UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development (UC WI)

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  • UC WI helped improve my self-confidence and self-awareness, and I can apply what I learned to other aspects of my life, as well.

  • This program helped strengthen my voice, and I am forever grateful.

  • After participating, I feel a stronger sense of purpose in my career and that I have a starting point to get support with my career trajectory.

  • The UC WI facilitators and cohort members created a sense of community, where I felt supported and seen.

  • UC WI helped me better understand how my personal and professional self contribute to how I show up in the work environment.

  • The most intensive professional and personal growth of my entire professional career.

  • We're so rarely able to dedicate time to self-improvement and self-advocacy, and I deeply appreciate and value WI for helping provide that.

  • UC WI helped me to expand my professional network within the UC system, communicate my strengths and advance my career.

  • A truly transformational experience that left me unafraid to be my authentic self.

What is the UC Women's Initiative for Professional Development?

The UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development (UC WI) is a unique, experiential, systemwide professional development program to support the success and advancement of mid-career, woman-identified professionals and is open to all employees who support and are committed to this mission. The program brings together participants from every UC location. Participants represent faculty, academic personnel and staff, people managers and non-people managers.

The program is sponsored by the President’s office and the Systemwide Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (SACSW) and offered by Systemwide Human Resources in partnership with Coro Northern California and SACSW.

UC WI is committed to enabling the full participation, success and advancement of woman-identified professionals at the University. The program is open to all employees who support and are committed to this mission.

UC WI is a personal, professional development program designed to:

  • Cultivate a professional network that spans the UC system
  • Provide access to top UC leaders to learn about their diverse leadership approaches and journeys
  • Strengthen skills and confidence through hands-on practice with a range of tools in the areas of:
    • Self-awareness and reflection
    • Professional development and impact
    • Strategic relationship building
    • Developing and delivering a compelling narrative regarding one’s professional accomplishments and vision
    • Negotiating for yourself at work
    • Peer coaching

While concepts and tools discussed during UC WI may be applied to leadership or management roles within UC, it is not a leadership or management development program. If this is an area of interest, contact your local learning and development team to learn more about leadership or management development programs offered at each location.

The ideal participant:

  • Is mid-career faculty, academic personnel and staff from campuses, health centers, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Office of the President
  • Has demonstrated potential for advancement or career growth
  • Supports woman-identified professionals and seeks to learn concepts that improve their effectiveness at work and hear about the career journeys of established UC leaders

Program overview

Six cohorts of 30 participants each with representatives from every UC location, come together for four interactive, all-day sessions, jointly led by a Coro Northern California facilitator and a UC Facilitator. UC facilitators are past graduates of the program who share their experience and expertise and add a UC perspective.

Program outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Advocate for their own needs in the workplace
  • Build strategic relationships
  • Demonstrate their value to the organization by coaching others
  • Actively communicate their value to the organization
  • Demonstrate an increased awareness of diverse UC career paths

Program arc

UC WI relies on experiential learning and focuses on four key areas of discovery:

  • Understanding Ourselves and Others & Coro Tools
  • The Power of Strategic Relationships
  • The Power of Informal Negotiations
  • Putting it All Together

More detailed information about specific content will be provided during the first session.

Nomination process overview

Participants are either nominated by their manager or may self-nominate. Each location is allotted a specific number of seats in each cohort to ensure systemwide representation. Each UC location manages their own nomination process to align with the systemwide nomination timeline.

The 2024/2025 program nomination process is expected to take place in spring of 2024. Additional information may be found within the 2024/2025 UC WI Program Information and Nomination Process (pdf).

If you are interested in enrolling in UC WI, contact your location's Human Resources Training/Learning and Development team for assistance.