Document Type

Doctor of Education Capstone

Original Publication Date



The Virginia Network for Women



Date of Submission

April 2021


Over the last 50 years, higher education institutions across the country have experienced growth in enrollment and degree attainment by women. However, despite the increase in educational merit, the representation of women in administrative and leadership roles within higher education is still not equitable to that of men. The Women’s Network, a non-profit subsidiary of the American Council on Education’s Inclusive Excellence Group, aims to identify, develop, advance, and support women in higher education at the local, state, and national levels. The Virginia Network is a state constituency of the Women’s Network that promotes women’s leadership in higher education throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. This exploratory mixed methods study explored the needs of women in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the ways in which the Virginia Network could support those needs. Using social justice leadership theory and process evaluation frameworks, qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed to answer the study’s research questions. Data was analyzed through thematic coding and statistical analysis. This study's findings inform how the Virginia Network can enhance current programming and develop new programming to addresses the needs and barriers identified and experienced by women across the Commonwealth.


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