Tag #Asia Pacific Women in Leadership
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Tipping the Gender Imbalance
There are complex social and economic barriers to women’s advancement in leadership. Add to that, gender stereotypes and diverse social norms of the many cultures spanning the Pacific Rim, and we see wide implementation gaps in gender equality and women’s empowerment initiatives. In academia, the glass ceiling and the gender pay gap continue to block the advancement and participation of women in leadership. The 2019 Gender Gap report by APRU – which surveyed 40 leading universities in the region – found that women in Pacific Rim universities have made little progress in moving into university leadership positions over the past five years, despite a raft of initiatives at the university level. As leaders, the universities of APRU are committed to leading by example, addressing gender imbalances on their own turf through various initiatives. The Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Program (APWiL) aims to drive change in gender equality while taking into account the various contexts in which this pursuit for gender equity takes place across APRU member universities. Case studies presented by APRU member universities have shown the great work that is taking place to address challenges in gender equality. At the same time, we are hearing of a growing global backlash that investment in women’s education does not result in the increased contribution by women to the workforce. 
APWiL Mentoring Program 3rd Cohort
June 8, 2022 - August 5, 2022
Imposter Syndrome: Women, Psychology and Society
This seminar will take an evidence-based approach to provide mentors and mentees with the tools needed to identify imposter syndrome and will provide practical examples relevant to women in positions of leadership or women aspiring to positions of leadership in higher education.
June 16, 2022 - June 16, 2022
Exploring Leadership and Influence on International Women’s Day
In celebration of International Women’s Day, this workshop of the APWiL Mentoring Program will explore how to affect change as a woman leader.
March 8, 2022 - March 8, 2022
APWiL Mentoring Program Seminar: Women’s Representation in Higher Education in the Pacific Rim
December 8, 2021 - December 8, 2021
APWiL Mentoring Program Pilot Graduation Ceremony
October 21, 2021 - October 21, 2021
APWiL Mentoring Program 2nd Cohort
June 30, 2021 - November 30, 2021
Fireside Chat with Women Presidents and Vice Presidents
June 2, 2021 - June 2, 2021
Leadership Through an Equity Lens
February 25, 2021 - February 25, 2021
Impact of Covid-19 on Women in Higher Education
December 2, 2020 - December 2, 2020
APWiL Mentoring Program Pilot 2020
August 18, 2020 - September 18, 2020
Tec News: Tec Professors, in a Global Mentoring Project for Women
Original post on Tec News Written by: Mónica Torres Five Tec de Monterrey’s professors were selected to participate in a mentoring program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) to support the empowerment of aspiring women leaders. The School of Engineering and Sciences (EIC) and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (EMCS) teachers joined the Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Mentoring Program. The five representatives have had the opportunity to work with mentors and people who receive mentoring via Zoom, and who work in more than 60 universities belonging to APRU. “At Tec de Monterrey, we are very proud to participate in what is considered the first formal version of the program,” said Adriana Rojas, leader of Institutional Networks and Alliances at the Center for the Recognition of Human Dignity. As a common goal, the program seeks to provide international and intercultural opportunities for the professional growth and development of women. More than an effort to combat gender inequality From the School of Engineering and Sciences (EIC), participating in this initiative: María Ileana Ruiz Luz María Martínez. On the other hand, from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (EMCS): Gabriela María Ruiz Nancy de los Ángeles Segura Silvia Lorraine Montes. In the academic and labor world, the opportunity gap is one of the most visible challenges that continue blocking the progress and participation of women in their jobs, explained Dr. María Ileana Ruiz. “As a woman, we cannot question whether or not we are capable of doing something, we have to do it and, usually, we have to achieve it without showing any weakness,” reflected Ruiz. According to the APRU, women from universities in the Pacific Rim have made relatively little progress in gaining access to leadership positions in the last 5 years, despite the presence of institutional initiatives. “On the participation of women in different professional areas, we swept, but it is in leadership competitions where we still see a panorama dominated by men,” explained Professor Silvia Montes. The APWiL pretends to promote change by taking into consideration the several contexts in which this search for gender equity in universities takes place. “We start by seeing what makes us different, but then we realize what unites us, and in the end, we understand that we are part of the same community,” Rojas said. Meet the Tec women who took the challenge To be part of this ongoing initiative, which began in October 2021 and intends to conclude in September 2022, the five teachers from the areas of Engineering and Medicine were invited to apply. These professors joined the experience as part of the 94 participants from 26 institutions that were involved, a noticeable increase from the pilot in 2020, which registered 30 participants from 10 institutions. “Being selected is a distinction. They value your professional career, but also that you can transmit knowledge, strategies, resources, and support to other professors and researchers”, assured Dr. Gabriela Ruíz. After being designated as mentors, these Tec women were paired with different professionals at universities around the world, from the United States to Australia. “Being part of this program as a mentor is a challenge and satisfaction. I have the honor of having two mentees and I am learning a lot from them”, shares Dr. Nancy de los Ángeles. Human relationships that go for long While the teachers have highlighted the honor of being part of this APRU initiative, most of them agree that the real gift of this experience was the professional and personal relationships they formed. “My experience was with a professional in the area of ​​psychology with whom I was amazed. Because of her training, I thought that she should teach me, but we learned together,” said Dr. María Ileana Ruiz. Rojas highlights that, with this mentoring initiative, women can demonstrate how there are different avenues to collaborate on gender equality throughout the world and based on common concerns. “I had the opportunity to meet a teacher from Korea who started a YouTube channel during the pandemic to teach her children to read in a fun way,” said teacher Silvia Montes. “Not only was she an excellent academic, but she cared about supporting other working moms, and it’s these kinds of experiences that made me realize I wasn’t alone,” she reflected. Being able to collaborate with colleagues and students from different parts of the world working for equality and professional growth is a vision shared by Tec mentors for the future of this initiative. “If they find the opportunity to participate in this type of program, I think it is always good to give something back to the community that we have benefited from,” exhorts Dr. Gabriela. “I think the answer to the current environment is these kinds of activities that allow us to get closer to and between women. We can change what we are experiencing, this is my way of fighting”, concluded María Ileana.
May 4, 2022
Women Leaders Share Stories from the Field on International Women's Day
The APWiL Mentoring Program reflected on International Women’s Day on March 8, featuring three female academic leaders sharing their experiences initiating change in higher education. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Find the recording of the powerful event on our YouTube channel. “The pandemic made us more reflective of who we are, where our place in the academic community is, and it made us realize how connected we are, even from afar,” said Derlie Mateo-Babiano, Associate Professor in Urban Planning and Assistant Dean, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Melbourne. Speaking as the APWiL Mentoring Program workshop’s moderator, Mateo-Babiano added that “it also made us acknowledge the important role that women and girls play in creating a shared path to a more gender-equal world.” Karima Bennoune, Homer G. Angelo and Ann Berryhill Endowed Chair in International Law and Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law, UC Davis, said that in the current situation with the pandemic and the war in the Ukraine, it is vital for women to build global connections. Bennoune pointed out that on International Women’s Day in 1917, Russian women demonstrated for bread and an end of World War 1. “It is very important that we remember the lessons of history, because it helps us make the positive changes that we need so desperately need in our world today,” Bennoune said. Bennoune drew the stories from the research she did for her book Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism, published in 2013. Chiapei Chou, National Taiwan University’s Executive Vice President, for her part, described how she was trained in civil engineering, a heavily male-dominated field. During the first two decades of Chou’s academic career, she was one out of only two women among 55 faculty members. “However, I have never felt that being a woman affects my professional life,” Chou said. “I am a mother of two, so I have learned how to be very attentive to my students, which made me very popular with the students and helped me in my academic career,” she added. Marian Mahat, Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, shared her experiences of starting her PhD studies relatively late in life and then having to interrupt the studies to follow her husband to another city to further his career. Mahat has since divorced, both her parents have passed away, and her child developed mental health issues during the pandemic. “Like most people, I struggled to find a balance between life and work, and Covid-19 made the situation even worse for women academics,” Mahat said. “But I wrote seven books in five years, and I see this as a way to give back to academia and provide an opportunity for me to connect with academics from around the world.” One book in particular, aptly named, “Women Thriving in Academia,” sets out to empower women in academia to unite in sharing their stories, inspiring and encouraging one another. Please visit the event webpage for more information.   About APWiL and the APWiL Mentoring Program As leaders, the universities of APRU are committed to leading by example, addressing gender imbalances on their own turf through various initiatives. The Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Program (APWiL) aims to drive change in gender equality while taking into account the various contexts in which this pursuit for gender equity takes place across APRU member universities. The APWiL Mentoring Program is a year-long commitment matching a mentor and mentee from one of the participating APRU member universities to provide international and intercultural opportunities for the empowerment of aspiring women leaders within APRU.
