/  HIGHER 2019


›››››››  2019  ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹

Presented by Wisr
Our colleges and universities have a long way to go to reach gender parity in higher education administration. Report after report demonstrates that while women tend to experience gender parity in lower-level managerial roles, higher ed leadership isn’t reflecting the kind of diverse and inclusive future the world seems to aspire to have. Women are having to “prove” themselves more so than their male counterparts before taking the chief seat. It’s time for that to change. HIGHER is a 10-city summit series aimed at equipping women in higher education administration with the tools, relationships, and confidence to thrive personally and professionally. These one-day experiences aim to be one step in the right direction toward diversifying leadership in higher education.

How HIGHER Works

We believe your experiences and perspectives matter. The HIGHER agenda is structured to provide opportunities to reflect on where you’ve come from, learn from your peers’ journeys, and collectively join forces to support women in higher education. The one-day experience will follow the same agenda across all 10 cities, though the INSPIRE speakers will vary by location.


The opening workshop will have you reflecting on key themes, turning points, and people in your career. After discovering what those experiences reveal about your values, a partner exercise will help you reimagine how you can be your best self at work, at home, and everywhere in between.


Listen to female executive leaders as they share their personal journeys. What did they wish they’d known at key milestones in their careers? What advice would they give to their younger selves? Ask the women whose roles you aspire to hold how they got there.


After uncovering the biggest barriers to success that women face, this interactive workshop will empower each and every attendee to design an actionable solution for improving support for current and future female leaders on their campuses.

What Participants Say

“The Wisr Leadership 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 and encouraged me to step back and think about my own career path in addition to managing my current role. I feel stronger knowing that I found my group and look forward to keeping in touch with everyone.”

—Executive Director of Alumni Relations

“This [summit] rose to the top! There was space to be authentic about the challenges we were facing and how others had overcome those challenges… I was in the room with women who were already higher education leaders. We weren’t talking…we were doing…together. It encouraged me that there is hope for the future if we all work together.”

—Director of Foundation & Corporate Relations

HIGHER 2019 Schedule



January 15


January 17


January 28


January 30


February 5


February 15


February 22


February 27


March 6


March 8 | International Women's Day

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is HIGHER for?

This is an event for ambitious leaders, aspiring bosses, tribe-seekers, and community-builders. HIGHER attendees represent all types of higher education institutions in the US: liberal arts colleges, research institutions, community colleges, and everything in between.

Can I invite my colleagues?

Yes! The more the merrier. In fact, several leaders at a past summit used the event as an excuse to reach out and invite peers they’d met at previous conferences, bond with new team members, and strengthen relationships with leaders across their campuses. To ensure you get the most out of the day, we recommend that your team’s VP or Director joins for the day.  There’s no cap on the number of registrants per institution, though everyone is required to register to attend.

Will this feel like another big box conference?

Absolutely not. We believe that the most impactful development experiences come when you have the chance to get to know everyone in the room, talk candidly about the challenges that are keeping you up at night, and brainstorm solutions together. You can’t do that if there are 500 people in the room. Each HIGHERsummit is intentionally capped at 50 attendees to allow for that close-knit, collaborative environment.

How much does it cost to attend?

It’s important to us that HIGHER is accessible and approachable to women of all backgrounds. Attending is free for all registrants.

What motivated Wisr to launch HIGHER?

As a (female-led) company, Wisr spent a lot of time reflecting on the state of higher education leadership. Based on our interactions while bringing Wisr to market, higher ed isn’t reflecting the kind of diverse and inclusive future the world seems to aspire to have. In our work, we consistently see equal representation of women in individual contributor or lower-level managerial roles, but more senior leadership positions often don’t reflect that diversity. Women in higher ed administration are facing barriers to rising the ranks in their institutions, and we need to do something about it.

I'm an ally of female leaders. How can I support?

Allies and champions of female leaders are critical towards enacting the change we seek. While the majority of HIGHER summits are intended for women only, HIGHER Cleveland invites allies to join us in a day of discussion around how allies in positions of authority can further promote diversity and inclusion on their teams.

Still have questions? Get in touch.

See how Wisr can create meaningful connections on your campus