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The Leadership Development Program and Women Faculty at the School of Medicine

The Leadership Development Program in partnership with the School of Medicine's Office of Women in Science and Medicine, Office of Faculty Development, and Office of the Vice Dean for Faculty continues its commitment to women faculty.

In 2005, the School of Medicine's Committee on Faculty Development and Gender published a summary report which documented that women faculty were less likely to progress in their careers, and recommended an infrastructure be provided to promote the careers of women faculty. The Office of Women in Science and Medicine (OWISM) was created in 2008 to assist with this initiative. And in 2009, the Leadership Development Program (a part of Talent Management and Organization Development) partnered with OWISM, Office of Faculty Development, and Office of the Vice Dean for Faculty to create a new program - the Leadership Program for Women Faculty (LPWF). The goals of the program are to:

  • Develop JHUSOM women leaders who can contribute to future initiatives throughout the school.
  • Retain emerging female leaders by providing prestigious and challenging learning experiences, which can lead to new opportunities and promotion.
  • Embrace values for diversity and inclusion, concepts which are critical to the success of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The first year was successful beyond the program's expectation. Program organizers hoped to attract at least 20 participants to the inaugural class. Several mid-career faculty women were nominated to the program by their department directors or senior women faculty. In all, 52 women faculty applied to the program the first year. To accommodate the demand, the enrollment limit was raised to 40. In the second year of the LPWF, there were 79 applicants and the program's enrollment was increased to 45 participants.

The number of women applying to the program is remarkable given the faculty's considerable professional responsibilities and time constraints. There are several factors driving the high number of applicants. It is an honor to be recognized through the nomination process as an emerging leader with potential for leadership roles in the divisions, departments, the school and professional societies. In addition, participants are brought together with others of similar interests and needs and are attending sessions with content that's tailored with those interests and needs in mind. The goals of the LPWF are also shared by faculty women participants and the program creates a cadre of emerging women leaders who can be tapped for future leadership roles. But most importantly, the program provides a safe environment for women faculty to build a community with like-minded peers and offers a rare opportunity for them to interact, collaborate and explore common issues.

Last year's participants praised the program for "solving problems they didn't know they had" and making them more aware of some important issues while seeing themselves and their current and future roles differently. Some women participants reported that the LPWF was a primary factor in their decision to remain in academic medicine. Others expressed gratitude for the knowledge and skills they acquired through the program and their intention to put them to good use. We are confident that this year's participants will return to their department better-prepared to lead and as champions for the LPWF program to other future women leaders.

For more information about the Leadership Development Program, visit the Talent Management and Organization Development website at Or you can contact Linda Dillon Jones at

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