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CSUSB's History Towards Gender Equity

In 2014, former Associate Provost Jenny Zorn, who now serves as Provost at Humboldt State University, invited on campus women leaders to a series of “brown bag” lunch sessions aimed at providing a safe space to have conversations about work-life balance, the next job opportunity, promotions or any topic that may have been of interest to the group.  What started as an informal gathering of a dozen or so women became a more organized group, which planned a series of workshops offered throughout the year that empowered women on campus including faculty, staff and administrators.  These efforts culminated with a meeting in the Spring of 2014 and 2015.  The keynote speakers included Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson, President of St. Mary’s University and Dr. Karen Haynes, President of CSU San Marcos along with a panel discussion led by women college Deans.  Dr. Laurie Smith and Olivia Rosas led this women’s group when Dr. Zorn was appointed Provost at Humboldt State. In 2018, with the support of Cesar Portillo, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, several women on campus reconvened and decided to continue gender equity advocacy efforts and invite students,  future leaders to attend the conference and participate in the planning of this first annual campus wide Women's Leadership Conference. 

We continue to face many challenges but we also have a lot to be proud and celebrate.  It is important to recognize the work of influential women who have made a difference and changed the world, our nation and our communities.  Women continue to rise to top roles because of their hard-work, integrity and desire to make a difference.  But most importantly, they lead the way because they did not allow societal constructs to limit their potential. 

In the CSU almost 50% of the Presidents are women.  Just this year, Adela De La Torre was appointed President of San Diego State University she will be the 9th president of the campus and the first Latina to hold this position at San Diego State. At CSUSB, Dr. Shari McMahan is the first woman to be Vice President and Provost at CSUSB.  Within the Associated Students Incorporated we have now seen 14 women presidents leading students!