An important function of Women in Medicine and Science is facilitating the career development of women faculty and junior faculty members. Various initiatives have been organized by the WIMS to carry out its missions, including the Xinspire Faculty Mentoring Program, general professional development opportunities, two career development programs, and identification of liaisons within each WFSM department to facilitate communication and disseminate information to faculty across the institution.
Career Development for Women Leaders (CDWL) Program
This professional development fellowship began in January 2008. Modeled after national programs for women in academic medicine, the CDWL fellowship covers nine one-day sessions over months. Because national leadership programs for women 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:
- An affordable, university-based leadership development program for women who are either currently in or aspire to leadership roles at Wake Forest
- A local, national-level-quality experience that allows more women to participate in leadership education
- An opportunity to bring women together from diverse professional backgrounds (example: anesthesiology, cancer biology, theater, math) to exchange ideas and foster cross-campus collaboration.
Presenters are nationally and internationally known experts, executive coaches and senior Wake Forest University faculty and administrators. All presenters are highly respected in their content areas.
Women faculty (mid- to senior-career preferred) and senior staff (Vice President level or equivalent) are eligible to apply for the program. The call for applications opens annually in February/March for the program that begins the following September.
- A total of 245 women-faculty has graduated from the CDWL program (2008-2021).
- Graduates: Wake Forest Baptist Heath/Wake Forest School of Medicine (66%), Wake Forest University (19%) and other (15%) – Atrium Health, High Point University, Salem College, University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Winston-Salem State University.
- More than 56% of CDWL graduates have accepted at least one new leadership role after program completion, and many have received more than one.
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."