To achieve the goal of having a top performing education system in the nation, Gov. Gary Herbert said he will be taking part in helping the Utah Women in Higher Education Network, or UWHEN, to promote the need for women in higher education positions.
He said research has shown by integrating women into leadership positions, there has been positive gains for organizations. The results include enhanced fiscal strength, improved risk management, and increased retention, particularly with regards to business.
Susan Madsen, the founder of UWHEN and a professor at Utah Valley University, said her goal with the network is to help women recognize their strengths in hopes to benefit Utah communities.
“We need more educated people who are willing to step forward and really help meet the needs of society today,” Madsen said. “And I believe that as we get more women through college, and men as well, and I believe we can do that with more women in leadership roles, that we’re going to just benefit everybody in Utah and the state as a whole.”
Madsen said through her own research, she has found that compared to other states across the nation, Utah lags in female leadership roles.
With the help from the UWHEN and Governor’s Office, Madsen said she aims to help university officials recognize the importance of women in higher education positions such as president, vice president, provost or board of regent members.
“The research is very clear that when you have more diversity at the table, including both, men and women, that you get better ideas,” Madsen said. “That you actually are more creative and innovative and that you really represent the institution and the students within the institution the better way when you have both men and women’s voices and decision making power at the table.”