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The Women's Place

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Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles


The Women's Place serves as a catalyst for institutional change to expand opportunities for women's growth, leadership and power in an inclusive, supportive, and safe university environment consistent with the goals of the Academic and Diversity Plans.


To be a 21st century leader in the equity and advancement of all women in higher education.

Our Story

The Women's Place works to create a culture characterized by equity, freedom and dignity for all people in which all can thrive and make their full contributions.

For more than 17 years, The Women's Place has worked to catalyze change at Ohio State by focusing on these four areas: policy, culture, leadership and reporting the status of women.

Rooted in formal groups like Council on Academic Excellence for Women and Critical Difference for Women, and informal groups such as the "grassroots network" and Association of Faculty and Professional Women (now the Association for Staff and Faculty Women), women across campus carried out these efforts on behalf of all women at Ohio State. Regardless of the group, the goal was the same, to articulate what was needed within the university so that the climate was positive for women and so that women could succeed and advance. Based in part on these efforts, President Gee appointed a task force for The Women's Place in 1996 and the initial concept for the function was developed.

The Ohio State University has actively recruited women and minorities, but not retained them at the same rate, thus the percentage of women in tenured faculty and administrative leadership positions has not increased markedly over the years. In 1998, President Brit Kirwan and Provost Ed Ray recognized the potential value of The Women's Place in addressing climate issues that impact retention.

The Women's Place opened its doors in January of 2000. In its first years of service it created a website that served as a clearinghouse for information for women on campus; provided networking opportunities; served as a resource for faculty to support retention; implemented the President's Council on Women; collected data on climate issues for women; and began publishing the Annual Report on the Status of Women at Ohio State.

Today, we continue to build upon our four areas of focus.


Advocates policy changes that provide opportunities and address institutional barriers for women, for example:

  • Extension of the tenure clock for birth, adoption or other issues.
  • Sexual harassment
  • Consensual sexual relationships
  • Search committee training
Culture Change

Implicit Bias and Privilege
We are NOT interested in changing or "fixing" women to make them fit the system better. We catalyze change in the system by bringing implicit bias awareness to all in the university community and by helping white male leaders understand and acknowledge their privilege to learn how they can become allies in diversity efforts.

Art of Hosting
The Women's Place works to catalyze change in the university climate by introducing the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations to campus, sponsoring a series of training opportunities that have allowed several hundred faculty and staff members to learn this way of bringing equity of voice to decision-making processes.


The Women's Place designs and facilitates leadership development programs for women faculty and staff. We also sponsor women to attend major off campus leadership institutes.

Status Report

Each year, The Women's Place produces a comprehensive report on the status of women at Ohio State. The purpose of the report is to evaluate progress towards increasing diversity and promoting equality for women at Ohio State.

Strategic Goals

  • Provide high-quality consultation and innovative strategies for individuals and university units seeking to make constructive change.
  • Create and strengthen connections for, and between, women.
  • Apply a critical gender analysis of policies and practices to identify barriers to recruitment, retention and advancement of women and actively lead change efforts.
  • Support and encourage university efforts to provide meaningful career and professional development opportunities for women.

Guiding Principles

The Women's Place ...

  • Is committed to an equitable environment for all people
  • Recognizes that gender powerfully affects experience and opportunity
  • Recognizes that sexism intersects with and is amplified by other oppressions
  • Recognizes that men as well as women need to be freed from the constraints of stereotypes
  • Emphasizes the necessity to create constructive, system-wide change, not just to enable individual women to cope with issues that they currently face
  • Works in partnership with units across the campus - It does not solve problems for units, but rather works with them to identify and remove barriers to the recruitment, retention and advancement of women
  • Uses current research and data to identify issues and recommend intervention when needed
  • Uses collaborative approaches to decision making that serve as a model to other units on campus; these approaches emphasize open, democratic and respectful ways of working together that foster true dialogue and mutual understanding
  • Is a safe haven for individuals and units to seek resources for identifying problems and finding constructive solutions

Also in the About section:

Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles

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