Women's Wear Daily Recently Featured a New Transfer Member - "LaVelle Olexa Continues Mentoring Program Despite Company Move"
STILL MENTORING: LaVelle & Co. is alive and well, despite the founder’s move to Atlanta this year. “We just seem to keep going and going,” said LaVelle Olexa, discussing the mentoring group for young professional women she started up five years ago. LaVelle & Co.’s holiday party, held at the marble encrusted Cassini building off Madison Avenue last week, drew 100 guests including Liz Rodbell, Kay Unger, Ruth Finlay, Margaret Hayes, Marylou Luther, U.N. Ambassador from Romania Simona Miculescu; Lisa Williams, Loreen Arbus, Jill Iscol, Yeohlee, Meerha Ghandi, R.J.Graziano, Fern Mallis and Lauren Anderson. Many have been speakers at the monthly LaVelle & Co. meetings, which may occur every other month now. “It’s an opportunity for these people to meet with extraordinarily powerful women and make connections,” Olexa said, noting that the group will also continue to support charitable causes. “This isn’t just a social club.”
IWF is pleased to launch @IWFGlobal and @IWFLF - a platform to communicate, share information and be in the know.
IWF and the Leadership Foundation will be tweeting member news, upcoming events, current issues affecting women and global leadership and sharing the content regularly posted on the IWF website.
IWF has adopted the hashtags #IWFGlobal2015 and #WomenWhoLead for the 2015 World Leadership Conference and invite you to participate.
Together, the IWF community can build a more vibrant, global and connected network.
Watch for IWF World Leadership Conference tweets to begin today!
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Click here for more about Henna and Wired for Authenticity.
Open medical schools to black males
BY VALERIE MONTGOMERY RICE
Atlanta Journal & Constitution
As president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine, I am proud of Davon Thomas for many reasons.
Dr. Thomas recently graduated from Morehouse School of Medicine at the top of his class with a 4.0 grade-point average. His national board exams were the highest in the class, surpassing national averages. At our award ceremony, Dr. Thomas sat quietly with his mother, wife and two younger siblings and received virtually every academic award we present to medical graduates. His mother Denise glowed as her son placed each award — all 13 of them, one by one — gently in her lap.
Dr. Thomas is viewed as an anomaly in this country. In medicine, as a 25-year-old African-American man, he earned a medical degree amid a troubling shortage today of black males in American medical schools. He is also among a very small percentage of young black males who maintain interest in science and math from elementary school through college.
This month, the Association of American Medical Colleges released a critical report titled, “Altering the Course: Black Males in Medicine.” The report shines light on a crisis in American medicine that should compel the nation’s 144 medical school leaders and those in the entire educational continuum to think differently.
In 2014, of the nearly 40,000 applicants to U.S. medical schools, only 6 percent — 3,537 — were black. Of those 3,537 black applicants, only 37.8 percent — 1,337 — were men. The nearly 2-to-1 gender gap between black female and male applicants was the largest gender disparity of any racial group.
There are many reasons for this crisis. Too many black males drop out before graduating from high school. Of those who stay, too many lose interest in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines before or during high school. Of those who succeed in entering college with STEM majors, many will change their majors. Then, of those who succeed in taking the Medical College Admission Test, most will not apply to medical school for reasons we do not yet understand. And finally, of those who take the MCAT exam and apply to medical school, 61 percent are not accepted.
This leads us to another reason for this crisis: the enormous value placed on MCAT scores. Often, students with scores 2 or 3 points below the national average — like Davon Thomas — do not get interviews. Hundreds of aspiring physicians each year are effectively denied access to medical school, which disproportionately impacts blacks and other underrepresented minorities.
The MCAT exam is but one piece of data that should be considered in assessing a student’s ability to be successful in medicine. Undergraduate GPA is another. However, qualitative markers that help measure perseverance, persistence and a commitment to serve others are also critically important in assessing an applicant’s ability to bring value to a team of health care providers.
The AAMC report calls on “leaders across the education continuum, from kindergarten through professional school, to rise to the challenge of increasing the number of black males in medicine.” As education, business and policy leaders, we must address both ends of the pipeline.
On the front end, we must increase funding and strategic collaborations in K-12 pipeline programs to attract and sustain more young black males to STEM disciplines as we fiercely address stunning dropout, jobless and incarceration rates. On the back end, we in academic medicine must think differently about the admissions and enrollment process, using both quantitative and qualitative measures to gauge one’s ability to succeed and add critical value to health care teams.
