Wake Forest offers support to women seeking senior leadership positions

Wake Forest University has joined North Carolina’s chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network, which helps colleges and universities achieve parity by promoting the advancement of women, providing networking opportunities and assisting those interested in advancing their careers.

Headshot of Erica Still

Erica Still, associate dean for faculty recruitment, diversity, and inclusion and professor of English

Headshot of Steph Trilling

Steph Trilling, director of the Wake Forest Women’s Center

Steph Trilling, director of Wake Forest’s Women’s Center, and Erica Still, associate dean for faculty recruitment, diversity and inclusion, are the University’s representatives for the state chapter. Moreover, Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch is a Presidential Sponsor of NC ACE Women’s Network, which means, among other things, the University has made a commitment to the organization and its goals.

“We know that our institutions and communities are collectively more innovative, creative, visionary and successful when women’s voices are part of deliberations and decision-making at all levels, including the most senior,” Hatch said. “Therefore, I am proud to sign on as a Presidential Sponsor for the NC ACE Network of Women Leaders, whose work will help assure that a robust set of professional development, networking and leadership opportunities are widely available to members.”

Trilling and Still are excited about helping women better position themselves for leadership roles.

“We have a lot of women who work in higher education, but we’re still underrepresented in senior leadership roles, especially women of color or women who have other marginalized identities,” Trilling said. “Being a member of ACE will help women at Wake Forest gain the skills and the contacts they need to move into these roles and help us as a field achieve gender parity.”

Still said ACE membership allows Wake Forest employees direct access to a network with a wealth of expertise. “Women, wherever they are in their careers, need to see paths for themselves to progress professionally, and ACE makes those possibilities visible.”

Wake Forest’s involvement in NC ACE Women’s Network complements the work of the University’s Women’s Forum, which has been in existence since 2004 and is currently co-chaired by Dr. Chandrika Garner, an assistant professor in anesthesiology at the School of Medicine, and Melanie York, assistant director of University events.

“The Wake Forest Women’s Forum is a grassroots organization at Wake Forest University and Wake Forest Medical Center, composed of female faculty, senior-level administrators and staff who are committed to supporting women and advocating for an environment that acknowledges and facilitates their important contributions to both campuses,” Garner and York said in a statement. “We’re very excited that Wake Forest is now a member of the NC ACE Women’s Network … which will strengthen the University’s mission to promote women in higher education careers within the state of North Carolina.”

Wake Forest women-identified employees can sign up to learn more about the NC ACE Women’s Network by completing this brief interest form.