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Women in Academic Leadership 2021

WIAL goes Virtual April 23 to June 25 #WomenAcLeaders

2021 Schedule

WIAL Synchronous Sessions (All times are Central Daylight Time)

These Synchronous Sessions Synchronous sessions are highly interactive incorporating group work, case studies and table top discussions. They will be augmented by self-study and reflection, and mentoring sessions.


$2,450 plus GST.


April 23 10:30 – 1:00 pm
April 30 10:30 – 1:00 pm
May 7 10:30 – 1:00 pm
May 21 10:30 – 1:00 pm
June 4 10:30 – 1:00 pm
June 18 10:30 – 1:30 pm
June 25 10:30 – 1:30 pm

WIAL goes Virtual

This spring, in response to the pandemic and ongoing restrictions on gatherings and travel, CHERD will provide Women in Academic Leadership (WIAL) via virtual delivery.

It has been a challenging year and the pandemic has impacted female administrators and faculty in different ways and revealed further inequalities. Moving this program to virtual delivery enables women academic administrators to incorporate this key professional development program into their busy schedule while removing travel costs at a time when university budgets are precarious.

CHERD programs are updated annually to reflect current realities, and in this extraordinary year, WIAL 2021 will be contextualized in the present higher education environment in which we operate. WIAL 2021 will use a range of synchronous and asynchronous technologies to facilitate building a community of practice to learn and network. In addition all participants will work with a mentor both in groups and individually throughout the program.

Join the community of women leaders in higher education

Enhance your higher education leadership potential and join the virtual offering of Women in Academic Leadership 2021. First offered in 2018, WIAL is recognized as highly relevant and essential professional development for women in academic leadership.

CHERD realizes that although we have made progress, women are still significantly under-represented across senior academic positions. In fact, many Canadian universities have yet to appoint a female president.

This program is designed for the women who will become our next academic leaders, women like you. Build your leadership skills and learn how to address the unique issues you may face in these challenging times for the higher education environment.

If you have achieved an early to mid-level of academic leadership and now have your sights on reaching higher levels of academic leadership, join us. Let’s work together, to make a difference in the world of higher education and in your career.

Key Topic Areas

Contextualized within a COVID and post-COVID environment, WIAL 2021 will include the following key topic areas:

  • Women in Academic leadership and the impact of COVID -19
  • Power and Politics in the academy, multiple sources of power, complexities of intra-gender relationships, privilege, colonization and intersectionality theory
  • Leadership models and navigating gendered expectatons of being a women leader in the academy
  • Self awareness and understanding your leadership style and approach – 360 self-assessment
  • Effective negotiation and self-advocacy skills
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Addressing inequality in the academy, mobilizing and building coalitions
  • Work-life balance
  • Personal academic principles

Presentations by current women academic leaders from universities across Canada

Group and individual mentoring sessions

WIAL 2021 Facilitators

  • Gina Grandy, Dean and Professor (Strategy and leadership) Faculty of Business Administration, University of Regina
  • Sheila Cote-Meek, Vice-President, Equity, People and Culture, York University

Presenters and Panelists

  • Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor, Memorial University
  • Sheila Brown, President Emerita, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax
  • Susan Tighe, Provost and Vice-President Academic, McMaster University
  • Dru Marshall, Provost and Vice-President Academic, University of Calgary
  • Ananya Mukerjee Reed, Provost and Vice-President Academic, University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus)
  • Theresa Rajack- Talley, Vice- Provost, Equity and Inclusion, Dalhousie University
  • Loleen Berdahl, Executive Director, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan


  • Alice Akin, Vice- President Research and Innovation, Dalhousie University
  • Diane Hiebert-Murphy, Vice- Provost, University of Manitoba
  • Shanti Johnson, Dean, School of Public Health, University of Alberta
  • Valerie Kuehne, Provost, Vice- President Academic, University of Victoria
  • Florentine Strzelczyk, Deputy Provost, University of Alberta
  • Susan Tighe Provost, Vice- President Academic, McMaster University

What women said about the program

“I am leaving here with more of a spark than when I arrived. This is an opportunity for learning and reflection, with an incredible added bonus. You develop a network with women you may have no chance of otherwise meeting.

“Leadership is believing in yourself. Do what you need to do to accomplish this.”

Keltie Jones, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University

“It was broad and diverse, an enriching experience. The peer sharing as well as the quality of the mentors and the facilitators really contributed to the experience. The mentor groups were smaller, and everyone was very honest about their challenges, strategies and tools.

“Do you want the title or do you want the job? That question stuck with me. Don’t be afraid of change and challenges. Continue your growth journey.”

Susan Tighe, Deputy Provost and Associate Vice-President Integrated Planning and Budgeting at University of Waterloo

“My dean/boss told me and my two female colleagues we needed to come. There are only three women in our faculty council. It was a great event, fantastic. It gave me framework for high-level thinking and practical tools. It showed me how to find a vision from the bottom up, to get people to walk in each other’s shoes.

“I am from Brazil. I came to Canada for my job. It gave me the opportunity to get to know people from other provinces, to learn about cultures and values.”

Ana Campos, Director, School of Interdisciplinary Science, McMaster University

Remember our previous events. Visit Archive.

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