Women & Leadership

Leadership education for aspiring, emerging and senior women leaders at critical career junctures. Research to fill the knowledge gap on the status of women leaders and institutional climates locally, nationally and globally.

1. Women’s Leadership Academy

Women's Leadership Academy - Programs

  • NEW Leadership™ New York NEW Leadership™ New York strengthens policy knowledge and skills of undergraduate women, while positioning them to become advocates for change. This intensive week-long summer program fosters the principles of leadership through action, and guides participants’ community/campus action projects.
  • Fellowship on Women & Public Policy The Fellowship is a six-month, rigorous, and multi-faceted leadership development program primarily for graduate students. It is designed to provide a springboard for aspiring women leaders to pursue careers in public policy while increasing the capacity of New York State government and civil society. Now celebrating its 30th year, the Fellowship has graduated more than 300 women who occupy public policy leadership positions across the state and nation and around the globe.

Women’s leadership matters! In the past several decades, women have made tremendous progress in educational achievements and employment equity, but still occupy a small percentage of public service leadership positions throughout New York State and the nation. The Women’s Leadership Academy offers programs for undergraduate, graduate and professional women. CWGCS is a member of the National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Network.

The Women’s Leadership Academy was launched on November 30, 2010.

The purpose of the Women’s Leadership Academy (WLA) is to strengthen participants’ self-efficacy, leadership capacity and capabilities. Areas of emphasis include: knowledge of policy-making processes and ways women can influence these processes; leadership ethics, principles and approaches of women political and policy leaders; understanding of how political campaigns are organized and run; recognition of the critical importance of diversity in enriching democratic political participation; skills in community organizing and advocacy; and commitment to advancing women’s leadership on a personal and collective level.

Why Women’s Leadership?

  • Women make up 51% of the population, yet they remain underrepresented in policy leadership positions.
  • The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions weakens the democratic foundation of our nation and has critical policy implications for citizens.
  • In order to promote women’s leadership, women must be provided with opportunities to broaden their policy knowledge and engage in arenas of collective action.
  • Broadening women’s opportunities for acquisition of policy knowledge and leadership skills advances the vision of a society free of gender inequities and ensures that the potential of women as leaders is fully realized.
  • Embedded in a public university, CWGCS’ mission is intertwined with strengthening civic engagement and public policy leadership at the state and local levels.
  • CWGCS programs cultivate and nurture values of democratic life, provide a training ground for future civic and political leaders, promote access to policy knowledge and enrich students’ education at the University at Albany.

2.Women's Leadership Research

Research Projects

Women in Federal & State Level Judgeships and in New York State

There is a critical need for gender and racial inclusion on the bench. Descriptive representation, or having judges who resemble the people they serve in descriptive characteristics such as gender and race, is imperative inspire trust, credibility and confidence in the judicial system. Descriptive representation makes a difference in the perception of the system and in whether people who have been historically marginalized and excluded are encouraged to access its protections, and feel that it will treat them equally and equitably.  CWGCS tracks the number of women judges appointed and elected to the nation’s federal and state benches and publishes annual reports documenting the status of women in the judiciary.  This national study examines the percentages of women on federal and state benches and highlights areas of greater need for more balanced representation. A special report takes an in-depth look at New York State’s benches.

The Role of NYS Women Legislators in Shaping the Policy Agenda: 1919 – 2012

The study seeks to determine how female legislators define women’s interests, assess how those interests impact policy preferences and agenda setting, and examine the contextual factors that affect the behavior and actions of female change agents in the legislature. The first phase of this study focuses on the New York State Legislature and adopts a comparative analysis of the legislative landscape from 1919-2012.

Mapping the Substantive Representation of Women in the Ugandan Legislature

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, this study seeks to deepen understanding of the contextual factors that propel or hinder the substantive representation of women in the Ugandan legislature. The study will analyze the interaction of descriptive representation of women with legislative contexts; legislators’ identities, interests, behaviors and attitudes; and policy-making structures and political institutions. It will make recommendations on utilizing leverage points, and strengthening facilitative conditions of women’s substantive representation.