A Conference Series for Women in Higher Education

HIGHER is a professional development conference series that empowers women in higher education to achieve their career goals and support one another along the way. Held in cities across the U.S., HIGHER equips women with the resources and relationships to reach senior leadership positions. Attendees enjoy a full day and walk away with:

  • An expanded local and national network of supportive women
  • Increased clarity on your professional strengths and expertise
  • Inspiration for your role from conversions with your peers
  • A plan for how to take the next step in your career


While opportunities for women in higher education are increasing, the reality is that industry leadership remains predominantly male. Today, 70% of college presidents are male, 30% are women, and only 5% are women of color (ACE). Wisr started HIGHER to empower women to build their careers and shift this balance — not just at the presidential level but at all levels of leadership throughout higher education.

Don’t Miss Out

HIGHER conferences are limited to 55 participants to ensure each person is able to build meaningful connections and get the most out of the event. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, sign up to be the first to know about upcoming HIGHER events at the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women.









Move Your Career Forward Like These Participants

“The HIGHER Summit was an excellent way to meet other women in higher education. We were able to brainstorm solutions together and left feeling so empowered! Three of our women leaders came as individuals and left as a team.”

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

“It was refreshing and inspiring to spend the day with a group of smart, strong women on similar paths. The conversations were relevant and helpful. I feel stronger knowing that I found my group and look forward to keeping in touch with everyone.”

Executive Director of Alumni Relations

“There was space to be authentic about the challenges we were facing and how others had overcome those challenges. I was with women who were already education leaders. It reminded me there is hope for the future if we work together.”

Director of Corporate Relations

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will be attending HIGHER?

Each HIGHER conference brings together roughly 50 women who work at nearby institutions of higher learning. We welcome women in faculty and staff positions across all higher education areas and levels to join in this close-knit professional development experience. In 2019, more than 1,000 women from 300+ institutions attended HIGHER in cities across the U.S. While a majority of attendees were Dean or Director level, attendees more junior in their careers also found the conference beneficial for better understanding various career paths in higher education and connecting with similarly ambitious peers. Wisr welcomes participants of diverse backgrounds, including those of diverse gender identities. We are committed to championing the careers and personal well-being of all women, including cisgender and transgender individuals. When we use the term “women,” it is wholeheartedly inclusive of transgender women.

What topics will we discuss at HIGHER?

The conference will cover issues affecting career advancement opportunities for women in higher education, including negotiation skills, bias and discrimination, pay equity, mentorship and sponsorship, networking, confidence and imposter syndrome, and more. The program is not designed as a lecture. Rather, sessions are highly interactive, allowing attendees to guide the conversation.

Is there space for conversation around intersectionality?

Absolutely. While HIGHER is organized around the larger umbrella of women in higher education, attendees are encouraged to share their unique intersectional perspectives. This is an opportunity to inform, listen, and learn from one another, even if our experiences may differ.

Keep Up with HIGHER

If you have additional questions about HIGHER, the transition, or future events, fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch.

See how Wisr can create meaningful connections on your campus