Keys to Successful Equity
There is no specific formula for the gender equity present in these universities’ staff, but Holz-Clause pointed out that all of the University of Minnesota’s search committees go through bias training and that education is provided for every search and recruitment group.
“A lot of universities create networks for people and provide a peer mentor,” said Holz-Clause. “This leadership training ideally starts early in a person’s academic career, making them the absolute best that they can be.”
Similarly, Stacy Merida, the assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at American University’s Kogod School of Business, indicated that the leadership should create measures to ensure that the table is very large and there are many represented voices to provide proper guidance and honest perspectives.
Merida and Holz-Clause emphasized a key component that successfully supports females continuing into leadership positions at American universities: women networking and building alliances and relationships on and across their campuses.
“More and more women are actively and effectively looking for support and promoting each other’s work,” Merida said. “Much of this work is being driven by individual networks—rather than at institutional levels.”
Holz-Clause, whose work in the agricultural industry has since shifted to decades of leadership positions in academia, attributes her success to the “real spirit of mentorship, radical candor, and honest feedback” she’s been fortuitous enough to experience amongst colleagues in her career.
“The most important part of the development of any leader are individuals who invest in you and provide good, honest feedback,” Holz-Clause said.