Office for Women Celebrates 20 Years on Campus
The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis community gathered April 11 to celebrate 20 years of advocacy and support for gender equity on campus by the IUPUI Office for Women.
Speaking at a celebratory anniversary Office for Women luncheon, Stephanie Mathews O’Keefe, the chief executive officer of the International Women’s Forum and the Leadership Foundation, and IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar praised the office's work to empower women to reach their full potential by implementing mentoring programs, professional development training, recognition awards, women’s history month celebrations and programming focused on the social just needs of women, families and communities.
The International Women’s Forum is a unique organization comprised of more than 6,500 women leaders in thirty-five countries and seventy-six forums around the world.Referring to the advocacy and support for gender equity work of the Office for Women, O'Keefe said some people describe that as a "soft thing that is about women."
"It is not," she declared. "These issues are about the economy and about society. Because not only are they the right thing to do, they are the smart thing to do."
"The idea of helping other women get to a better place is not just about women, it's about everybody. It has tremendous value to this country and to the world," O'Keefe said.
Paydar said the Office for Women demonstrates the long-standing commitment to women and gender equality at IUPUI. "Just take a look at my cabinet and you will see that commitment in action. Almost three-quarters of my cabinet, the senior leaders at IUPUI, are women."
"In 2017, at a time when we have made progress in so many areas of our society, it should go without saying that I support women in leadership roles on this campus.
"It should go without saying, but it has to be said. It has to be said because the reality is there are not many women leading institutions of higher education in the United States," Paydar said, citing a recent study that showed only 26 percent of colleges and universities lead universities in the U.S. are led by women.
"At IUPUI, although a majority our cabinet members are women, we have few female deans and less than a quarter of tenured full professors are women," he said. "We need to concentrate on these areas."
"We strive to make everyone feel welcome, to recruit and retain the very best and to encourage and support the highest levels of achievement," Paydar said.
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