IWL Consortium

Addressing a Critical Need

The IWL consortium serves as both a prominent forum for intellectual exchange and a vital source of information about women’s leadership. This structure is exemplary in its ability to work collaboratively and enable units to speak and act collectively. The consortium values  feminist perspectives, evidence based-research, intersectional analysis, inclusion and community.

IWL consortium members are at the forefront of examining key questions around diversity and leadership.

  • How do outsiders become leaders?
  • How do they mobilize others to lead social change and transform the institutions that have excluded them?
  • What are the contexts that develop and support diverse leadership?
  • What difference do women leaders make?

Our programs, research, and the collective work of the IWL consortium position Rutgers University-New Brunswick as a premier site for deepening research and expanding opportunities to develop women’s leadership for social change.

The growth and success of the Women’s Studies Program, Center for American Women in Politics, the Institute for Research on Women, and later the Center  for Women’s Global Leadership brought national and international prominence to Douglass College and to Rutgers. The heads of these units, including Ruth B. Mandel, Carol Smith, Cora Kaplan, Alice Kessler-Harris, and Charlotte Bunch, began meeting regularly in the late 1980s to explore possibilities for the future and to work collaboratively to address challenges.

Convened by Mary S. Hartman, then dean of Douglass College, this group brainstormed a vision for women’s education that would build on established success and address the next great challenge for women–advancing to leadership and decision-making positions in all arenas. This brainstorming gave rise to the creation of the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL), a Rutgers consortium of academic units, research centers and institutes on women.

The IWL was conceived as a means both to amplify the voices and trumpet the accomplishments of its constitutive units. The consortium is a collaborative endeavor, designed to create a new synergy to address leadership issues and to advance women. Working together, the consortium preserves and enhances the member units through greater program coordination, strategic fund-raising, and appropriate resource sharing.

Officially launched in 1991, the IWL board of directors, which now encompasses the directors and associate directors of the constitutive units including the dean of Douglass Residential College, is organized on the basis of equality. Programming decisions are made and priorities are set by consensus. Information sharing, networking, and strategic planning to address challenges within Rutgers and in the larger world outside the university remain central aspects of board meetings.

Shortly after its founding, the Institute added the Center for Women and Work, directed by Dorothy Sue Cobble at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (1993). In 2007, under Judith Brodsky and Ferris Olin’s leadership, the Institute for Women and Art (now the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities) joined the consortium. In 2008, the Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, under the direction of Vice President Joan Bennett, became the eighth member unit of the Institute for Women’s Leadership. In 2011, the Center on Violence Against Women and Children (now Center for Research on Ending Violence) became the ninth member of the consortium under the direction of Judy Postmus. In October 2020 we welcomed the Center for Women in Business, Rutgers Business School, directed by Lisa Kaplowitz, as our tenth consortium member.

IWL Consortium Members

Douglass Residential College (Founded 1918)
Meghan Rehbein, Interim Administrative Dean
125 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (1970)
Ethel Brooks, Chair
162 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

 Center for American Women and Politics (1971)
Debbie Walsh, Director
Eagleton Institute of Politics
191 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Institute for Research on Women (1974)
Chie Ikeya, Director
160 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Center for Women’s Global Leadership (1990)
160 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Center for Women and Work (1993)
Debra Lancaster, Executive Director
Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Faculty Director
94 Rockafeller Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities (2006) Tatiana Flores, Director
640 Bartholomew Road #125A
Piscataway, NJ 08854

Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (SciWomen) (2007)
Dr. Karen Stubaus, Vice President of Academic Affairs
Joan Bennett, SciWomen Faculty Advisor 

640 Bartholomew Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

Center for Research on Ending Violence, School of Social Work (2007)
Sarah McMahon, Director
536 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Center for Women in Business, Rutgers Business School (2019)
Lisa Kaplowitz, Executive Director
Kyra Sutton, Research Director 

1 Washington Park
Newark, NJ 07102-3122

Contact IWL

Institute for Women’s Leadership Consortium
Rebecca Mark, Director
162 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Institute for Women’s Leadership
162 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555
P: 848.932.1463

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