Nov 07, 2015
Dr. Karen Bird, along with Political Science students Zaynab Al-waadh, Lindsay Robinson, and Christina Vietinghoff, are part of a cross-campus working group who have initiated the new AWSM Lecture Series.
The vision for the AWSM lecture series is to stimulate an inclusive and wide-ranging dialogue that can engage a broad diversity of students, faculty, alumni and community members in conversations about women’s leadership, mentorship and strategies for gender equity. As articulated in the group's successful Forward with Integrity application, the aim is to stimulate a closer “alliance among women in different disciplines to not only highlight the commonalities of their experiences but also provide unprecedented opportunities for collaboration, networking, and a fertile environment for mentorship.” The goal for the AWSM lecture series is to host six speakers, whose professional backgrounds will map onto each of the six faculties.
Part of the inspiration for a series of lectures on women's leadership comes from the YWCA's Women & Diversity EXCLerator Report, which was produced by Bird, Al-waadh and Robinson, along with Ph.D student Samantha Jackson. That report finds that women are under-represented in leadership positions among eight of nine sectors in Hamilton and the Halton region. Women lag especially in the corporate sector, where they comprise just 18% of executive management and boards of directors.