There are complex social and economic barriers to women’s advancement in leadership. Additionally, gender stereotypes and the diverse social norms of the many cultures spanning the Pacific Rim creates wide implementation gaps in gender equality and women’s empowerment initiatives in Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) higher education institutions. Women who lead and aspire to lead these institutions, experience barriers to leadership with little institutional support and guidance.
The current challenges around the world relating to COVID-19 are amplifying the obstacles that women face in their daily lives as they take care of children, maintain their household and continue to perform at work. Recent reports have shown that the pandemic is having differing impacts on female and male researchers around the world. The research output from women has decreased, especially in cases when women have a dependent child age 0-5. In addition, public recognition of the persistent and systematic racism highlights challenges that women of color confront.
The APWiL Mentoring Program Pilot offers women and leaders at APRU universities an opportunity to grow the pipeline of aspiring women leaders, to increase awareness of challenges that aspiring women leaders face within the region, and to introduce global and intercultural dimensions (of women leadership) to leaders across the APRU network and beyond.