March 23, 2022
UC Davis News: APRU, UC Davis and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Launch Second Cohort of Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership Mentoring Program
Original post on UC Davis Global Affairs The University of California, Davis, and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) launched the second cohort of the Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Mentoring Program, kicking off with 87 participants, nearly three times the number during its pilot year. The program is focused on providing mentoring to aspiring leaders from 25 institutions in the APRU network. Now in its second year, the APRU APWiL Mentoring Program offers leaders—both women and men—at APRU universities an opportunity to grow the pipeline of aspiring women leaders, increase awareness of challenges that aspiring women leaders face within the region, and introduce global and intercultural dimensions to leaders across the APRU network and beyond. The pilot program in 2020-21 served 30 participants from 10 universities. The program is led by co-chairs Sabrina Lin, senior advisor to the president at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of Global Affairs and a professor of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at UC Davis. Along with Global Affairs at UC Davis and HKUST, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UC Davis is a co-leader of the initiative. This collaboration is also supported by Jackie Wong, director of network and student programs, and Anya Wong, program officer, from the APRU International Secretariat. “The first APWiL Mentoring Program cohort was filled with wonderful connections between mentors and mentees. Now, with almost triple the number of enthusiastic participants in our 2021-22 cohort, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue forming a lasting collaborative network of women global leaders in academia. It is critical for the empowerment of women across the world to engage in intercultural conversations and recognize the commonality of challenges, but also of great opportunities as showcased by the participants. This program aims to create both formal and informal spaces where meaningful dialogues can take place,” said Regulska. A Framework For Success Jessica Bissett Perea, one of the mentees from the first cohort in 2020-21, chose to participate in the APWiL program to explore opportunities for leadership that could help her in her future pursuits. Her meaningful connections have helped further her understanding of the various leadership structures and practices throughout organizations. “I was extremely fortunate to be paired with an experienced and dynamic mentor, Dr. Yvonne Lim Ai Lian (Health Sciences), Director of International Relations and Professor of Parasitology. Her thoughtful and supportive mentorship and guidance helped me to better appreciate the densities of university leadership styles and how these styles do (or do not) align with Indigenous leadership styles. I am very pleased to report that I have significantly expanded my network of women leaders,” said Perea. Building on the success of the inaugural program, APWiL has the potential this year to influence even more participants like Perea. Organizers look to increased programming to give them ample opportunity to encourage networking and dialogue between mentees and mentors. “The pilot program this past year was well received by the mentors and mentees. I am thrilled to see the tremendous growth in the number of universities supporting the program, and a three-times increase in the number of mentor and mentee participants,” said Lin. “With continued efforts in our matching process and in adding more webinars and networking activities, I look forward to a rewarding experience again this year.” The increased growth within the second cohort led organizers to return to some of the infrastructure used in the planning of the first cohort. The individual matching process used this year to pair mentors and mentees is the same method as last year. They brought back a template for a mentoring agreement, allowing mentees to outline goals to help mentors focus on areas of interest and development. Organizers also took significant learnings from their year of hosting remote workshops. Building on this framework, the APWiL team is already seeing connections form across the globe. “We’re off to a great start,” said Chelsey Hawes, study abroad enrollment and operations officer in Global Affairs and program manager of the APWiL Mentoring Program. “Mentors and mentees have met at least once so far and joined us for our orientation program and first seminar, Women’s Representation in Higher Education in the Pacific Rim, in partnership with the American Council on Education and the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. During this seminar, we heard from scholars from Australia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia on the commonalities and differences in barriers to women’s advancement in leadership and how each country is addressing or not addressing these barriers.” These partnerships between universities, mentors, mentees, scholars and others are the heart of APWiL. For this program, success is greater than the number of participants and events; success is rooted in connections and the positive impact of forming networks. “It has been a pleasure to work with the APWiL program and to be affiliated with other universities in the U.S. and around the world. I believe in the power of collaborative networks, working together for common goals, and connecting across boundaries for mutual advancement. We have so many commonalities across the globe that can unite us. This program provides women with opportunities to be in community with other scholars from other schools, to be encouraged, and to be equipped with additional tips for success that will contribute to their ability to be change agents within their spaces. When we are engaged in work as an international community, we have a chance to see the world differently, to enhance our understanding, and to be more comprehensive in our own jobs, as we apply the new, and broader world perspectives that programs like APWiL provide,” said Renetta Garrison Tull, vice chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UC Davis. To further support the second cohort, APWiL leadership has grown too. Kimberly Bellows, intercultural programs coordinator in Global Affairs, joined the team as the program coordinator for the APWiL Mentoring Program. “I’m very excited to be supporting the APWiL Mentoring Program as it begins its second year,” she said. “From attending the pilot program’s graduation ceremony, I know how impactful the program was on that first cohort, and I’m looking forward to supporting the second cohort’s journey. We’ve heard from current mentors and mentees that their first meetings have gone well, and it’s truly inspiring to see their goals and plans for the coming year.” Carrying The Momentum Forward The success of APWiL continues to spread as its influence extends beyond its participants. Fulfilling its promise of inspiring leadership, the program’s mentors and mentees are having an effect on other connections and communities. “The impact that the program has had on both mentees and mentors is beyond what I could have imagined,” said Hawes. “Following the first cohort, there were mentors and mentees who started women in leadership groups on their own campuses modeled after APWiL, mentees who held networking events and workshops on DEI as it pertains to women’s gender equity at their institution, and a mentor and mentee who formalized the relationship between their two institutions through an agreement where they held a monthly seminar series for folks at both institutions during the fall term.” Time will tell what the 2021-22 cohort will be inspired to develop next. Nearly 90 participants from 25 institutions include six UC Davis faculty and administrators: Cynthia Carter CHING, University of California, Davis (mentor) Jennifer CURTIS, University of California, Davis (mentor) Lisa TELL, University of California, Davis (mentor) Norkamari Shakira BANDOLIN, University of California, Davis (mentee) Christine MCBETH, University of California, Davis (mentee) Cecilia TSU, University of California, Davis (mentee)
February 18, 2022
UCLA News: Building the foundation — and networks — needed to diversify university leadership
Written by Peggy McInerny, Director of Communications, UCLA Original post on UCLA International Institute UCLA participants in the APRU Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Mentorship Program. Top row, from left: Mentors Cindy Fan, Christine Dunkel Schetter, Victoria Sork and Janina Montero. Bottom row, from left: UCLA mentees Derjung Mimi Tarn, Margaret Peters and Yuen Huo. (Photos:UCLA or provided by subject. Janina Montero photo by Jintak Han/ Daily Bruin. Graphic courtesy of APWiL/ APRU.) “The Asia Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Mentoring Program has been invaluable for me,” says Derjung Mimi Tarn, M.D., professor of family medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “The program created a safe space to discuss struggles and successes that are pertinent to women, and provided a wonderful opportunity to learn from prominent female leaders. Unfortunately, the problems faced by women in academic medicine are not isolated to one university or country, but are shared globally,” added the doctor, who also has a Ph.D. in health services. “This mentoring program gave me the opportunity to develop a global support network, to learn about the unique challenges of those from different countries and cultures and to reflect on how to build on the experiences of others in my own leadership roles.” Tarn was one of three UCLA representatives to participate in the initial APWiL Mentoring Program pilot year (2020–21), which paired 15 mentors with 15 mentees at 10 of the 61 member universities of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU).