OWL at California State University Bakersfield, CSUB
Tell us about your organization: The Organization of Women Leaders exists to foster the development of women through our eight values: collegiality, inclusiveness and diversity, freedom and discovery, recognition, responsibility to campus and community, collaboration, mentoring, and networking. We utilize our values to develop leaders among campus staff, faculty, and students.
Tell us about the group’s current focus: Some of what we are doing now is identifying campus leaders and letting them know about professional development opportunities. One of the things we’re also focused on is taking an active role as women leaders on campus in supporting the undergraduate research conference called Gender Matters, and through that event helping our students develop their leadership as well.
Why are the OWLS so vital? We want women on campus to be empowered to reach their highest potential and to support them, particularly in their work lives. It’s one of several affinity groups on campus created by Provost Jenny Zorn. A university is a fairly large institution, so for folks to get to know one another and to support each other on common issues is something particularly important to us. Our events provide opportunities for this to happen.
What are your goals for the future and how will you work towards them? We are a new group on campus. Our first-year goals include providing spaces for collegial discussion on topics that relate to challenges women face. We are also assessing the need to provide more mentoring options on campus, particularly for staff who want to grow professionally. We’re really driven to identify leadership opportunities for all, with a focus on women.
What are some upcoming events? The spring term includes a social gathering the third week of every month where women from across campus can meet, network, and simply unwind. Our discussion series meets the first week of every month. Past topics have included women in non-traditional roles, domestic violence, and the repercussions of gossip. Upcoming topics include Valley Fever, Mental Health, and Women in Academia. Everyone is welcome to attend. We are online at here and on Facebook as CSUB OWLS.