The Mission

To impact both individuals and organizations at various developmental stages in order to nurture meaningful experiences for women…

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  • The WLP Full Mission Statement
    • The Mission of the Harvard-Radcliffe Women’s Leadership Project is to impact both individuals and organizations at various developmental stages in order to nurture meaningful experiences for women: participating in the personal and professional development of women, providing opportunities and access to critical resources, strengthening the network of supportive and positive role models, and encouraging open discussion about the complex issues and difficult choices that many women face. The WLP aims to foster recognition that female leadership development at large starts from individual’s initiative to take command of his or her personal, intellectual, professional, and social growth. 
  • A Brief History
    • The Women’s Leadership Project was founded in 1988 by former undergraduates Amy Zegart and Meredith Lazo. Noting the absence of women in top-level positions in extra-curricular organizations and the unequal participation of women in class discussions, the founders were inspired to address the scarcity of female leadership at Harvard-Radicleffe college. Zegart and Lazo responded by organizing the first Women’s Leadership Conference in the hope that such an investment would eventually increase women’s involvement in public life.

      Believing that lasting change required institutional support as well as student initiative, the Project’s founders approached three cornerstone institutions of Harvard University for sponsorship of their endeavor. Harvard College, because of its focus on undergraduate education; Radcliffe College, because of its dedication to the advancement of women; and the Institutide of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, because of its commitment to involve undergraduates in leadership in the public sphere.

  • Who Are We Today and What We Do
    • Though campus dynamics have changed considerably since 1988 when the organization was founded, the Project still strives to foster the effective leadership of a diverse group of people interested in women’s leadership while building community among undergraduates. In following the mission of the WLP, the Project is devoted to developing and improving leadership skills in women, fostering their future careers, and facilitate communication and relationships between women on Harvard’s campus. Today the Project is a powerful symbol of women’s achievement on the Harvard College campus. It has spawned a mentoring network for first-year women and a weekly email compilation of news, events, and fellowships as a service to nearly 1,000 undergraduate women and faculty.

      During the term-time, the WLP focuses on the Project aspect hosting speaker and panelist events, service days, and monthly lunches – all of which bring together different women leaders across Harvard’s campus.

      In the summer, the WLP focuses energy on the Conference, the oldest initiative of the organization.The week-long event brings together a select group of 35 undergraduates along with prominent women in politics, media, health, academia, science, business, and public service. Through panels, interactive workshops, and discussions, the Conference seeks to enhance women’s effectiveness as leaders.

      Each member of the WLP is part of a meaningful, year-round organization with a twenty-five-year history and strong on-campus and alumnae support.