* Margaret Peters, associate professor of political science at UCLA and a member of the current APWiL cohort, comments, “I am greatly enjoying working with my mentor, Mark Edele, who is at the University of Melbourne [Hansen Professor of History and deputy associate dean, faculty of the arts]. He has provided great advice and it is very interesting to learn how different universities function around the world.” APRU, UCLA and APWiL APRU is a network of leading research universities located on both sides of the Pacific that facilitates the exchange of ideas and collaborative research to devise effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. UCLA is a founding and active member of APRU. Chancellor Gene Block is the current APRU chair, Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement Cindy Fan is former co-chair of its International Policy Advisory Committee and in 2019, UCLA hosted the 23rd APRU Annual Presidents’ Meeting as part of its Centennial Celebration on campus. APWil Co-Chair Joanna Regulska. (Photo: UC Davis.) The APWiL Mentoring Program was created in 2020 as part of a larger strategy to close the gender gap and give diversity efforts greater traction across APRU member institutions. The program is co-chaired by Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of global affairs at UC Davis, and Sabrina Lin, Ph.D., senior advisor to the president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), former HKUST vice president for institutional advancement and a veteran of the IT industry. (See a recent op-ed by the co-chairs on the impact of the pandemic on women in academia.) Day-to-day program operations are managed by Kimberly Bellows and Chelsey Hawes of UC Davis Global Affairs. APWil Co-Chair Sabrina Lin. (Photo courtesy of APWiL/APRU.) “I am inspired by the conversation among women of APRU member institutions about the challenges we face, but more importantly, by the opportunity to engage in intercultural and collective effort to support women’s leadership in our institutions,” said Regulska. “Advancing women’s empowerment and global engagement are my two most critical commitments, and this program offers both. The fact that just in the second year of the program existence we have tripled participation speaks volumes to the need for such global conversations, but also interest on the part of women and the commitment of their institutions to advance women’s leadership,” she added. UCLA Vice Provost Fan and Christine Dunkel Schetter, distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry and associate vice chancellor of faculty development at UCLA, participated as mentors during the program’s pilot year. Fan worked with Surabhi Chopra, associate professor of law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who had worked as an attorney in nonprofit organizations before starting an academic career. “I can honestly say that, without the many mentors in my professional life, both men and women, I would not have aspired to senior leadership in academia,” said Fan at a graduation ceremony for the first APWiL cohort. “I found that listening is the most important criterion in the mentor’s job description. … [And] I’ve found that the most important experiences that I have shared are my own failures. I’ve learned so much from false starts, mistakes and setbacks.” Graphic courtesy of APWil/ APRU. Recognizing the difficulties of gaining traction In remarks to the first cohort of APWiL mentees last fall,** Dawn Freshwater, vice chancellor of the University of Auckland (New Zealand), highlighted the lack of improvement in the number of women university leaders at APRU member institutions in the preceding half-decade (see “2019 APRU Gender Gap Report”). In a similar vein, Fan pointed to findings from a 2017 publication of the American Council on Education, which documented that women have earned more than 50 percent of all doctoral degrees in the U.S. since 2006, but as of 2015, held only 32 percent of full professorships in U.S. degree-granting institutions. University of Auckland Vice Chancellor Dawn Freshwater. (Photo: University of Auckland.) Freshwater — like Fan, a first-generation college graduate who became a university leader — stressed the importance of informal leadership for changing organizational culture. “[I]n my experience, policies are one thing… but their existence alone isn’t enough. Policies must be implemented by their leaders’ commitment to their purpose and they can only be successful where there is an environment and organizational culture that supports them. “[W]hat I have witnessed and experienced is that good intention without meaningful interaction and meaningful engagement across the whole of the institution is irrelevant. So, for me, I focus as a leader on building culture.” Effecting change requires consistent focus, she emphasized. Gender equity in universities is more imperative than ever, given the impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic on young female academics, said Freshwater. “As leaders we must act to ensure careers are not permanently scarred by COVID-19 disruptions. We know that early-stage female researchers are some of the most seriously impacted members of our university communities as a result of the pandemic. “Their work has had to be put on hold as lockdowns forced them home and to full-time childcare and home responsibilities. Research output for women has… decreased, especially for women with children under the age of five, and systemic racism faced by women of color has worsened.” Whether universities are responding to the gender and equity gap, the climate crisis or the pandemic, Freshwater said, “Diverse and inclusive leadership holds the key to meeting these challenges for the future. “This means women. It means women of color. It means young women. It means women with disability. It means people of rainbow communities. It means university leadership within our universities must reflect society.” APWiL co-chair Sabrina Lin identified another key component in advancing women into university leadership: male allies. “Without the advocacy of our male allies, I think it would be very difficult to improve diversity overall,” she said. UCLA participants weigh in on the challenges As APWiL Co-Chair Regulska noted, the mentoring program has tripled in size in its second year, with 87 participants across 26 APRU member universities. UCLA participants in the 2021–22 cohort include mentees Margaret Peters and Yuen Huo, professor of psychology; and mentors Janina Montero, vice chancellor-student affairs emerita, and Victoria Sork, distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and former dean of life sciences. Several of these participants, together with Vice Provost Fan and Dr. Derjung Mimi Tarn of the program’s first year, shared their thoughts on some of the priorities identified by Freshwater and Lin. APWiL held an orientation for its second cohort of mentors and mentees in early November 2021. Graphic courtesy of APWiL/ APRU. The pandemic has hit women academics in medicine particularly hard, said Tarn. “Female researchers have definitely been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Women have had more work-life conflicts than men, and more are suffering from depression. “Among physicians, gender disparities in mental health have increased. Without immediate intervention to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on these young researchers, many who would otherwise have been successful will end up leaving academia.” Peters concurred, “This is a very important issue right now for all academic parents, but especially women, upon whom the burden of caregiving usually falls. “It is great that UCLA is providing more funding and providing clock extensions, but I think more needs to be done,” she continued. “I constantly hear about faculty who are thinking about leaving the profession because they are burned out, having had little time for research. I think the university should think about providing additional sabbaticals for those who have suffered a disproportionate impact due to their care duties during the pandemic.” On the need for male allies, Tarn remarked of her experience in medical academia, “I can’t say enough about them. They are critical to improving diversity and gender equity. My strongest and most effective supporters have been male faculty members who stood up for me and supported me during my career. “I have had strong female allies as well, but often other men were more receptive to the thoughts and opinions of other men [i.e., male allies]. Without these supportive men, I would likely have left academics early in my career.” Huo, a current program mentee, agreed. “This effort should not be a ‘woman only’ issue. Initiatives and policies to support women can be most successful if people at the institution — men and women — work to change norms. “What resonated with me is hearing UBC President Santa Ono (a male ally) mention that men have historically nominated each other for awards and positions and that in his TED talk, he started the hashtag #nominateher to encourage both men and women to promote talented women in higher education. I think that’s an exciting movement.” (President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia, Ono is the current APWiL presidential champion.) Janina Montero, whose long and distinguished career in student affairs included the creation and management of enduring mentorship programs, noted that one of her greatest mentors was a male professor. “I don’t see women as being the only ones who can provide career guidance and a push to other women. But we have more direct experience — we’re the ones that bear the children, if you will — and that affects the way we do our work,” she commented. “Women who have families or who have both a job and a set of personal responsibilities — there’s a degree of juggling, really wrestling with more than juggling, those multiple demands. “I feel it’s important for older women like me to engage with professional women going through this kind of questioning: ‘How do I take the next step?’ ‘Do you juggle?’ ‘How do you juggle? ‘How do you view particular opportunities?’ How do you seek particular opportunities?’ In its second year, the APWiL Mentoring Program began offering online seminars to current and past program participants and created a private website where they can interact and share information. Gracphic courtesy of APWiL/ APRU. With respect to organizational culture, former UCLA mentee Tarn reflected, “Informal leaders can be instrumental in cultivating supporting environments. Women need trusted informal leaders who they can approach for support and advice.” Montero commented, “I think there has been progress in organizational culture, but I think we all need to be thinking in more inclusive ways. For example, if there are no women or no people of color applying for a position, ‘Nobody applied’ is no longer the answer. “I go back to the structural reality. What do you want your hiring pools to look like? What opportunities do you give your faculty? Who are you giving opportunity to, in terms of conferences, committee work and exposure? Are you paying attention that if today you give it to Peter, are you going to be sure to give it to Sally or Molly the next time? Montero stressed that to be effective, a commitment to equity and diversity must be present at all levels of management of a university — “not only among the obvious leadership, but also among boards and trustees. If they don’t see the value in these goals, that will permeate the pyramid and the culture. “Diversity is never a one-way street. It’s stunning how much a diversity of voices — especially if you give people the opportunity not to be there just as a potted plant, but to contribute — produces an outcome that is infinitely better than a more homogeneous approach.” * APRU member universities that participated in the pilot year were the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Keio University (Japan), Osaka University (Japan), University of British Columbia (Canada), UC Davis (USA), UCLA (USA), University of Malaya (Malaysia), University of New South Wales (Australia) and University of Sydney (Australia). ** To view the video of the pilot program graduation ceremony, copy and paste this link into your web browser: https://bit.ly/3JrGPcv. Read the APRU article on the second cohort of the APWiL Mentoring Program here.
