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Career Development for Women Leaders Program


2015-2016 CDWL Class Photo

The Office of Women in Medicine and Science's (OWIMS) Leadership & Mentoring Program sponsors the Career Development for Women Leaders (CDWL)** Program, a professional development fellowship, which began in January 2008. ** Formerly Career Development Seminar for Emerging Women Leaders

The CDWL fellowship, modeled after national programs for women in academic medicine, covers 9 one-day sessions and spans 9 months.  Because national leadership programs for women (AAMC, ELAM, CCL, BRIDGES) are becoming increasingly competitive and expensive and only a few faculty members can benefit each year, the purposes of the cross-campus CDWL program are to provide:

  1. an affordable, university-based leadership development program for women who are either currently in or aspire to leadership roles at Wake Forest;
  2. a local, national level quality experience that allows more women to participate in leadership education; and
  3. an opportunity to bring women together from diverse professional backgrounds (theater, math, anesthesiology) to exchange ideas and foster cross-campus collaboration.

Presenters are nationally and internationally known experts, executive coaches and senior WFU faculty and administrators. All presenters are highly respected in their content areas.

Current Program 

Women faculty (Assistant, Associate and Full Professor) and women senior staff (Vice President level) were invited to apply for the 2016-2017 Program which began September, 2016.  Please review the schedule for topics and dates. 

Call for Applications 

The Call for Applications has now closed.  Women faculty (assistant, associate or full professor) and senior staff (Vice President-level or equivalent) were eligible to apply for this competitive Program.  To learn more review the call for applications flier and the draft schedule

The CDWL Selection & Review Committee selects program participants based on the following criteria: (1) leadership experience and/or aspirations; (2) program fit with leadership goals; (3) service activities (institutional or outside of the institution); (4) quality and professionalism of the application; and (5) strength of the letter of support from the applicant’s Chair.

The necessary elements that each candidate needs to submit were: 

             1.     What are your current professional responsibilities and academic interests?
             2.     What are your goals for leadership and how can the CDWL help you achieve these goals?

  • A letter of support from their Department Chair (required), reflecting her status as a current or emerging leader.  Additionally, the Chair must include a statement allowing release time to attend the program.  (this can be provided separately)

Application submissions begin February 24, 2017 and must be submitted electronically to Natalie Barrett ( no later than March 24, 2017.  Acceptances will be announced by May 26, 2017.


 Program Graduates

Class of 2008

Class of 2009-2010

Class of 2010-2011

Class of 2011-2012

Class of 2012-2013

Class of 2013-2014

Class of 2014-2015

Class of 2015-2016

  • There are 113 CDWL Graduates (2008-2015): WFSM (72, 64%); WFU (37, 33%); other, i.e. UNCG and Salem College (4, 3%).  There are currently 18 Fellows: 11 WFSM, 4 WFU, 3 UNCG.
  • Of 113 graduates, 53 (47%) have accepted a new leadership role after program completion.
  • Of those 53, 19 (36%) have accepted more than one new leadership role since program completion.
  • Only 10 (9%) graduates have left their institution.  Of these, 5 (50%) left for leadership opportunities at their new institution.

Program Feedback

Program Feedback

feedback from a 2011 Graduate:

feedback from a 2016 Graduate: "I owe a debt of gratitude for this women’s leadership experience in helping me find my voice, enabling my voice to be heard, and to be heard by the unexpected.  I thank you and everyone that helped facilitate this growth in not only me but others in our group"



Contact Natalie Barrett with questions at

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