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Dr. Geneva Murray

Dr. Geneva Murray

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Women Leading OHIO professional development program receiving applications for third year

Application deadline is Aug. 17

The Ohio University Women’s Center will host Women Leading OHIO, a professional development program for faculty and staff, for the third consecutive year.

The program is open to 15 participants who will engage in networking, discussion and education focused on women’s roles in the workplace and in higher education. It is most beneficial to early-career employees who have three or fewer years of service at the University.

Dr. M. Geneva Murray, director of the OHIO Women’s Center, said “the goal of the program is to foster professional and leadership development, while connecting with a cohort of others who are early in their careers and can serve as a support network as our participants transition to life as an adopted Bobcat and Athens community member.”

Participants will have an opportunity to engage in mentoring or job shadowing with on-campus leaders, network with professionals within the University, investigate and discuss gendered issues in higher education and learn about career paths and advancement.

They also will attend the ACE Women’s Network of Ohio’s Annual Conference on Friday, Nov. 2, in Toledo and the Celebrate Women Conference hosted at the Lancaster Campus in March 2019.

WLO meetings are every Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 5 through April 27. Through the alumni group, there also will be socials for participants. Although the program takes a gendered focus on women, people of all gender identities are welcome to apply. The application deadline is Aug. 17.

Dr. Murray said the Women's Center will work with participants' colleges or departments in order to secure an $800 contribution in order to cover the cost of the program.

Here is what some of last year’s participants had to say about their WLO experience:

Antonique Flood, an assistant director of the Ohio University Allen Student Advising Center, said she joined the program to build a supportive network of women across campus. She said it has helped her identify and implement her strengths, skills, abilities and passions into an authentic leadership style.

“We discussed normative concepts of women in leadership and reflected on how we perpetuate and/or challenge these norms,” Flood said. “We were given the space to dream without boundaries and encouraged to strive for those dreams even in the midst of opposition. I credit this program with helping me rediscover, redefine and re-envision myself through a lens of strength and courage. My goals are clearer and my spirit is full of resolve.”

Flood said she recommends Women Leading OHIO to any woman who is yearning for connection or a boost in confidence, direction, support and fun.

“WLO is a transformative program that is designed to help women become the best version of themselves,” Flood said.

Cat Russell, a human resources liaison, said she applied to the Women Leading OHIO program because she was hoping to strengthen her relationships and find her place at the University during her first year.

"This program provided layers of benefits for me," Russell said. "As a baseline, this program provided a safe, structured environment that proved conducive to building workplace relationships without some of the common frustrations women and minorities often experience. I had wonderful opportunities to connect with leaders on campus, partner with new colleagues on projects, share expertise with cohort mates, hone certain skills and better understand the workings of the institution."

Russell said she recommends the program because she sees great potential in the women on campus. She said their potential is sometimes bound by structural barriers, lack of community, and even self-doubt that shouldn’t exist.

"I spend my days trying to counter the impact of bias and societal structures on employees by encouraging inclusive employment and development practices, so how could I not support a program like this?" Russell said. 

Kailee Slusser, a designer for University Advancement, said Women Leading OHIO helped her pinpoint where she wants to go with her career and how to get there.

"In my first few years as a professional, I wasn't confident about how to navigate the workplace when it came to things like salary negotiations, conflict, professionalism, management roles and networking," Slusser said. "I applied for WLO to learn concrete strategies to face those issues, but the program turned out to be more than that. I walked away with a dependable network of competent and diverse women who work alongside me and want to help me succeed."

To apply or to nominate someone for a role in the program, visit https://orgsync.com/130803/forms/319065.

If you have any questions or would like a written letter about the program be sent to your department or college, please contact Dr. M. Geneva Murray, director of the Women’s Center, at murraym2@ohio.edu.