In general, the number of women associated with education sector and the number of women in leadership positions is gradually rising in Pakistan. Several women-only universities have opened, a few led by women Vice Chancellors. However, there remains a gender equality gap in the leadership positions. HESSA women leadership program is a customized extended training platform for Pakistan’s higher education sector that aims to address this gap and equip women in higher education with necessary leadership skills to help them navigate their careers. The seven-month program consists of four distinct but interrelated phases to build a pipeline of women leaders at all levels including pro-rectors, deans, department chairs, heads of student services and faculty members:

  1. In-country opening workshop
  2. Exchange visit to U.S.
  3. Online course with weekly assignments and monthly meetings with mentors
  4. In-country closing workshop and showcasing event

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a key pillar of HESSA’s implementation strategy, which guides our approach to capacity development as a cross-cutting suite of interventions and a cohesive framework for guiding project planning. This mainstreaming of EDI ensures that it is not treated as a separate activity but rather a lens through which to view all HESSA interventions. Out of the 16 partner universities, 4 are women-only universities.