Women’s Leadership Initiative

The Women’s Leadership Initiative is a series of leadership development workshops at Syracuse University. WLI is a collaborative undertaking designed to provide avenues for women to engage in critical dialogue about the unique opportunities and challenges women encounter in their leadership development. Workshops are directly responsive to the needs and key issues identified by student participants.

The Women’s Leadership Initiative is open to all undergraduate students, though the target audience is women students. Student’s self-select for participation in WLI programming. Individual-level of engagement is directed by each student, depending on interest and availability. Students may choose to participate in individual programs.

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The Women’s Leadership Initiatives provides avenues for students to engage in critical dialogue about the unique opportunities and challenges women encounter. WLI fosters an inclusive, student-focused campus community of learning about women and gender issues.

The Women’s Leadership Initiatives provides and promotes a supportive and safe environment for students to discuss and learn and to be able to freely open and share experiences and ideas.

Workshops and Events

In the Fall 2021 Semester, women will have a chance to participate in a monthly leadership series which will take place on the Wednesday of the third week of each month.

Coming up this semester: 

DATE CHANGE: September 22nd @ 7pm – Defining Leadership in Schine 304

  • Join OSA and the Women’s Empowerment Project to discuss the meaning of leadership and explore what it means to lead with vision and purpose.

October 13th @ 5pm – Authentic Leadership in Schine 304

  • Join OSA and WLI in a discussion about how to identify how to be true to yourself in your leadership decisions and journey.

November 17th @ 5pm – Leadership and Community in Schine 304

  • Join OSA and WLI for a discussion about how community and leadership intersect.


Be sure to check out our table in the Schine Atrium for information on upcoming luncheons/workshops.

$tart $mart

$tart $mart prepares college women who are approaching the job market with the confidence, knowledge, and skills they need to negotiate salaries and benefits.

When students leave the three and a half hour $tart $mart campus workshop, they learn

  • how the gender wage gap affects their lives
  • how to develop a personal budget to determine salary needs
  • how to benchmark salary and benefits
  • how to negotiate for their first salary out of college

According to AAUW research, just one year after graduation, women earn just 82 percent of what their male counterparts earn, and the gender wage gap widens over the next 10 years.

More than 225 campuses throughout the United States have hosted $tart $mart. Before the workshop, only 25 percent of attendees said they were confident that they could negotiate a salary and benefits package. That figure skyrocketed to 91 percent upon completion of the workshop.

Typically Offered: Spring, Equal Pay Day