February 18, 2022
APRU on Nikkei: COVID has made a bad situation worse for women academics
Written by Joanna Regulska and Sabrina Lin Original post on Nikkei COVID-19 has added new challenges for women.   © AP Joanna Regulska is co-chair of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities’ Women in Leadership (APRU APWiL) Program and vice-provost and dean of global affairs, professor of gender, sexuality and women’s studies, University of California, Davis. Sabrina Lin is co-chair, APRU APWiL, and senior adviser to president of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. COVID-19 has brought with it the blurring of our personal and professional lives. In the field of higher education, where career advancement depends so much on hitting numbers, including publication numbers, citation numbers, grants earned, students advised, women have been hit the hardest. At the onset of the pandemic, the virus resulted in women’s decreased research productivity. Initial evidence suggests that while women academics working from home are submitting fewer manuscripts and external funding submissions, their male counterparts are submitting more. Despite assuming fewer leadership positions in general, the pandemic has also given rise to the glass cliff effect, or the overrepresentation of women advancing to leadership positions during periods of crisis when the risk of failure is highest. Indeed, COVID-19 has added new challenges for women in academia. But to peg the pandemic as a vacuum out of which these implications arose would be narrow-minded. Social inequities in academia have existed for decades. The field itself emerged at a time when, typically, male academics received the support of their stay-at-home spouses. Once women did enter the field, they were often met with gender-based obstacles to achieving tenure, being granted promotions, or simply earning the same respect afforded to their male counterparts. The pandemic has shone a glaring light on disparities that date back longer than we wish to admit. We can begin to make amends by first acknowledging the full spectrum of complexities that women face, ones that are inextricably linked to other systemic barriers. Women are the backbone of the care economy, what might be better termed as the “actual” economy, and the reality is that most women do not have the luxury of separating work from home. The care economy can be defined as any care — child care, social or domestic services — provided in formal and informal settings. Women around the world, particularly in Japan, were already doing most of the world’s unpaid care work prior to the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only amplified this burden. A report by the International Labor Organization identified unpaid care work as the biggest impediment to women’s formal employment, affecting 21.7% of women compared to 1.7% of men. Such obligations often result in women devoting less time to their career advancement. In some cases, causing them to postpone promotions or leave the field of academia altogether. One step in the right direction could be incorporating care work into teaching evaluations, which tend to disfavor women. As it stands, many academic institutions put too much weight into evaluating professors based on their research output. It is time for us to ditch the publish or perish pretense that has become so prevalent in academia. This method is simply not viable today and especially disadvantages women who are contributing to multiple areas of university life in addition to research. While women make up the majority of undergraduate and master’s degree holders, their representation in research is only 28% globally. Such underrepresentation varies by country and discipline, and while in some cases gender parity in research is almost achieved, in many other instances there is a long path ahead to meeting such a benchmark. How can we better support women in academia? It comes down to dialogue. During the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) virtual annual presidents’ meeting, international experts in higher education came together to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on women academics. The conclusion we came to was simple: there is no such thing as a best fit solution. Challenges women face in academia are not always plain to see, often materializing in subtle ways, like when women are not considered to serve on certain committees, when their contributions during meetings are appropriated, or when they are silenced by louder voices. Rather than assuming you know what is best for your women faculty, ask them. What do you need? An extra year in your tenure clock? Additional material support? Childcare and mental health support resources? New, nondiscriminatory criteria that make it possible to appreciate the contributions of all faculty members? Commitment to hiring dual career partners? Similarly, not all academic institutions are uniform, with different universities boasting different institutional cultures and access to financial and personal resources. While some institutions maintain an equal footing in research, teaching and service, others are more focused on one cause. We must remain committed to gender, racial and social equity while recognizing the nuanced constraints of each individual institution. We have presented a snippet of the full picture of women academics’ experiences, which differ vastly across racial, ethnic, cultural and other contexts. As exemplified during the APRU senior international leaders’ meeting, which brought together leaders from 18 different countries, it is increasingly important to leverage international networks like APRU in order to adopt global solutions to issues of inequity. And to bear in mind that equity is different from equality.
February 11, 2022
First APWiL Mentoring Program Seminar facilitates fruitful exchange
APRU held the first seminar of the Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Mentoring Program’s 2nd Cohort on December 8, exploring women’s representation and advancement in higher education leadership in the Pacific Rim. Speakers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Australia shared their personal experiences and views, shedding light on both the commonalities and differences in barriers to women’s advancement in leadership. The APWiL Mentoring Program is a year-long commitment matching a mentor and mentee from one of the participating APRU member universities. It provides international and intercultural opportunities for the empowerment, professional growth, and development of aspiring women leaders within APRU. The program is co-chaired by Dr Sabrina Lin, Senior Advisor to the HKUST President and Professor Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Dean – Global Affairs, and Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, UC Davis. The APWiL Mentoring Program 2nd Cohort will run until September 30, 2022, involving 94 participants from 26 institutions. APRU held the APWiL Mentoring Program Seminar in partnership with the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) at Boston College. The seminar was moderated by Professor Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Dean – Global Affairs, and Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, UC Davis and APWiL Co-Chair. “Women’s higher education leadership has been an integral component of ACE’s work for decades, including our robust AEC women’s network and our initiatives aiming for gender parity in higher education leadership,” said Carly O’Connell, American Council on Education (ACE) Representative, in her opening address. “APRU’s commitment to mentorship and women lifting up other women is very much in the same spirit as ACE’s efforts,” she added. Norzaini Azman, Professor of Higher Education at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia, shared her personal experience of earning her PhD in Manchester and afterwards getting into an academic management leadership position in Malaysia. Azman had difficulty juggling that work with the needs of her own child and felt that she did not have enough time to dive deeply into her own area of higher education. “I took two sabbaticals, which was a very important decision that allowed me to develop my academic leadership, and I think that Malaysian women are really moving away from the assumption that they are best suited for domestic work,” Azman said. “We work hard, have academic overseas experience and networks, so there are the opportunities and skillsets needed to become academic leaders,” she added. Amalia Di lorio AM, Professor of Finance and Associate Provost (International and Academic Partnerships), La Trobe University, Australia, recalled that she was trained in medical radiology but after graduation did not want to work in that field. Coming from an Italian family which had restaurants in Australia, she chose to study accounting, which eventually led her to become a professor of finance. “My first years of academic life were really intense, because I had two little children, and I could not have done it without support from my family,” Di lorio said. “In Australia, we have come a long way in gender equality discussions, but it does not mean we are seeing many women in academic leadership positions,” she added. Linda Chelan Li, Professor of Political Science at the Department of Public Policy and director of Research Centre for Sustainable Hong Kong (CSHK), City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, pointed out that collaboration with other academics is a very important form of leadership. “Women need to stand taller in this time when we are still living in a transitional culture,” Li said. Click here to view more information about the event.
