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APR: Leadership Opportunities for Women

Women & Leadership Symposium - June 23, 2010 Seminars"Fifty six percent of the active participants of APR are women and yet only 32% of APR team leaders are women" explained Alice Gustafson as she opened a panel discussion at the recent Women & Leadership Symposium, sponsored by the Office of Human Resource Development (OHRD).  This is likely to change as women find new avenues to develop and practice leadership skills as they take part in APR, the UW-Madison initiative for improving administrative efficiency.

Alice Gustafson served as moderator for a panel discussion entitled "Leveling the Playing Field--How an Administrative Campus Initiative Offers Women New Opportunities for Leadership".  Stephanie Gray, Aimee Lefkow, Elizabeth Bolt, and Barb Burchfield, who have all served in some capacity on the APR Project, were members of the panel. 

Serving on a process redesign team and learning Lean Six Sigma together has opened up new ways for women to express their expert knowledge and gain credibility.  "You have value because you have expertise in what you do--you have value to APR, to your team, and to the process--you have much to contribute." Stephanie Gray shared this advice with the audience.  Elizabeth Bolt further explained that "you have an opportunity to try difficult things, like public speaking, in a safe environment".  Learning statistics from a great Lean Six Sigma instructor has even taken the fear out of collecting and reporting data for most staff serving on redesign teams.  Aimee Lefkow remarked that having data to support your solutions helps you gain credibility and build your confidence when you report out to departments.

Questions and discussion focused on understanding what APR is all about and how women can get involved.  The new leadership training series, "Fully Prepared to Lead", is a great way to start--for more information visit www.ohrd.wisc.edu or contact Jim Gray at jpgray@ohr.wisc.edu  Seminar participants were also encouraged to email Alice Gustafson, Project Leader, at agustafson@vc.wisc.edu to express their interest in becoming part of APR.   

Prepared by Barb Burchfield, APR Communications Coordinator
June 28, 2010