IWL Consortium

Addressing a Critical Need

The Institute for Women's Leadership (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. 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.

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 feminist leaders make?

The growth and success of the Women's Studies Program, (now the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences), Center for American Women in Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, the Institute for Research on Women, and later the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (1989-2022) 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, a consortium of Rutgers academic units, research centers, and institutes on women.

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 world outside the university remain central aspects of board meetings.

Shortly after its founding, the IWL added the Center for Women and Work, founded 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 at Douglass) joined the consortium. The Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (2008-2019), under the direction of Vice President Joan Bennett, became the next member unit. In 2011, the Center on Violence Against Women and Children (now Center for Research on Ending Violence, School of Social Work) founded by Judy Postmus, joined the consortium. In October 2020, the consortium welcomed the Center for Women in Business, Rutgers Business School, directed by Lisa Kaplowitz.

IWL Consortium Members

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

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

 Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of 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 and Work, School of Management and Labor Relations (1993)
Debra Lancaster, Executive Director
Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Faculty Director

94 Rockafeller Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

Center for Women in the Arts at Douglass (2006)
125 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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
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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