The #3Wedu Conversation @ #OLCinnovate 2017: Redefining Higher Ed to Support Women

Yesterday (April 5, 2017), the Women Who Wine (#3Wedu) facilitated a “conversations that work” (roundtable) discussion at the OLC Innovate 2017 conference in NOLA (#OLCInnovate). The focus of this session was to discuss how we REDEFINE higher education to support women.

For The #3Wedu Conversation: Redefining Higher Ed to Support Women, the two discussion prompts were:

  1. What it means to be a woman in education in innovative environments? Discuss what were your goals when you entered higher ed? What obstacles, internal and external, have you faced along the way? As you look to answer this question and share your experiences, many opportunities and challenges may come to mind.  Please share those as well. For the allies of women attending, discuss what you have witnessed as obstacles for women colleagues or staff.
  2. How might we reimagine the organizational structure of universities to be more supportive of women in innovative contexts?  As we’ve seen in the examples coming out of Silicon Valley, innovative environments can be some of the toughest for women, personally and professionally. What about “Silicon Valley” like contexts in higher education? Through this exercise and collaborative discussion, we can start identifying organizational structures and practices that can empower women moving into the future taking a proactive approach to enable women’s success within education.

Thanks for those of you who attended in person. If you want to keep the conversation going, please do! At your campus and among your community members who want to support the role women play in higher educaiton.  There were some great dialogues around these prompts. Questions were answered and even more were asked. Perhaps we can dig into these questions on a future podcast…

  • How do you become part of an organization without losing your cultural self (background, ethnicity, nationality, social, etc.) or identity? Can you assimilate and not lose some of yourself to “fit it” to an organization?
  • How can we mentor all at the table to reimagine what organizational structures COULD look like in higher ed?
  • How do you determine or check your biases we have from our own background and experiences?
  • What personal skills and strategies have you developed you need to succeed in your current role?
  • Structural organization — does your organizational chart, roles, and division of labor look right? Does it need to thought about in new ways?
  • How does the way we craft/write a job description limit who might apply OR what talent we might hire?
  • Are there ways to address perceptions, in action or language, that we could be active with at our campuses?
  • In your current role in higher ed, what assumptions or expectations do YOU think might influence your actions and experiences at work?

For more information about this session, please check out and contribute to this open Google doc from the session: http://bit.ly/3weduinnovate17

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