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Women's Leadership Initiative

The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) is intended to promote dialogue among women students, and to explore the unique experiences of women students at SU in leadership and community. Grounded in the Social Change Model of leadership development, current WLI programming centers on a shared responsibility for the experiences of women at SU. WLI is driven by four core learning objectives: self-awareness and awareness of others, professional development, community engagement, and advocacy & activism.  Programming, projects, involvement opportunities and collaborative partnerships are designed to address one or more of these learning objectives.

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Leadership Luncheons

Leadership Luncheons are typically offered monthly and feature professional women from various fields who discuss the unique challenge and opportunities they have faced in their leadership. Lunch is provided! The Fall 2017 luncheons will be on the following dates:

Friday, September 22nd (Schine 304ABC) 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM  

Friday, October 20th (Schine 304ABC) 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Friday, November 4th (Schine 304ABC) 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Friday, December 8th (Schine 304ABC) 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM


This year, the Women's Leadership Initiative is excited to offer a variety of workshops specifically developed to develop women in leadership. These workshops are open to everyone. The Fall 2017 Workshops will be held on the following dates:

Wednesday, September 27th (Hall of Languages 500) 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Monday, October 16th (Hall of Languages 500) 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Friday, October 27th (Hall of Languages 214) 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Thursday, November 30th (Hall of Languages 500) 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Be sure to check out our table in the Schine Atrium for information on upcoming luncheons/workshops.

$tart $mart

$tart $mart prepares college women who are approaching the job market with the confidence, knowledge, and skills they need to negotiate salaries and benefits.

When students leave the three and a half hour $tart $mart campus workshop, they learn

  • how the gender wage gap affects their lives
  • how to develop a personal budget to determine salary needs
  • how to benchmark salary and benefits
  • how to negotiate for their first salary out of college

According to AAUW research, just one year after graduation, women earn just 82 percent of what their male counterparts earn, and the gender wage gap widens over the next 10 years.

More than 225 campuses throughout the United States have hosted $tart $mart. Before the workshop, only 25 percent of attendees said they were confident that they could negotiate a salary and benefits package. That figure skyrocketed to 91 percent upon completion of the workshop.

Typically Offered: Spring, Equal Pay Day

Elect Her

Elect Her–Campus Women Win is the only program in the country that encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office. WLI will work with students interested in working to bring Elect Her to campus.

What does an Elect-Her Training Look Like?

Elect Her is a one-day, 4.5-hour training. Campus administrators, students, and local AAUW members collaborate with AAUW and Running Start staff to plan the trainings each year.  Participants practice hands-on campaign skills, hear from inspiring local speakers, and discuss research on women in government.

Why Student Government?

Women hold only a small fraction of elected offices in the United States. Engaging women in politics and electing them to office earlier in life is the key to strengthening and increasing women’s representation in government. Many of the campuses who apply for Elect Her show a disparity between the number of women and men serving in prominent leadership roles on campus. An important part of encouraging young women to step up and lead starts with participation in student government.

Typically Offered: Fall