As university women, we appreciate all the great work colleges and universities do to support women.
Whether it’s hosting a conference or creating a supportive environment, students, faculty, and administrators take action every day to advocate on behalf of women — and we want to recognize some of those schools and the work they do. Here are seven colleges and universities we love for making the world a more equitable place for women.
1. Boston College
Every fall semester the Women’s Resource Center at Boston College works to foster positive body image through a Love Your Body Week. The week is dedicated to promoting healthy body image among students. Events confront issues like the hypersexualization of women in society, negative body comments, and healthy exercise habits. The weekends with a play that focuses on women loving their bodies.
2. George Mason University
Here’s a school addressing the underrepresentation of women in the business world. The School of Management at George Mason University created the Women in Business Initiative to increase the number of women in the business field. Goals of the initiative include building a network of businesswomen professionals and tackling the gender wage gap within the business field.
3. North Dakota State University
North Dakota State University counselor Teresa DeMers created the Pregnancy and Young Mother Support Group. Once a week student parents meet in the Equity and Diversity Center to discuss parenthood. Student parents also have access to a child care service, and there are designated breastfeeding areas on campus.
4. Texas Tech University
Sexual assault is a critical issue for women on campus. Often the first step in addressing the issue is to simply talk about it. Students, faculty, and staff at Texas Tech did just that by hosting a rape culture panel based on President Barack Obama’s White House Task Force on Sexual Assault. Panelists — including the dean of students and representatives from University Housing, the Student Counseling Center, and the women’s studies program — discussed harassment, sexual assault, and rape.
5. University of Maryland
Women’s underrepresentation in STEM is a critical education issue — the Terrapins tackle with a living and learning community (LLC). In 2007 the University of Maryland launched Flexus: The Dr. Marilyn Berman Pollans Women in Engineering LLC. First-year engineering students are eligible to live in this welcoming community, which aims to retain women in the engineering field.
6. University of Nebraska, Lincoln
There are few things more powerful than watching women pass it on to the next generation. At its eighth annual Latina Youth Leadership Conference, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln’s Lambda Theta Nu sorority did just that by focusing on girl power. They invited more than 120 middle school Latina girls to the conference to learn about self-confidence, positive body image, the benefits of higher education, and the importance of collaboration in achieving empowerment.
7. University of Southern California
We know how important LGBTQ rights are to the women’s movement. So it was wonderful to see the LGBT Resource Center at the University of Southern California create Greek Chat in 2010. Greek Chat is a safe space by and for members of the LGBTQ community who are also involved in fraternities and sororities. Some of the topics the group tackles include homophobia within Greek life, intimate relationships, and other issues concerning the LGBTQ community.