The research is clear that physicians who are members of underrepresented minority groups disproportionately chose primary care fields that have the greatest impact on vulnerable populations and creating health equity. Which brings me back to Dr. Davon Thomas. Instead of pursing high-paying medical specialties, which many young physicians are doing as medical school debt rises, Dr. Thomas has chosen family medicine, the purest form of primary care and the area of greatest need in this country.
We should all be proud.
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice is president and dean of Morehouse
School of Medicine.
"Women have already achieved educational equality. But women’s colleges still matter." - by IWF Georgia Member, Elizabeth Kiss, as published in the Washington Post:
“Oh, is that still an all-girls school?” It’s a response I hear frequently when I tell people I’m president of Agnes Scott College.
There’s a widely held assumption that women’s colleges are anachronistic remnants of a bygone era. Media coverage of the shocking closure — and now reopening, thanks to a court ruling on Monday — of 114-year-old Sweet Briar College has only reinforced this notion, with sepia-toned photographs of Sweet Briar’s early students wearing long white gowns and sunlit shots of current students riding horses, all painting a picture of antiquated gentility.
Four decades have passed since the coeducation wave opened the doors of hundreds of bastions of male academic privilege to women. Today, women are in the majority on campuses nationwide, both in undergraduate programs and in many graduate and professional programs, including law and medicine. Shouldn’t we just declare victory in the fight for women’s equal educational opportunity and let women’s colleges go the way of buggies and white gloves?
What’s missing from this picture is actual knowledge about today’s women’s colleges. As a sector, U.S. women’s colleges are cutting-edge models of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic inclusion and success. At a time when college access and completion, especially for students from underrepresented groups, is an urgent national priority, women’s colleges are providing vital leadership. While there is considerable institutional variation, as a sector women’s colleges enroll higher percentages of low-income, first-generation and minority students than other institutions of higher education.
Of the top 20 “most ethnically diverse” national liberal arts colleges in the latest U.S. News rankings, one-quarter are women’s colleges (including Agnes Scott, which is No. 5). A 2014 study by UCLA professor Linda Sax compared the demographics of women’s colleges, co-ed liberal arts colleges, Catholic colleges, and public and private universities; Sax found that today’s women’s colleges have the lowest median income, the highest percentage of first-generation students and African American students, and the second-highest percentage of Latino students.
The “white glove” image many people have of women’s colleges is utterly divorced from reality. In fact, even at Sweet Briar, which may have matched that image longer than any other school, the first-year class entering in the fall of 2014 was one-third students of color and 43 percent Pell grant recipients.
Women’s colleges don’t simply enroll diverse students; we also help them succeed. Nationally, a large racial gap in college completion persists. According to the U.S. Education Department, the six-year graduation rate in 2012 for African American students at private colleges and universities was much lower than for whites — 44 percent vs. 68 percent. There are also graduation-rate gaps for Latino students, Pell grant recipients and first-generation college students.
By contrast, Agnes Scott’s six-year graduation rate for African American students who entered in 2008 was 73 percent and for Pell grant recipients 71 percent — nearly identical to our overall rate of 74 percent. Nationally, while higher levels of racial, ethnic and economic diversity would predict lower graduation rates, women’s colleges have a higher graduation rate than coeducational colleges.
A 2012 study by a leading educational research firm found that women’s college alumnae are more satisfied, are more confident and felt better prepared for their first jobs than women who graduated from coeducational institutions. Women’s college graduates are also twice as likely to earn a graduate degree as female graduates of flagship public institutions.
And while women’s colleges today enroll just 0.7 percent of female undergraduates, our alumnae are disproportionately represented in leadership roles. Women’s college graduates comprise 9 percent of female CEOs in the S&P 500, 10 percent of women in the U.S. Senate, and 10 percent of Black Enterprise Magazine’s Most Powerful African American Women in Corporate America. Women’s colleges also represent more than 10 percent of the top 75 colleges and universities whose undergraduates go on to earn Ph.D.s.
Of course, as impressive as all this is, none of it matters if women’s colleges can’t pay their bills. Sweet Briar’s student body had become much more racially and economically diverse, but the school’s financial challenges brought it to the brink of closure. No matter how relevant their mission, women’s colleges today, like our coeducational counterparts, have to develop sustainable business models. As health-care pioneer Sister Irene Kraus memorably put it, “No margin, no mission.”
The good news is that many women’s colleges across the country are staying strong through adaptation and innovation. Here at Agnes Scott, we will welcome the largest first-year class in our 126-year-old history this fall, thanks in large part to SUMMIT, a curriculum that provides all students with a focus on global learning and leadership development, supported by a personal board of advisers. Other schools are pursuing different pathways to growth and financial sustainability. Russell Sage College in New York has developed a three-year Discovery Degree; Mary Baldwin College in Virginia has established a College of Health Sciences; and Bay Path University in Massachusetts has launched the American Women’s College, the country’s first online bachelor’s degree program for women.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, women’s colleges were at the forefront of the revolution for civic equality and trailblazers in opening the doors of college to women. Today, we are at the forefront of inclusive excellence as we prepare women from diverse backgrounds for success. That’s why Agnes Scott is, and will proudly remain, a women’s college.