January 4, 2022
APRU Celebrates Successful Completion of Its APWiL Mentoring Program’s First Cohort
The second cohort sees number of mentor-mentee pairs more than triple HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–APRU celebrated the completion of the first cohort of its APWiL Mentoring Program. The APWiL Mentoring Program Inaugural Graduation Ceremony was part of the APRU Senior International Leaders’ (SIL) Week 2021, hosted virtually on October 19-21 by the University of Sydney. The APWiL Mentoring Program was launched almost exactly one year earlier under the leadership of Prof. Joanna Regulska (Vice Provost and Dean – Global Affairs at the University of California, Davis) and Dr. Sabrina Lin (Senior Advisor to the President at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). The first cohort matched 15 pairs of mentors and mentees to provide international and intercultural opportunities for the development of aspiring women leaders within APRU. It was created against the backdrop of the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Gender Gap Report ringing alarm bells on the lack of improvement in the previous years. The current cohort, running from October 2021 – September 2022, comprises 47 mentor-mentee pairs, reflecting strongly growing receptiveness of the APWiL Mentoring Program. Participants used the ceremony to report on the program’s impact and introduced the second cohort to Senior International Leaders (SILs). The SILs convene annually to discuss important themes in higher education, advancing the impact of APRU initiatives and programs. “Throughout this year, the mentor and mentee relationships have been sustained by a shared commitment to the future, to higher education and to ensuring women leaders are prepared to be part of higher education’s future,” said Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor, University of Auckland, in her keynote. “We know there are many complex social and economic barriers to women’s advancement in leadership within our institutions, and we know that it is only with diverse and inclusive leadership that our institutions will be able to navigate the global and societal issues that are confronting us,” she added. Among the mentor-mentee pairs sharing their experiences were mentor Professor Cindy Fan, Vice Provost, International Studies and Global Engagement, UCLA, and mentee Professor Surabhi Chopra, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Professor Chopra recalled that she entered the APWiL Mentoring Program when nearing her mid-career mark, not being perfectly sure where to direct her attention to in the coming years. The six meetings Professor Chopra had over the course of the year with Professor Fan then facilitated an important process of reflection. “Professor Fan was a coach who drew me out and pushed me to think more concretely,” Professor Chopra said. “That process of having someone engaged, intelligent and experienced was incredibly valuable for me in deciding how I want to engage in academic leadership.” Professor Fan, for her part, underlined that the status quo is far from perfect for aspiring women leaders. She cited findings showing that overall access to higher education for women students has been improving only in a handful of regions of the world, with the picture becoming even patchier in terms of women academics’ access to the highest levels of institutional administration. “The proportion of women in the highest echelons range from 0% in some Asia Pacific countries to about 20% in Australia,” Professor Fan said. “Without many mentors in my professional life, I would not have aspired to senior leadership in academia and become the first female and first Asian American senior international officer in my university.” About APRU As a network of 60 leading universities linking the Americas, Asia and Australasia, APRU (the Association of Pacific Rim Universities) brings together thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. We leverage collective education and research capabilities of our members into the international public policy process. In the post-pandemic era, our strategic priorities focus on providing a neutral platform for high-level policy dialogue, taking actions on climate change, and supporting diversity, inclusion, and minorities. APRU’s primary activities support these strategic priorities with a focus on key areas such as disaster risk reduction, women in leadership, indigenous knowledge, virtual student exchange, esports, population aging, global health, sustainable cities, artificial intelligence, waste management and more. Contacts Jack Ng Director, Communications, APRU jack.ng@apru.org
November 30, 2021
2nd Cohort of the APWIL Mentoring Program Triples Participation
On November 5, APRU launched the 2nd Cohort at the virtual orientation for the 2nd cohort of the APWiL Mentoring program, representing the first opportunity for the cohort’s participants to come together as a group. The APWiL Mentoring Program 2nd Cohort will run until October 2022, involving 92 participants from 26 institutions, which represents a major upscaling from the pilot program 2020-2021, which recorded 30 participants from 10 institutions. The introduction to the 2nd Cohort Orientation was delivered by Sabrina Lin, APWiL Co-Chair and Senior Advisor the President at HKUST; she was very pleased to note that over 90 attendees were recorded. “This reflects the popularity of the APWiL Mentoring program and will surely lead to good interactions in the opening remarks as well as in the breakout rooms,” Lin said. “APRU is viewed by many university presidents around the world as being one of the most serious and also most impactful networks, and so I think that you are really in for a thrill to be part of not only APRU but also APWiL Mentoring Program,” said Santa Ono, President of The University of British Columbia and APWiL Mentoring Program’s Presidential Champion, in his welcoming remarks. “There are too many men that are always nominating each other for awards, and it is about time that we nominate women, not only for the awards, but also for positions within professorships or as department chairs or university provosts,” he added. Program Manager Chelsey Hawes, Program Coordinator Kimberly Bellows (both University of California, Davis), and Anya Wong (APRU Secretariat) provided a program overview including the program design and expected outcomes. Additionally, the program just launched APWiLMentoring.org which offers a members-only site for mentors and mentees to further engage in conversation and exchange between all participants and alumni. The APWiL Mentoring Program provides international and intercultural opportunities for the empowerment, professional growth, and development of aspiring women leaders within APRU. It was created against the backdrop of the APRU 2019 Gender Gap Report ringing alarm bells on the lack of improvement in the previous years. Other studies have since shown that the current challenges relating to COVID-19 have been exasperating the divide even further. The 2nd Cohort Orientation concluded with an announcement on the next APWiL Mentoring Program event; on Dec 7- 8, the cohort’s 1st workshop under the theme Women’s Representation in Higher Education in the Pacific Rim Seminar will feature panelists from Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Mexico. The 2nd and 3rd workshops will focus on the topics Leadership and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion respectively. “We never thought this program would be growing so fast and bring together so many wonderful participants both on the mentor and mentee side,” said APWiL Co-Chair Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Dean – Global Affairs at the University of California, Davis. “We saw in the pilot program that when mentors and mentees spend some time together to talk and think, amazing things are coming out, including ideas for new research projects,” she added. Click here to view more information about APWiL Mentoring Program 2nd Cohort.
November 22, 2021
APRU on UWN: Long way to go for parity for women in HE leadership
Written by Tessa DeLaquil Original post on University World News The latest International Brief for Higher Education Leaders from the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), titled Women’s Representation in Higher Education Leadership Around the World, reveals the “unfinished” business that is achieving gender equality at institutional, national and international levels. The brief includes country cases with new data from Hong Kong (Linda Chelan Li and Iris Chui Ping Kam); Indonesia (Dorothy Ferary); Kazakhstan (Aliya Kuzhabekova); Malaysia (Norzaini Azman); Ghana (Christine Adu-Yeboah, Georgina Yaa Oduro and Dorothy Takyiakwaa); South Africa (Adéle Moodly); Mexico (Alma Maldonado-Maldonado and Roberto Rodríguez Gómez); Australia (Amalia Di Iorio); and Finland (Terhi Nokkala). It also includes international analyses of women’s leadership in higher education by Fanny M Cheung and Joanna Regulska, as well as a section on the diverse dimensions of gender equality, including contributions on the subjects of leadership at women’s colleges (Kristen A Renn) and black women and intersectionality in US higher education (Ashley Gray), as well as a personal reflection on women’s leadership by Lily S Hsu. The brief argues that, while overall access of women to higher education as students has risen in some but not all regions (sometimes achieving more than parity), this development is not uniform and is by and large not paralleled in positions of either leadership and decision-making or at the highest levels of institutional administration. The proportion of women in senior leadership positions in the country cases of the brief range from practically non-existent participation at universities in Ghana or public universities in Hong Kong to 28% of vice-chancellor positions in Australian higher education. Although the barriers and support related to the achievement of women leaders in higher education vary by social and historical context, there are nonetheless certain identifiable commonalities across the country cases examined that make clear the unfinished nature of the project of achieving gender equality in women’s leadership in higher education. Context matters The unfinished nature of the achievement of the human right of gender equality, in terms of representation of women in leadership in general and in higher education in particular, may be understood as partial at three levels in relation to: (i) national or regional context; (ii) historical effects and socio-cultural foundations; and (iii) individuals and the complexity of individual identity, including marginalisation factors. For instance, the general paucity of women in leadership in higher education is visible even in some countries where representation of women in the pipeline (on undergraduate and graduate degree programmes) is reaching parity. This phenomenon varies by regional and national context, by institutional type (for instance, by university ranking and classification) and by societal culture, tradition and the related expectations of women. Intersectionality also determines outcomes, as other markers of marginalisation further restrict representation and participation for women in positions of higher education leadership. Barriers to equality in leadership Barriers to achieving gender equality in higher education leadership occur at each of three levels – national or institutional, cultural and individual. As such, effective support and structural change must be responsive to and present at each of these three levels. According to the cases in the brief, we see that when support is lacking at one of these levels, the overall project for achieving gender equality in higher education seems to stagnate or fails to materialise. Barriers that occur in society also occur within the system of higher education, since higher education institutions may be understood as what Adéle Moodly calls “microcosms of the broader society”, and so are pervaded by historical and cultural aspects embedded within our communities. While we are unable to address every cause of gender imbalance in leadership, the academic community is not powerless. The so-called glass ceiling is maintained at least in part through structural and cultural complacency within our institutions and our academic communities. Through our support for change within our institutions, we work slowly but surely towards social change for the common good in our societies and larger communities. The contributions in the brief raise certain barriers that re-occur at both institutional and societal levels. At national and societal levels, these include culturally and societally defined gender roles, historically and religiously entrenched cultural standards, an unfair division of domestic labour and a lack of recognition of the effects of