The Luann Dummer Center for Women, along with Faculty Development, Academic Affairs and the Office of the President/Diversity, are launching a pilot project to create small networking groups of female faculty who will meet on a regular basis throughout the year.

The University of St. Thomas reflects national trends that show that, although women are hired at a fairly equitable rate, they do not advance their careers at the same rate as men. Studies also have shown that mentoring among women who face similar life-work challenges improves retention and promotion.

We seek to create networking groups of approximately five to six female faculty at various stages in their careers and from different departments who will meet monthly to discuss various topics. These will include discussions of university policies and how they impact women, recognizing and enhancing leadership skills, and strategic approaches to the flow of one’s career.

Faculty who sign up for the programming will meet with their group over lunch once a month. At that lunch there will be a short presentation on the current topic. Groups will then spend the next 45 to 60 minutes discussing that topic on their own. Groups also will be encouraged to meet on their own either as the whole group or in pairs in between the luncheon meetings, although this will not be required. Faculty who successfully complete this program by attending five out of the six topics will receive modest monetary compensation to be used for professional development.

A kick-off event will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Luann Dummer Center for Women to discuss the specifics of the program. If you are unable to attend that first meeting but you are interested in participating, or if you have questions, please contact Dr. Corrine Carvalho, (651) 962-6118.