Leadership Seminars

The Leadership Seminar Series brings nationally known science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experts to the UIC campus to share their expertise on advancing gender equity in academia.  Seminars are free and open to the public.


“Taking Stock”

Thursday, February 25, 2016 – Ingrid Daubechies, James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University

More information about the seminar


“Media Workshop: How to Engage the Media with Your Work”

Friday, April 17, 2009, Student Center East- 302 SCE, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Stephanie Coontz, Evergreen State College, How to Write an Effective Op-Ed

Virginia Rutter, Framingham State College, How to Get Press Coverage of Your Work

Deborah Siegel, Woodhull Institute, Everything You Need to Know About Blogging

This Workshop is sponsored by WISEST and NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award. It is part of the Conference for the Council on Contemporary Families. There is no fee for STEM faculty and post doc participants.

“Gender and Family in the Academy”

February 28, 2008, Room 2850 University Hall 9:00-10:30 AM – Robert Drago, Professor of Labor Studies & Women Studies, Penn State University.

All faculty  and leadership are invited to joing Dr. Drago for his talk.

Dr. Drago will address issues relating to family commitments and the academy. Detailed strategies will be presented formaking the academy more responsive to commitments beyond an academic career including inclusive practices andwork-life policies.

Robert Drago is Professor of Labor Studies and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, co-founder and chair of the Take Care Net, past president of the College and University Work-Family Association, and moderates the Workfam newsgroup on the internet.  He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and was a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar.  The author of four books and over 70 articles, his most recent book, “Striking a Balance,” published in 2007.  His research, largely funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, concerns Biases against caregiving in the academic workplace, the decline of women in intercollegiate coaching, and public policies for working families.  He is a frequent contributor to major media outlets, and has provided Congressional Briefs.  He was the 2001 recipient of the R.I. Downing Fellowship from the University of Melbourne, serves on the board of the Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children, and is a member of the Council on Contemporary Families, and the International Association for Feminist Economics.

“Battling Biases and Barriers: Necessary Steps our Academic Institutions Must Take to Assure a Strong Science and Engineering Workforce”

Geraldine Richmond, Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science, University of Oregon

Dr. Richmond offered insight into the broad range of cultural and structural changes that need to occur in universities in order to recruit, retain, and promote more women into faculty and leadership positions.  Dr. Richmond is a member of The National Academies’ Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering, which recently published “Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering.”  The report calls for immediate, overarching reform and action by university administrators, professional societies, and the U.S. government.

“No Talent Left Behind: A Discussion on Increasing Flexibility in Tenure-Track Careers”

Dr. Claire Van Ummersen, Vice President Center for Effective Leadership, American Council on Education (ACE)

Dr. Van Ummersen led a discussion about the challenges women face in tenure-track positions.  According to Dr. Van Ummersen, the rigidity of the current tenure-track model and the culture of academia do not allow for the flexibility women and men need to manage their work and life responsibilities.  Since women are often primary caregivers, this work-life imbalance leads to fewer women pursuing tenure-track positions compared to men.

“Balancing Faculty and Family Obligations: Organizational Change or Private Solutions?”

A panel discussion featuring:
Dr. Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California
Dr. Kathleen Gerson, Professor of Sociology, New York University
Dr. Paula England, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University

These three distinguished scholars illuminated the perception in academia that parenthood is not compatible with achievement.  Gender-biased expectations of faculty influence performance evaluations and foster a fear of reprisal for taking parental leaves and making time for family obligations.  Gender biases pose the potential for liability.  To solve this problem, universities must improve work-life policies, such as implementing part-time tenure-track options and automatic parental leaves unless faculty opts out.  Training for department chairs is also important, so that faculty members in every department have access to information about university policies.  There is a strong link between work-life policies and the recruitment and retention of today’s top talent.