The woman is standing next to the office window.

Women in Academic Leadership 2023

Offered online from April 3 to June 19, 2023

The program’s nine synchronous sessions will be highly interactive, incorporating group work, case studies, and tabletop discussions. Sessions will be supported and augmented by self-study and reflection as well as both group and one-on-one mentoring sessions. All participants will also complete a 360 self-assessment leadership tool.

Fees: $2,770 plus GST


April 3 10:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
April 14 10:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
April 21 10:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
April 28 10:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
May 5 10:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
May 15 10:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
May 29 10:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
June 5 10:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
June 19 10:30 am – 1:30 pm CST

Key topic areas

  • Women in Academic leadership and the impact of COVID -19
  • Power and politics in the academy, multiple sources of power, complexities of intra-gender relationships, privilege, colonization and intersectionality theory
  • Leadership models and navigating gendered expectations of being a women leader in the academy
  • Self-awareness and understanding your leadership style and approach – 360 self-assessment
  • Effective negotiation and self-advocacy skills
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Addressing inequality in the academy, mobilizing and building coalitions
  • Work-life balance
  • Personal academic principles

Course description

  • Women in Academic Leadership was designed for the women who will become our next academic leaders, women like you. Build your leadership skills and learn how to address the unique issues you may face in the higher education environment. CHERD realizes that although we have made progress, women are still significantly under-represented across senior academic positions. In fact, many Canadian universities have yet to appoint a female president. If you have achieved an early to mid-level of academic leadership and now have your sights on reaching higher levels of academic leadership, join us. Let’s work together, to make a difference in the world of higher education and in your career.

    Delivery methods

    Over the last years , due to COVID-19, Women in Academic Leadership was delivered online using a range of synchronous and asynchronous technologies to facilitate building a community of practice to learn and network. This year, we are continuing this practice to provide accessibility regardless of time, travel, and budget constraints. It is also a sustainable option, helping us all to reduce our carbon footprint. 

  • The woman is using her laptop to join a virtual meeting.

Who you will hear and learn from this year


Gina Grandy

Gina Grandy, Dean and Professor (Strategy and Leadership), Hill and Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina

Previously, Gina Grandy held the role of Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies and was holder of the RBC Women in Leadership Scholar. She also serves as the lead for the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) in Saskatchewan.

Gina is the co-editor of two books. Her research on leadership, gender and women’s experiences at work, and stigmatized work has been published widely. She is active in the community with various initiatives and bodies that work to redress gender disadvantage, has facilitated in CHERD’s Women in Academic Leadership, and was the co-organizer of the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC) 2020 Conference hosted by the University of Regina.

Sheila Cote-Meek

Sheila Cote-Meek, Vice-President, Equity, People and Culture, York University

Sheila Cote-Meek is Anishinaabe from the Teme-Augama Anishnabai.

In her current role, Sheila leads a number of strategic initiatives to advance York University’s priority of Living Well together. She was also the Associate Vice-President, Academic and Indigenous Programs at Laurentian University where she played a critical leadership role in advancing Indigenous education. She will be transitioning to a new role as Program Director of the Indigenous Educational Studies Programs at Brock University in August 2023.

Sheila is the author of Colonized Classrooms – Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-Secondary Education and two co-edited books: Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education in Canada and Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy. She is well-known provincially and nationally for her work in advancing equity and inclusion in higher education.


Lynn Wells, Provost and Vice-President Academic, Brock University

Shanthi Johnson Dean, Dean, School of Public Health, University of Alberta and incoming Vice-President Research and Innovation, University of Windsor

Lisa Philipps. Provost and Vice-President Academic York University 

Florentine Strzelcyk, Provost and Vice-President Western University 

Opening Keynote Presenter

Jacqueline Ottmann

Jacqueline Ottmann, President, First Nations University of Canada

Jacqueline Ottmann is Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) from Fishing Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Jacqueline became President of First Nations University of Canada in September 2021. After spending 13 years at the University of Calgary where she held various scholarly and leadership responsibilities including Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Strategy, she became the inaugural Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement at the University of Saskatchewan.

She is the first Indigenous person to become President of the Canadian Study for the Society of Education, and the founder of Thrivance: Journal of Indigenous Ways of Being, Knowing, and Doing. Her research interests include leadership, change management, organizational theories and practices, and strategic development.

Jacqueline has been recognized as an international researcher, advocate, and change-maker whose purpose is to transform practices inclusive of Indigenous leadership, methodologies and pedagogies. She is driven to create schools, organizations, and communities that foster a deeper sense of belonging and appreciation for Indigenous peoples and their histories, stories, philosophies, knowledges, intellect, traditions, and lived experiences.

Nomination process

Women in academic administration positions are generally nominated/selected to participate in WIAL by their home institutions. We encourage universities and colleges to support women from diverse groups, to create a community of leaders more reflective of the Canadian environment. Individuals who have been nominated/selected by their home institution should apply as soon as possible, as enrollment is limited.

Learn more about the program

Andhra Goundrey

“It’s not just a lecture. Meeting with executive women, learning from their stories, challenges and experiences, putting our heads together to collaborate further empowered me. It was an excellent experience, an opportunity to really reflect on your leadership practices and take it to the next step of excellence.

“It inspired me to apply for the position of dean…I am now confident there is a place for me.” 

Andhra Goundrey
Wilson School of Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Keltie Jones

“I am leaving here with more of a spark than when I arrived. This is an opportunity for learning and reflection, with an incredible added bonus. You develop a network with women you may have no chance of otherwise meeting.

“Leadership is believing in yourself. Do what you need to do to accomplish this.”

Keltie Jones
Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University

Susan Tighe

“It was broad and diverse, an enriching experience. The peer sharing as well as the quality of the mentors and the facilitators really contributed to the experience. The mentor groups were smaller, and everyone was very honest about their challenges, strategies and tools.

“Do you want the title or do you want the job? That question stuck with me. Don’t be afraid of change and challenges. Continue your growth journey.”

Susan Tighe
University of Waterloo

Ana Campos

“My dean/boss told me and my two female colleagues we needed to come. There are only three women in our faculty council. It was a great event, fantastic. It gave me framework for high-level thinking and practical tools. It showed me how to find a vision from the bottom up, to get people to walk in each other’s shoes.

“I am from Brazil. I came to Canada for my job. It gave me the opportunity to get to know people from other provinces, to learn about cultures and values.”

Ana Campos
School of Interdisciplinary Science, McMaster University

Request more information

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Contact us

Extended Education
185 Extended Education Complex
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

Toll free: 1-888-216-7011