intersectionality. Both institutionally and societally, barriers include the evident gender pay gap, gendered stereotypes with regard to leadership competency, sexual harassment within the realms of both higher education and society, the leaky pipeline through the fraught pathway of the professoriate, tokenism, hiring biases and the inevitable consequences on the potential for gender equality in the future due to the present under-representation in leadership and decision-making positions. A general lack of sex-disaggregated data further limits effective policy decision-making. The precarity of the gains made in gender equality is palpable in the exacerbation of these trends and barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, the persistence of gender inequality in relation to domestic labour and family care is discernible in the decline in academic manuscripts submitted by women during the pandemic period. The idea of the ‘glass cliff’ – a concept describing how women are overrepresented in leadership during periods of institutional crisis – suggests that taking on precarious leadership positions may ultimately discourage other women from pursuing advancement to academic leadership in the future. Towards gender equality Effective support must therefore also address barriers at the three levels of nation or institution, culture and individual. Broad national-level policies explicitly supporting gender equality may encourage cultural and structural change. Institutional policies are necessary in order to ensure procedural justice, for instance, around parental leave, workload expectations, recruitment and hiring and promotion practices. Sex-disaggregated data collection must be set up both within higher education institutions and national systems of higher education in order to support policy decision-making at each level of support. At an individual level, targeted programming for leadership development and other forms of mentorship programming have been put into place in several countries. Also, higher education networks, set up both within and external to institutional or national support structures, that include programmes and processes for finding, mentoring and training women in higher education seem to be a highly effective mechanism for supporting women’s leadership in higher education. However, it is not sufficient to merely support individual women in the navigation of the structures within which they find themselves. Structural injustice must be met by procedural justice through national- and institutional-level policy. Cultural changes can also begin within institutions, for example, through institutional policy changes championed by vocal leadership. Universities have the potential to exist as countercultural spaces – as Renn’s contribution on women’s colleges and universities demonstrates – in which justice can be achieved via a cultural change in our approach to women in leadership in higher education. Support and encouragement for individual women to achieve their career goals can be productive but are generally most useful when accompanied by institutional and national leadership and programming. Indeed, as Regulska asserts in this brief, ensuring that the human right of gender equality is met will require both individual and collective action. In the end, all of the contributions to the brief imply that the most significant barrier to women’s equality in higher education is a tenacious complacency within our academic communities. We have the tools in hand that are required to effect initial change. What is needed now is the will to work towards achieving true gender equality within our academic communities and our institutions, with the hope that these steps will also build towards the achievement of this human right beyond our universities, in our nations and across the globe. To learn more about APRU Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Program, please visit here.
July 24, 2021
APRU holds Fireside Chat with Women University Leaders
APRU’s APWiL Mentoring Program facilitated a fruitful exchange between APRU member universities’ women leaders and other program participants. Held virtually on June 2, the Fireside Chat highlighted speakers’ personal stories, from accomplishments to opportunities and challenges throughout their professional career. During the Q&A session of the program, they addressed participants’ questions ranging from work-life balance to women empowering other women. “There are many, many more women in leadership positions now than there used to be, and I think that is going to continue as we move forward,” said Professor Carol Christ, the Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, at the Fireside Chat. “Being a member of a faculty in which the leadership was predominantly women was enormously liberating for me, really helping me grow in confidence as a leader,” she added, referring to her time as President of Smith College. The other Fireside Chat speakers were Professor Dr. Kamila Ghazali, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) at Universiti Malaya, and Professor Nancy Y. Ip, Vice-President for Research and Development, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Professor Cindy Fan, UCLA’s Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement, served as the moderator. “I’m only here today because of the support of the people around me,” said Ghazali. “This made a huge difference in my entire career, and especially in the difficult situation when the pandemic first started,” she added. Professor Ip, for her part, shared her experiences of working in the private sector, which prepared her to be the first and only woman in a senior management position. “This experience was very helpful to navigate the situation, when I returned to Hong Kong where I often found myself being the only woman in a senior position,” Ip said. This workshop is one of the activities of APWiL Mentoring Program. The APWiL Mentoring Program is designed to connect senior leaders at APRU institutions with emerging women leaders to create an effective network to overcome complex social and economic barriers to women’s advancement in leadership. The program’s overarching aim is the advancement of ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity of participants’ institutions. Revisit the event recording at YouTube. More information on the event page.
June 10, 2021
Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Program welcomes new APWiL Presidential Champion
We are delighted to announce that Santa J. Ono, President & Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia, has become the new APWiL Presidential Champion. President Ono is now acting as a direct link between the Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Program and the APRU Steering Committee and will work with these key leaders to advance programmatic goals. President Ono is the 15th President & Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia and serves as Chair of the U15 Group of Universities, on the Board of Directors of Universities Canada, and as Past Chair of Research Universities of British Columbia. He is molecular immunologist educated at the University of Chicago and McGill and has taught at Johns Hopkins, Harvard University and University College London. President Ono has advised national and regional governments on higher education and mental health. He has also advised companies such as GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Novartis on R&D. “It is great news that President Ono agreed to work closely with the APWiL Core Group members and Co-Chairs to develop and advance the APWiL vision,” said Sabrina Lin, APRU APWiL Co-Chair and Senior Advisor to the HKUST President. “President Ono’s track record as an advocate for equity and diversity in academia means he is perfect for this position of actively promoting APWiL’s current and future activities,” added Professor Joanna Regulska, APRU APWiL Co-Chair and Vice Provost and Dean – Global Affairs, UC Davis. “I am honoured to be the Presidential Champion for the Asia Pacific Women in Leadership group,” said Professor Ono. “Gender inequality persists in far too many professions, including higher education. It diminishes institutions, entire regions, nations and the world. We must fight for gender equality, so that no woman is excluded or discouraged from a field she excels in, so that no breakthroughs are lost through the barriers of sexism, and no one who deserves a chance is passed up for their gender.” APWiL aims to drive change in gender equity while considering the various contexts in which this pursuit for gender equity takes place across APRU member universities. Case studies presented by APRU member universities under APWiL have shown that gender equity has a positive impact on economic growth, social well-being, as well as in addressing demographic challenges. The latest APWiL initiative is the APWiL Mentoring Program launched in 2020. The initiative matches a mentor and mentee from one of the participating APRU member universities in order to provide aspiring women academics international and intercultural opportunities for the empowerment and development.
June 8, 2021
Asia Summit: ‘penalty systems’ and ‘male allies’ address gender gap
Written by Joyce Lau Original by Times Higher Education Covid has only widened gender inequalities among researchers, data show Universities in places like Japan and Hong Kong are trying to combat vast gender gaps with carrots such as departmental hiring incentives and sticks such as quotas and budget “punishments”, institutional leaders told the Times Higher Education Asia Universities Summit. According to a 2020 THE analysis, none of the top 10 Asian universities had female vice-chancellors or presidents, while women make up only 15 per cent of senior management. Sabrina Lin, senior advisor to the president of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said that her institution enacted HR practices to encourage the hiring of female staff. “All departments have an open invitation: if they find female faculty they wish to hire, they can go ahead,” and it would not count against their normal limits, she told the event, held virtually in partnership with Japanese medical institution Fujita Health University. But she said that the promotion of STEM careers had to start years earlier, to combat deeply ingrained cultural views. citing studies showing that girls and boys performed similarly in math and science. “However, parents and teachers discourage girls from pursuing certain fields, like engineering,” she said. Professor Lin also co-chairs the APRU Asia Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) programme, which offers mentoring for young women, including on skills such as managing interpersonal relationships with male colleagues. Seiichi Matsuo, president of Nagoya University in Japan, stressed the need for men like himself to become “male allies.” Under his leadership, Nagoya is one of only 10 UN HeForShe IMPACT Universities in the world, and the only one in Asia apart from the University of Hong Kong. It has poured resources into facilities such as on-campus nurseries and workshops to give women “self-confidence,” so they can “get out of their comfort zone and not feel isolated”, he added. “Some women suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’, in which they feel doubt and fear,” Professor Matsuo said. “They might think that to be a ‘leader’, they need to be someone other than themselves. And that’s not true.” He has set a goal of women making up 20 per cent of university leadership. “We would like to aim later for 30 per cent, although I admit that is still low,” he said. Nagoya also launched a “penalty system” in which allowances would be based on whether departments met gender goals. The enormous problem of gender inequality has been exacerbated in the past two years, as women took on disproportionate childcare and household burdens during Covid lockdowns and school closures. Ann Gabriel, senior vice-president of global strategic networks at Elsevier, presented data showing that “Covid has thrown the research gender gap into even greater relief”. “This is a critical and global issue that we must tackle,” she said. Elsevier’s numbers show that women submitted proportionately fewer academic papers in 2020, although the total amount of research created during this period increased. Women were less represented among grant recipients and patent-holders. The move to gender equality was also slower in the physical sciences, such as engineering and computer science. According to Elsevier data comparing 16 nations, Japan was the farthest from parity in terms of research publishing, with only 18 active female authors for each 100 men. “It’s today’s graduate students and researchers who will be tomorrow’s HE leaders. So we first need to invest in increasing the female representation at the research level,” Ms Gabriel said.
