Advancing Women in Leadership Positions

The glass barrier to leadership positions needs to be broken. Although women make up half of the labor force and most of the college graduates in the United States, they are under-represented in leadership positions in politics, academe, and corporations.  As this also is an international issue, we are committed to advancing equality for women across the globe.

Our Focus

If we are to achieve equity in the workplace with men, we must target our efforts toward increasing the numbers of women in leadership positions. AAUW State College strives to support women’s advancement across all sectors in the Centre Region, from education and healthcare to government and business. Women need the opportunity to network with persuasive women leaders as well as gain exposure by participating in local forums and non-profit boards. Many AAUW State College members are community leaders who provide advice and support to other women in our community.

We know that women are most likely to be primary caregivers for children and others in their families. Often this results in a “stop out” from securing critical degrees needed to propel them into leadership positions. While lack of time is a major factor, financial hardships loom equally large. AAUW State College seeks to focus on funding opportunities that will help women overcome these barriers and attain the needed degrees.

Recognizing that a powerful global network of women can achieve much for ensuring values-driven leadership, AAUW State College seeks to connect local women with women traveling from other countries to the Centre Region in order to broaden perspectives and build relationships. We welcome and support all women who travel to our communities with the goal of building a global sisterhood.

What We Are Doing

Ongoing or recent efforts include:


  • Funding outstanding women from Penn State to attend the National Conference for Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL), the premier leadership conference for college students
  • Providing scholarships for women with leadership potential to attend Leadership Centre County, a yearlong leadership development program. Three AAUW State College Board members have attended this program.
  • Funding from an international endowment established by AAUW State College supports international women to study in the United States.
  • Promoting Work Smart throughout the community and sponsored Smart Start programs at Penn State
  • Sponsoring an annual International Perspectives on Women program featuring female Humphrey Fellows at Penn State
  • Funding grants for local international women to study English as a Second Language


AAUW Resources

Start Smart & Work Start Programs

AAUW offers online programs to enable women to effectively negotiate for salaries and reflect their skills and education.  Both are available at no charge.