute Diversity, supervisors of the participants across the Institute, the excellence of our partners, and the stellar guidance of our advisory board members to proactively define the next generation of leaders at Georgia Tech,” said Pearl Alexander, executive director of diversity, inclusion, and engagement and co-director of the program.
Advisory board members included Maryam Alavi, dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair, Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business; Terry Blum, faculty director, Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship; Errika Moore, executive director, Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative; and John Stein, dean of students and vice president, Student Life. In addition to Alexander, Cheryl Cofield, director of inclusion and engagement, served as an executive coach.
The nomination period for the third cohort of the Leading Women@Tech program will open in April. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
“The privilege to actively work with the caliber of women in this program has been personally rewarding,” said Alexander. “We encourage women leaders to participate in this unique experience. Leading Women@Tech provides an opportunity for participants to reflect on who they are and who they want to be, and to network among like-minded women committed to positive culture change at Georgia Tech.”
To view the Leading Women@Tech video about the second cohort’s experience, visit https://youtu.be/Uk3xZOPthu8. For more information on Leading Women@Tech, visit www.diversity.gatech.edu/leadingwomenattech.
Editor's Note: This item was adapted from the article published on Feb. 22, 2018, by Institute Diversity.