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A Message from Dean Ruger

Despite marked progress, in our nation’s tripartite federal governmental structure, women and women of color are underrepresented in positions of power. As of 2019, in the Executive Branch, the United States has never had a female president or vice-president. In Congress, 23.7 percent of the 535 members are women. And on the Supreme Court, while one-third of justices are women, less than one percent of all the justices have been female since the Court’s inception. McKinsey’s 2019 Gender Parity report released this week shows that the overall representation of women in C- Suite is far from equal. About one in five C-Suite executives is a woman and one in 25 C- Suite executives is a woman of color.

While many studies have explored why diversity in leadership matters, the students in the class on “Women, Law, and Leadership” have gone deeper into this analysis to examine this question through interviews and women’s lived experiences. This will help to reframe the conversation on diversity and leadership and to guide more equal policies in the workplace that support both women and men.

I congratulate our students and the women who have forged paths and blazed trails in ways that inspire our students to lead in the legal profession and in public life.