We are inviting you, once again, to utilize your unique talents, your time and your expertise to help develop the skills of rising global women leaders.
In partnership with EY, IWF is proud to announce the continuation of the Women Athletes Business Network Mentoring (WABN) program. The second year of this unique and successful initiative supports and mentors elite female athletes as they transition from sport to other spheres of leadership and will build upon the successful lessons of the 2015 inaugural year.
These amazing women are Olympians, record-holders, and professional and collegiate athletes who have made a tremendous impact within their sport and now seek guidance as they navigate their next steps and professional endeavors. They possess a critical foundation of leadership that can't be taught in the classroom - attributes such as teamwork, perseverance, discipline and a commitment to achieving success.
This program was inspired, championed and brought to life by two passionate and dedicated IWF Members, Global Vice Chair of EY, Beth Brooke-Marciniak and former IWF President and Global Ambassador Deedee Corradini.
Up to 25 mentees will be competitively selected for this unique opportunity. The application deadline is August 2, 2015. IWF members are encouraged to identify candidates in their areas to apply for the program. IWF members are not eligible to be candidates. Please visit the IWF website, for candidate criteria and the application.
We must also thank the current mentors from IWF membership for the important contribution of their time. The first WABN cohort includes women from 14 nations representing 17 different sports. We are pleased to announce that the 2015 WABN class will be attending the IWF World Leadership Conference in Boston as they gather for a special Deedee Corradini Leadership Roundtable. For more information about the currentmentors and mentees please follow this link.
IWF knows the value these young women of talent and potential can bring to the world. If you would like to be a mentor in the program, please contact IWF's Director of Partnerships & External Affairs, Crosby Cromwell, email@example.com.
IWF Communications Team
Click here for the Atlanta Business Chronicle news article: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2015/06/19/the-100-most-influential-atlantans-of-2015.html#g1
DT: JUNE 17, 2015
TO: MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S FORUM
FR: IWF NOMINATING COMMITTEE
RE: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS TO IWF BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2015
The International Women's Forum (IWF) Nominating Committee is recruiting the talent for our time from across the globe for two positions on the Board of Directors - IWF's Vice President and Treasurer (October 2015 - October 2017). You are invited to review the enclosed materials that include:
Qualifications & Duties of Directors
Pathways to Raising Funds for IWF
IWF's Strategic Plan
The deadline for nominations to be received at IWF headquarters - 2120 L Street, NW, Suite 460, Washington, DC, 20037, USA - is July 8, 2015.
Under the protocols of the IWF, the Nominating Committee reviewed the job description for the President and the performance of our current Interim President, Sein Chew. Given Sein's credentials and record of service and contributions to the IWF and its Leadership Foundation, the Nominating Committee is placing her name in nomination for IWF President 2015-2017. Attached is a copy of Sein's biography.
IWF's President, Vice President and Treasurer will serve 2-year terms.
IWF's Board of Directors meets three times per year. IWF's officers (President, Vice President and Treasurer) like all members of IWF's Board, are required to assist with fundraising either by securing funds, directly contributing them, or by facilitating funds for the organization. Given IWF's reliance upon sponsorship support, fundraising skills are of great importance for all of the officer positions.
The Nominating Committee seeks to promote pluralism and international diversity among the Officers of the Board and embraces cultural, geographical, occupational and global diversity in building its recommendations for Board leadership.
We seek a wide-open nominating process. Any member may submit a nomination, including her own, as long as the nominee meets the qualifications listed in the attached guidelines. Please include with the nomination the nominee's resume and a brief letter outlining why you believe she is the right person for the job. The Nominating Committee places great emphasis on the candidate's vision, leadership capacity and proven experience contributing to the growth of IWF as outlined in the attached materials. Candidates for Vice President and Treasurer must submit documentation that is responsive to the attached Evaluative Criteria.
The Nominating Committee will review all nominations received. And, all nominees will be considered in exactly the same way, taking into account the needs of the organization and the criteria we have outlined.
We request that you do not lobby for your favorite nominee. Just make sure you've made a great case for why she's the best person for the job.
Thank you for your help!
IWF Nominating Committee
Recent updates on member achievements, honors, and awards. Please email Jennifer Langley, firstname.lastname@example.org, for any updates you'd like to share.