Career Development

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 Early Career Women 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 (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.

View the 2020-2021 schedule for topics and dates (pdf)

2021-2022 Program Call for Applications

The Call for Applications is now open. Women faculty (mid to senior career preferred) and senior staff (Vice President level or equivalent) are invited to apply for the 2021-2022 Program which will begin in September, 2021.  

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
  5. Strength of the letter of support from the applicant’s Chair 

To learn more review the call for applications flier and the 2021-2022 Program Schedule

The necessary elements that each candidate needs to submit are: 

  • Candidate application form
  • A cover letter, approximately 1-page in length, addressing the following:
    • What motivated you to apply for this career journey and why now?
    • What are your career goals and how can this program help you achieve them?
    • Is there any additional pertinent information that would be useful in evaluating your application? 
    • What are your current professional responsibilities and academic interests?
  • Current CV  
  • A strong and comprehensive letter of support from your VP/Director/Department Chair that should:
    • Address the applicant’s status as a current or emerging leader
    • Include a statement confirming that release time will be approved for the applicant to attend all program sessions upon acceptance. This letter can be provided separately from the other application materials.

The application process will begin February 19, 2021. Applications should be submitted electronically to Heather Whitley and must be received no later than April 30, 2021.  

Graduate Analytics

  • There are 222 CDWL Graduates (2008-2020): WFHS (68%); WFU (21%); other (11%): WSSU, UNCG, High Point U & Salem College, NCCU.
  • Of 222 graduates, 124 (56%) have accepted a new leadership role after program completion.
  • Of those 124, 81 (36%) have accepted more than one new leadership role since program completion.
  • Only 42 (19%) of graduates have left their institution. Of these, 22 (52%) left for leadership opportunities at their new institution (two have since changed institution, for a promoted leadership role).  Six others retired.

Early Career Development Program for Women

WIMS also sponsors the Early Career Development Program for Women (ECDPW). Targeted toward early-career women faculty, the ECDPW is modeled after the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Early Career Professional Development Seminar and includes six day-long sessions over six month.

National seminars are increasingly competitive and expensive. ECPDW offers the following benefits:

  • The faculty member does not have to travel.
  • The program is spread out across six months, causing less interruption in research, education and clinical responsibilities.
  • More women are able to participate.
  • Cost is reasonable (modest tuition for the program and minimal/no travel expenses).
  • The program provides an opportunity for women from diverse professional backgrounds to come together to exchange ideas and develop their networks further.

Early career women faculty (instructor or assistant professor rank) are eligible to apply for the program, which begins each January.  The call for applications opens annually in September.  

View the 2021 schedule (pdf)

Development of an Innovative Career Development Program for Early-Career Women Faculty (article - PDF)  

Please contact Heather Whitley, ECDPW Manager, if you have any questions.

Departmental Liaisons

Designated faculty serve as a connection between WIMS and the departments within Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. They also:

  • Assist in the recruitment of women faculty. Departmental liaisons notify WIMS when women faculty candidates are being interviewed in their department, so someone from the office can be included in the interview process or provide written material on our programming.
  • Facilitate the development of women faculty in each department.
  • Encourage women faculty in each department to attend WIMS functions by making announcements at faculty meetings or by sharing notices with the relevant audience.
  • Facilitate the WIMS Early Career Women Faculty Mentoring Program by offering the names of strong mentors within the department or by telling women faculty about the program.
  • Bring to WIMS any concerns about mentoring of women faculty and leadership roles for women in the department.