June 4, 2021
Winners of the 2021 APEC Healthy Women Research Prize
Issued by the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy Announced during the APEC Women and the Economy Forum on September 24, 2021, the winner and two runners-up for the 2021 APEC Healthy Women Healthy Economies Research Prize are listed here. The winning team is co-authored by Mr. Chen-Wei Hsiang, PhD student at University College London; Dr. Ming-Jen Lin, Distinguished Professor of Economics at National Taiwan University; Dr. Kuan-Ming Chen, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the United States’ National Bureau of Economic Research. Runner-up: Dr. Ying Yang, Associate Professor at China’s National Institute for Family Planning Runner-up: Ms. Nurliyana Binte Daros, Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University Find out the news release here and more information about the prize below. Applications are now open for the 2021 APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize. The prize rewards researchers who spur the creation of sex-disaggregated data and gender-based research in APEC. Launched in 2018 by President Sebastián Piñera of Chile with the support of Merck, the research prize seek for outstanding research work that will provide policymakers and business leaders with the tools they need to implement measures that improve women’s health and well-being so women can join, rise and thrive in the workforce. “Robust data and evidence are the foundation of sound policymaking,” said Renee Graham, New Zealand’s Secretary for Women and Chair of APEC’s Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy. “The gendered impacts of COVID-19 make the call for data and evidence all the more important, as we look to ensure women are fully incorporated into, and benefit from, the economic recovery from the pandemic.” Last year, the inaugural research prize was awarded to Dr Fanghui Zhao, a director at the National Cancer Center and Cancer Hospital with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, whose winning research looks at ways to make cervical cancer prevention more accessible and affordable for people in lower-middle income economies. Dr Lih Rong Wang of Chinese Taipei and Dr Dorothy Chan of Hong Kong, China were the two runners-up for the 2020 prize. Applicants to the 2021 APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize can be individuals or teams with one leader listed as official participant from an APEC member economy. Applications for the 2021 research prize are due on 31 May 2020. Applicants do not need to come from academia, as long as the research is evidence-based and addresses at least one of the pillars outlined in the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Policy Toolkit, such as: workplace health and safety health awareness and access sexual and reproductive health gender-based violence work/life balance The prize winner will receive USD 20,000 and have the opportunity to present the research to APEC gender experts in the public and private sectors on the margins of the 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, hosted by New Zealand. Two runners-up will receive USD 5,000 each. “COVID-19 has exacerbated gender inequalities across a range of women’s health issues, making sex-disaggregated data and gender-based research essential for today’s policymakers,” said Liz Henderson,Regional Vice President, Merck Biopharma Asia Pacific. “To truly unlock the economic potential of women, we must first empower women by promoting policies that improve their health outcomes.” “It is important to make available sex-segregated data, especially in the services sector where women’s participation is high and which have been affected by the pandemic,” explained Dr Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. “Good sex-segregated data will contribute to the development of policies that are effective, equitable and beneficial.” Since established in 2015 the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative aims to identify and implement policies that advance women’s health and well-being to support their economic participation. To submit your application form, click here. The deadline to submit applications is 31 May 2020. For more information, please visit the APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies website or contact HWHE@crowell.com with any questions. For further details, please contact: Masyitha Baziad +65 9751 2146 at mb@apec.org Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at mc@apec.org
March 3, 2021
APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Policy Dialogue
The Asia-Pacific region lags behind other global regions with respect to women’s health and economic participation. Sustainable economic growth cannot be achieved if women, who consist half of the workforce, are unable to fully participate in the economy due to health implications. Since 2014, APEC’s Healthy Women, Healthy Economies (HWHE) initiative convenes government (health, labor, gender officials), private sector, academia and other interested stakeholders to raise awareness and promote good practices to enhance women’s economic participation by improving women’s health. A virtual APEC HWHE Policy Dialogue will be held on March 2, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. (EST) / March 3, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. (SGT). A number of high-level speakers from across government, academia, and the private sector will be participating as speakers in the event. The objective of this policy dialogue is to share how public and private stakeholders across the APEC region can ensure women are not left behind, especially given the impact of COVID-19, as well as to identify and discuss the long-term societal risks if we do not build back better. We hope this policy dialogue will help stakeholders – especially those who might not ordinarily consider gender in their line of work – understand why it is vital to construct a COVID-19 recovery effort that takes into consideration the unique ways women have been impacted by the pandemic. Register now to join the policy dialogue on March 2nd/ 3rd.
February 19, 2021
APRU webinar flags alarming impact of COVID-19 on Women in Higher Education
APRU and the University of Sydney on Dec 2 Hong Kong time hosted the webinar Impact of Covid-19 on Women in Higher Education to share the network’s latest research on how the COVID-19 lockdowns across the world have been affecting gender equality in the academic realm. Held under the APRU Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Program (APWiL), the virtual event featured leading researchers discussing the challenges that women face during the lockdown and strategies to overcome barriers to publishing, forging new research partnerships, and establishing funding. The discussion raised important questions about how research outputs are calculated in consideration for tenure and other career milestones. Moderator Professor Katherine Belov, The University of Sydney Professor of Comparative Genomics and Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, raised the curtain with noting that the OECD recently pointed out that women fuel the fight against COVID-19, making up almost 70% of the health care workforce and making them more vulnerable to infection. “At the same time, women are also shouldering much of the burden at home, given school and child care facility closures and longstanding gender inequalities in unpaid work,” Belov said. “And our own colleagues, women in academia, have suffered a similar fate, with research outputs plummeting during lockdown while men’s have increased,” she added. Dr. Bahar Mehmani, Reviewer Experience Lead in the Global STM journals at Elsevier, presented her latest survey illustrating that a wave of academic publications during the pandemic came mainly to the benefit of male researchers’ careers. In Feb-May, the number of publications submitted to Elsevier increased by a whopping 90% compared to the same period of 2019, compelling Mehmani’s team to look at the submitters’ names in order to guess their gender. The data exposed that while submission increased in all months during the lockdown period, the growth of submissions by female researchers accelerated significantly slower than those by male researchers. Growth was even slower in the late stage of female academics’ careers, leading Mehmani to conclude that especially female researchers in middle age bracket are penalized by closures of their children’s schools. According to Mehmani, this is bound to strengthen long-lasting gender inequalities in the academic world; those who have already benefitted from COVID-19 research inflation may have higher chances in future to receive prestigious grants and obtain tenures and promotions in prestigious institutions. “Flagging, carefully pondering or even disregarding COVID-19 related publications and citations from applicants’ assessments must be considered,” Mehmani said. “Institutional interventions, such as promoting a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable working environment and embracing a family friendly leadership policy in the reopening plans of laboratories and institutes, could help moderate the distortions caused by the pandemic,” she added. Mehmani’s presentation was followed by that of Professor Mai-har Sham, Pro-Vice-Chancellor / Vice-President, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Biomedical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Sham shared her research on the situation in Hong Kong and introduced CUHK’s support measures for female academics who are adversely affected by the pandemic. Professor Kalindi Vora, Director of Feminist Research Institute and Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and Director of the Feminist Research Institute of UC Davis shared perspectives considering how women and women of color are impacted by Covid-19, with already drastic underrepresentation of women and black women in tenure positions, there are additional strains due to caretaking that widen the gender gap even further. Professor Vora shared important initaitves that the Feminist Research Center is taking to provide support such as Addressing Privilege and Anti-Blackness in Research Culture project and ADQ Scholar and Research Training Series. The Asking Different Questions project is funded by the National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education grant (Co-PIs Sara Giordano, Sarah McCullough, and Kalindi Vora). This project explores the following hypothesis: That changing research questions and research agendas will change who is in STEM and the knowledge we produce. The award will provide graduate students with training to locate their research questions within a larger societal context. This will include how to recognize and address issues of historical bias and cultural complexity. By learning to place their research in a broader context, junior researchers are able to better frame complex research questions, particularly those presented by communities traditionally under-served by science. The curriculum also provides support for interdisciplinary collaborations and the inclusion of diverse voices and approaches in STEM research. Professor Joanna Regulska, Vice provost and Dean of Global Affairs and Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, UC Davis reminded participants that there is great potential as part of the APRU network to use our collective knowledge and resources to expand impact in the region. One such opportunitiy is the APRU APWiL Mentoring Program which has just begun its pilot in 2020. More information on the event page For more information about the Asia Pacific Women in Leadership program contact Jackie.wong@apru.org
