University to launch Flagship Initiative for Women and Gender Equity

By News@TheU

University to launch Flagship Initiative for Women and Gender Equity

By News@TheU
The initiative will address issues of inequality and examine ways in which the institution can support female students, faculty, staff, and other members of the University and broader community in achieving gender parity in leadership.

Coming on the heels of a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, the University of Miami has announced that it is launching a new institution-wide initiative aimed at investigating and addressing issues of inequity that still confront women in all areas of the academy. 

The Flagship Initiative for Women and Gender Equity will take an internal and external look at the current climate for female leaders, and will develop ways in which the University can support female students, faculty, staff, and other members of the University and broader community in achieving gender parity in leadership.

“The University of Miami knows firsthand the difference women in leadership can make,” said President Julio Frenk, noting that for the first time in its history the University has women leading at every level. “The Flagship Initiative for Women and Gender Equity recognizes that more remains to be done to ensure women have opportunities to lead in every sector of society, and we are excited about the insight this initiative will offer both the University community and our partners across the globe.” 

Announced a day after International Women’s Day, which was celebrated on March 8, the endeavor will be spearheaded by Hilarie Bass, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees; Jackie Travisano, executive vice president for business and finance and chief operating officer; Rebecca Fox, dean of Continuing and International Education; Claudia Grillo, associate vice president for strategic philanthropy; and select student leaders.

“As we approach our centennial, we want to take a critical look at an issue that has been fundamental to the University since its founding—the status of women,” said Bass. “We want to put the University at the center of an institutional and national conversation about equality and inclusion.” 

Frenk said the initiative is being launched at an ideal time, noting that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment that guarantees and protects women’s constitutional right to vote. 

With Women’s History Month now well underway, he also pointed to other landmark moments that served as significant turning points for women’s rights. Among these moments was the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995, at which some 189 nations agreed on a comprehensive plan—the Beijing Platform for Action—to achieve global gender equality.

And this year, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife to both advance nurses’ and midwives’ vital position in transforming health care around the world, and to commemorate the 200th anniversary of legendary nurse Florence Nightingale’s birth. 

“We’re undertaking this initiative in a way that’s relevant, authentic, and consistent with who we are,” said Fox. “We’re a young University, and we’re nimble and innovative. As we begin to work on this initiative, we can find new ways of looking at and dealing with issues.”