Loyola’s Women’s Leadership Academy focuses on empowerment


Eryn Loria, a Mass Communication sophomore and employee of Loyola’s Women’s Resource Center works in the offices located in Marquette Hall. Loria said she believes the Women’s Leadership Academy and the Women’s Resource Center are great places on Loyola’s campus for promoting gender equality. Photo credit: Gabrielle Korein

Gabrielle Korein

The Women’s Leadership Academy, a continuing education program run by Loyola, offers classes and workshops to all women looking to better themselves and become more competitive candidates in their career fields.

The Women’s Leadership Academy launched in April of 2019 and is led by Loyola’s first woman president, Tania Tetlow. The program includes 10 class sessions, monthly one-on-one mentorship meetings, small growth group meetings, individual development exercises and peer networking.

In its first couple of years, the academy has been met with success, with more than one-third of its latest cohort of women accomplishing significant career goals with promotions and raises during the course of the program.

Michelle Reinhart, the director of the Women’s Leadership Academy, said students hearing from other women about things they’ve overcome is impactful for those taking academy courses.

“They learn a lot about resiliency which is so important especially for women,” Reinhart said.

Academy members are leaders who are motivated to “reflect upon and improve upon their personal leadership skills,” according to a university press release regarding the academy.

Loyola said the academy pushes students to become more impactful, committed and dedicated to top performance “without sacrificing the well-being of themselves, their teams or their families.”

Reinhart said many women try to balance their personal goals or their goals of motherhood with their professional goals and that the academy teaches those involved how to balance everything.

Eryn Loria, mass Communication sophomore and employee of Loyola’s Women’s Resource Center, said the academy is a valuable resource for women in the community who are exploring leadership positions.

“It is able to provide these women with a valuable community of women with the same intentions,” Loria said.

Rather than targeting a specific industry or field, the academy caters to women from all industries. In its previous sessions, the academy has hosted medical professionals such as Mary Killackey, chair of the Department of Surgery at the Tulane University School of Medicine, and news professionals such as Betsy Fisher-Martin, an Emmy-winning journalist and former TV news executive at NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Many women involved in the program reported having gained life skills to help them excel in their career fields.

Heide Winston, executive director and editor-in-chief of Geaux Girl! magazine, said she has so much admiration and appreciation for women in the program.

“WLA is both a stimulating and supportive space that has allowed me to learn from and relate to women from different walks of life and career backgrounds. My fellow WLA participants and the guest speakers have provided me with insights and inspiration to be a more self-assured and impactful leader,” Winston said in an academy testimonial.