December 22, 2020
APWiL Launches Mentoring Program Pilot Program
The Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Mentoring Program was launched on October 30 with a virtual kick-off meeting hosted by the APRU secretariat in Hong Kong. Participants charted out expectations for the year-long pilot program, which aims to match a mentor and mentee from one of the participating APRU member universities in order to provide aspiring women academics international and intercultural opportunities for the empowerment and development within APRU.  The APWiL Mentoring Program Pilot was initiated following the release of the 2019 APRU Gender Gap Report flagging that females remain under-represented in university leadership positions, with the 2013-19 period producing little tangible improvement. The APRU APWiL is led by co-chairs Sabrina Lin, Senior Advisor to the HKUST President, and Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Dean of Global Affairs at UC Davis. The virtual kick-off meeting was held in breakout group discussions on topics related to strong supportive networks of women leaders, strategic planning, goal setting, career development, effective leadership skills, opportunities for collaboration and interdisciplinary research, as well as work-life balance. “We are discussing the lack of female leaders in our own academic context and the associated lack of models to look up to,” said Derlie Mateo-Babiano, Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne, in the kick-off meeting. “Although involvement in programs such as APRU has been helping many of us in joining supportive networks of female leaders, we have found that the theories behind these efforts too often still do not fully work in the Asian context,” she added. Similarly, Mariam Lam, Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer at University of California, Riverside, emphasized the urgency of promoting the ideas of mentorship, encouragement, sponsorship, and patronage. “Make sure we are using this format of sisterhood and shouting out to other women to get a woman into that next space that opened up,” Lam said. “We have to nudge women sometimes, given that there often are existing access points to those spaces,” she added. Kira Matus, Associate Head in the Division of Public Policy at HKUST, for her part, criticized that women are often placed in leadership and committee positions simply because people feel that there should be a woman visible as opposed to reflecting a holistic approach. According to Matus, a holistic approach involves both having women champions at the higher level and many small wins at the bottom. “We have to tackle tasks such as family friendliness in schools and campuses and parental leave to make inclusivity more holistic,” Matus said. APWiL provides for mentors and mentees developing a mentoring agreement, identifying goals for the program and meeting virtually throughout the year. Mentors may be men or women leaders at a participating institution who are interested in supporting the growth of aspiring women leaders at APRU institutions. Participating APRU members are Keio University; Osaka University; The Chinese University of Hong Kong; HKUST; The University of British Colombia; The University of Sydney; University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Malaya; and UNSW Sydney. The mentor-mentee pairs are: Maureen Kinyua, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, UC Davis (Mentee) Natalie Munro, Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Sydney (Mentor) Jessica Bissett Perea, Assistant Professor, Department of Native American Studies, College of Letters and Science, UC Davis (Mentee) Yvonne Ai-Lian Lim, Director, Department of Parasitology, University of Malaya (Mentor) Kira Jen Mendelsohn Matus, Associate Professor, Division of Public Policy, Division of Social Science, and Division of Environment and Sustainability, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Mentee) Louise Ferguson, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis (Mentor) Joy Becker, Associate Professor, Aquatic Animal Health and Production, University of Sydney (Mentee) Christopher Glick, Assistant Dean, Development and External Relations, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis (Mentor) Azusa N. Hattori, Associate Professor, Division of Public Policy, Division of Social Science, and Division of Environment and Sustainability, Osaka University (Mentee) Stephan Tillman, Professor, Geometric Topology, University of Sydney (Mentor) Charmaine C.M. Yung, Assistant Professor, Department of Ocean Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Mentee) Masae Kuboniwa, Associate Professor, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Osaka University (Mentor) Derjung Mimi Tarn, Associate Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine, and University of California systemwide University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, UCLA (Mentee) Keiko Okawa, Professor, Graduate School of Media Design; Research Institute for Digital Media and Content; School on Internet Research Institute Co., Ltd., Keio University (Mentor) Hang Fang Carole Hoyan, Associate Professor, Department of Chinese Language and Literature; the Yale-China Chinese Language Centre, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Mentee) Christine Dunkel Schetter, Professor, Psychology and Psychiatry; Faculty Development, UCLA (Mentor) Hisayo Ogushi, Professor, Dean, Keio University International Center, Keio University (Mentee) Fanny Cheung, Senior Advisor, Faculty of Social Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Mentor) Mihoko Maruyama, Associate Professor, Institute for Advanced Co-Creation Studies, Osaka University (Mentee) Haibin Su, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Mentor) Nazia Abdul Majid, Lecturer, Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of Malaya (Mentee) Mariko Okada, Professor, Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University (Mentor) Roxanna Pebdani, Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Rehabilitation Counselling, University of Sydney (Mentee) Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-Provost, Equity & Inclusion Office, University of British Columbia (Mentor) Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard, Lecturer, Landscape Architecture, UNSW Sydney (Mentee) Noor Ismawati Jaafar, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya (Mentor) Suat Yan Lai, Senior Lecturer, Gender Studies Program, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya (Mentee) Helene Hoi-Lam Fung, Professor, Department of Psychology; Centre for Positive Social Science; Institute of Ageing, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Mentor) Surabhi Chopra, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law at Chinese, University of Hong Kong (Mentee) Cindy Fan, Vice Provost, International Studies and Global Engagement, UCLA (Mentor) More information about APWiL Mentoring Program Pilot
November 4, 2020
2020 Healthy Women/Healthy Economies Research Prize Application Open Through May 2020
The APEC “Healthy Women, Healthy Economies” (HWHE) has found that sex-disaggregated data and gender based research and analysis is lacking. Policy makers, business leaders and others do not have adequate data and evidence to draw from to identify gender-specific interventions appropriate for their economies and organizations. To spotlight and spur much-needed data and evidence, Chile, along with Merck’s support, has created an annual prize recognizing research that enables policy makers, business leaders, and others to identify and implement measures to improve women’s health in APEC economies so women can join and rise in the workforce. Dr. Mellissa Withers, Director of the APRU Global Health Program, was chosen to be one of the judges of this contest in 2019. Prize The winner of the prize will win USD $20,000, while the 2 runners-up will win USD $5,000 each. If the winner or runner up is from government then the prize money will be given instead to HealthyWomen (a women’s health not-for-profit). Alternatively, the winner or runners-up may designate a not-for-profit entity to receive the prize money. Please attribute the research to all involved in its making, but only one individual may be nominated and eligible to receive the prize money and present the research. Eligibility In order to be considered for this prize, individuals must submit an original piece of research that is no older than two years of age as of January 1, 2020. All are welcome to apply; you do not require a background in academia in order to be considered. However, the research must be evidence based. Furthermore, the research must be submitted in English. If the research was not originally written in English please have it professionally translated. Application Materials  Application (**Please use this for applying. Send completed version to HWHE@crowell.com**) APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Application Form APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Prize Flyer For more information, please visit the APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies website. Contact HWHE@crowell.com for any questions.
April 8, 2020