Schools are the engine for female leadership in the 21st-century world
Source: Sweet Briar College

We live in an era defined by the principles of diversity and equality. Representation has become key to the global workforce; traditionally male-dominated disciplines like STEM are feeling the female influence, and schools all over the world are racing to offer variety and become culturally enriched. But gender imbalance still affects nearly every country and sector.

When you consider that just 56 (38 percent of) nations studied by the World Economic Forum in 2015 and 2016 had a female head of state for at least one year in the past 50 years; or that in 2016, the proportion of women in global parliaments stood at just 23 percent; while countries like Qatar and Vanuatu are yet to elect any female legislators; and that men still saturate boardrooms pretty much worldwide — gender inequality still exists and is a fact we can’t ignore.

Our biggest hope for solving this issue begins with education.

Source: Sweet Briar College

One school that’s pushing against gender inequality and implementing a balanced framework for young female students is Sweet Briar College in Virginia (US). Through the innovative Sweet Briar Leadership Core curriculum, learners have the chance to capitalize on their curiosity and translate it in creative forms.

During their undergraduate experience at Sweet Briar, students benefit from 10 interdisciplinary leadership courses: Sustainable Systems, Design Thinking, Expression and the Arts, STEM in Society, Women in the World, Decisions in a Data-driven World, Contemporary Ethical Questions, The Mindful Writer, and Leadership Realized I and Leadership Realized II.

By addressing key issues such as STEM in society and gender roles in today’s globalized landscape, Sweet Briar encourages learners to think beyond outdated expectations and analyze the social, cultural and political challenges women currently face.

Each course in the leadership program introduces students to theoretical perspectives and practical approaches. The blend of these two learning methods sparks inquisitive minds and enables participants to master the art of problem-solving, innovation, ethical conduct, collaboration and empathy.

Broadening your perspective and expanding your potential is essential for your personal and professional growth. Sweet Briar is built on a foundation of trust and students are supported through every stage of student life and they leave ready to pursue their passions.

Source: Sweet Briar College

Committed to developing fiercely determined and independent-minded leaders, gender inequality has never held Sweet Briar back. In the early 1900s, women had very few rights and opportunities for higher education were rare. But this school fought back, opening in 1906, and it has produced thousands of career-ready female graduates since.

The secret to Sweet Briar’s success lies in its student engagement style. Every learner is treated as an individual and receives daily interaction with a friendly residential advisor and Peer Academic Mentor, providing round-the-clock leadership and support.

There are plenty of campus activities that provide real-world opportunities in the fields of marketing, management, earth sciences and more. For instance, there are outdoor caving trips, athletics events and one of the most renowned equestrian programs in the country.

For schools to continue conquering gender boundaries in education, they must acknowledge the various factors that help motivate student learning. Through a combination of personalized teaching, a campus-wide growth mindset and a year-round welcoming environment, Sweet Briar students are able to thrive.

Here, the Office of Student Life ensures learners are involved in every area of college life. Through co-curricular initiatives that promote inclusivity, leadership and student involvement, you’ll enjoy your liberal arts education and prosper in your future profession.

Female leadership is also recognized through the school’s news page. Here you’ll find prime examples of powerful women in action. One featured story highlights the recent accomplishment of Sweet Briar College graduate, Alexa Dahlin, who is the first recipient of the Friends of Art’s graduate internship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Source: Sweet Briar College

Dahlin isn’t the only student who’s thankful for her diverse educational experience at the school. As international student Nathalia Lima found during her time on campus, “Sweet Briar women learn the value of being authentic leaders and are strongly encouraged to thrive and succeed as their true selves — without sacrificing their identities.”

As she adds, “Sweet Briar amazed me with its beautiful, inclusive and resourceful campus. This experience has impacted my perspective on women’s relationships forever. The faculty, staff and Sweet Briar community really made me feel at home. I felt welcomed and safe, but most importantly, inspired by the women I met.”

As you can tell from the school’s endless support and dedication to personal development through the leadership core curriculum, behind every powerful young woman is a team who believes in her abilities.

It’s because of schools like Sweet Briar that every woman has the chance to excel in her desired subject without limitation.

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