Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership


Launched in June 2013, the APRU Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership Program (APWiL)  serves as a platform for the sharing of best practices in enhancing the institutional competitiveness of APRU universities and advancing the participation of women in academia  and research; and aims to contribute to policy development in bridging the gender gap in higher education.

Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Workshop 2017

Please note that registrations for the workshop have now closed and we can no longer accept any new registrations.

The University of Sydney is delighted to be hosting the 2017 Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) workshop from Wednesday November 1 to Friday November 3 2017.

This year’s theme, Accelerating change in gender diversity and inclusion, will explore how university leadership can drive culture change through innovation and deliver practical solutions based on best practice. Participants will hear from individuals working within and outside of academia and will share their own experiences in this discursive, solutions-based workshop.

Through a range of sessions, participants will:

- Share experiences and case studies, from within and outside higher education, which deliver gender diversity and inclusion.
- Identify examples of innovation and best practice in changing organisational systems and culture to advance gender diversity and inclusion.
- Provide a forum in which participants can discuss existing challenges and generate potential solutions.
- Enable the participants to network and deepen relationships with their international colleagues.
- Discuss how the APRU can accelerate change in gender diversity and inclusion, and identify actions for updating the APRU Gender Gap Report.

Participants will leave feeling more equipped to lead change in gender diversity and inclusion. The workshop will also consider how to maximise the value and impact of the APRU Gender Gap Report, which will be updated in 2018.

Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Workshop 2016

Making Numbers Matter: Sustaining the Next Generation of Women Academic Leaders

On 22 and 23 November, over 20 senior administrators, faculty members, leaders in gender policy development and postgraduate students from APRU universities participated in the Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) 2016 Workshop hosted by the University of the Philippines (UP) in Cebu. This workshop was a continuation of the previous discussions at the Policy Round Table on Gender Equity held at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) in April 2016.

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Prof Odine de Guzman, Director of UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and Chairperson of the Workshop Organising Committee introduced participants to the two-day workshop. On behalf of President Alfredo PascualProf Joselito G. Florendo, Vice President for Planning and Finance of the UP System extended a warm welcome to all participants.

In her keynote speech entitled “Gender Equity in US Higher Education”, Prof Cindy Fan, Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement of UCLA, highlighted the issue of glass ceiling in academia where intangible systemic barriers prevent women from acquiring senior level positions. She also spoke about the pay gap between men and women holding the same faculty rank. To address the problem of a leaky pipeline where few women could rise to senior leadership positions, Prof Fan called for global commitment and the networking of like-minded individuals to effect societal changes.

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Prof Cindy Fan, UCLA, delivered her keynote speech on gender equity in US higher education.

APWiL Policy Round Table on Gender Equity

Host: University of Hong Kong (co-organised by the University of Auckland and APRU)
26 - 28 April 2016

Senior university leaders, faculty, researchers and administrators from 19 APRU universities and invited institutions convened at the APRU Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Policy Round Table on Gender Equity. The Round Table meeting was hosted by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and was co-organised by the University of Auckland and APRU from 26 to 28 April.

APWiL PRT 2016_Group Photo

A number of participants gather for a group photo.
Photo credit: The University of Hong Kong 

The meeting featured presentations on recruitment, retention and success in the areas of gender equity and equity in general. These presentations highlighted gender equity policies in several APRU member universities that form part of the sharing of best practices across the network.

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 (L-R) Lynn Gordon (University of California, Los Angeles) and Kirsten Locke (University of Auckland) speak about unconcious bias and gendered academic career trajectories, respectively.

Klein and Chong Brewer and Ramburuth

(R-L, 1st row) Li Chong and Lucas Klein (HKU) talk about policies on enhancing retention in HKU.

(R-L, 1st row) Speakers Prem Ramburuth (UNSW Australia) and Ann Brewer (University of Newcastle and formerly University of Sydney) discuss recruitment, promotion and success in the context of gender equity.

A keynote presentation on Gender Equity in Hong Kong’s Universities set a framework for discussions on the importance of empirical-based assessment and analysis of gender-related challenges in universities.



Sarah Aiston (University of Birmingham and formerly University of Hong Kong, centre) discusses the importance of data in informing policy on gender equity.
Photo credit: The University of Hong Kong

A key highlight of the Round Table meeting was the University Presidents and Vice Presidents Panel Discussion whereby university leaders shared institutional aspirations and goals in bridging the gender gap in their respective universities. These included 1) greater participation and engagement of women in senior leadership positions; 2) a balanced gender representation across all disciplinary fields particularly in various academic and professional staff positions and; 3) creation of a more equitable and inclusive environment in universities, among others.

 Pres VP Panel

 (L-R) Vice Provost Cindy Fan (University of California, Los Angeles), Executive Vice President Toshiya Hoshino (Osaka University), Executive Vice President Ching-Ray Chang (National Taiwan University), and President and Vice-Chancellor Peter Mathieson (HKU) at the panel discussion facilitated by Trudie McNaughton (University of Auckland), 5th from left.

Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Workshop 2015

Sixteen member universities convened to discuss issues on gender gap at the APRU Asia-Pacific Women and Leadership (APWiL) Workshop 2015 from 9 to 11 March. The international workshop was hosted by the University of Auckland in New Zealand and supported by Elsevier. The host university welcomed participants at the university's cultural heritage landmark, the Waipapa Marae, whereby participants engaged in Powhiri, a Māori welcoming ceremony.

APWiL Workshop 2015 Group Photo
Participants gather for a group photo.
Photo credit: University of Auckland

The overview on the state of the gender gap in Asia-Pacific higher education on 10 March elicited dynamic discussions on building the pipeline and the nurturing of talent in universities. Professor Jenny Dixon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Engagement) at the University of Auckland (UoA) and Professor Ann Brewer, Dean of Professional and Continuing Education at the University of Sydney led the discussions followed by case study presentations from UoA and the Australian National University. In addition, the workshop featured presentations on women's experiences in universities, identifying points of gender gap intervention and upskilling of universities for capacity building. These presentations included case studies from Tohoku University, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and the University of Malaya, in addition to UoA.  

APWiL Workshop 2015_Welcome Session
Professor Dixon (left) welcomes participants to the APWiL Workshop 2015.

Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Workshop 2014

Kyoto University hosted APRU’s Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Special Workshop on 1 and 2 July at the Kyoto University Tokyo Office.

A total of 50 participants comprising faculty, researchers and administrators attended the 2-day workshop. Participants were welcomed by APWiL Program Chair and Executive Vice President, Dr Masako Egawa of the University of Tokyo. Professor Yasuko Takezawa of Kyoto University’s Institute for Research in Humanities gave an overview of the workshop proceedings and this was followed by a discussion on institutional strategies on advancing the participation of women in universities. The session was led by guest speaker, Professor Jeanette Takamura, Dean of Columbia University’s School of Social Work.

APWiL Special Workshop 2014 group photo
Participants of APWiL Special Workshop 2014. 
Photo credit: Kyoto University

APWiL Directory of Programs and Initiatives

APRU has compiled information on various programs and initiatives of member universities in support of women and in bridging the gender gap in higher education.  More than 50 programs and initiatives from available online sources and previously conducted surveys are featured in this directory. The objective of this project is to promote the sharing of best practices in enhancing the institutional competitiveness of APRU universities and advancing the participation of women in academia and research.