Skip to Content

Celebrating Women's History Month

Back to News Listing

Author(s)

University of Denver

Letter  •

Dear DU Community,

Every March, we celebrate Women’s History Month in recognition of women’s service and contributions to the continued progress of humankind. This March, we are particularly indebted to and grateful for women as our fatigued nation continues its slow progression away from the grips of a deadly health crisis.

Consider, for instance, that more than 75% of all healthcare staff today are women. And women hold more than two-thirds of front-line service sector positions. There should be no question in anybody’s mind that, when we finally emerge from this pandemic, it will be due in no small part to the service and sacrifice of women.

Even as we acknowledge the work of women in these vital roles, it is worthwhile for us to question why certain workforces are disproportionately made up of women while others are not. We should wonder why, while women make up 85% of our nursing staff, they comprise only a third of our nation’s doctors. We should question why only 37, or roughly 8%, of Fortune 500 CEOs are women when women make of 50% of the workforce in the United States. We should ask why K-12 teachers (of which 70% are women) are some of the lowest paid full-time professionals in the United States. We should consider why, in the year 2020, when we calculated the median income, women still earn 81 cents for every dollar a man earns. And we should reflect on why, a century after the passage of the 19th Amendment prohibiting voting discrimination based on sex, the United States has yet to elect someone other than a man to the highest office in the land. As a community dedicated to the public good, these are issues we should consider and critique in our thinking and practice.

Today, many women have risen in their chosen career fields despite several systemic barriers. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and German Chancellor Angela Merkel serve as heads of state. Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai are regarded as leaders in environmental and social justice. Tony Award winner Sara Ramirez and Emmy-nominated Laverne Cox are reshaping the entertainment industry as they advocate for immigration, LGBTQ+ rights and education reform. Sara Seager and Tiera Guinn are leading our exploration of space. Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier recently earned the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their revolutionary genome-editing method. These are women whose extraordinary contributions have changed the way we live. As people, and as an institution, it is our responsibility to remove remaining obstacles, so more women can succeed. In our communities, in our homes and in our work places, we all benefit from the creativity, talents and dedication of women.

As you go through this month celebrating the contributions of women to the public good and our society’s wellbeing, we encourage you to join us at some of these events. I encourage us all to continue the conversation about the role of women in historical and contemporary life as we build a more equitable and just society.

In peace and solidarity,

Jeremy Haefner, chancellor

Mary Clark, provost and executive vice chancellor

Todd Adams, vice chancellor of student affairs

Leslie Brunelli, senior vice chancellor for business and financial affairs

Paul Chan, vice chancellor for legal affairs and general counsel

Vivek Choudhury, dean, Daniels College of Business

Karlton Creech, vice chancellor for athletics, recreation and Ritchie Center operations

Andrei Kutateladze, dean, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Michael Levine-Clark, dean, University Libraries

Jerron Lowe, interim vice chancellor for human resources

Fritz Mayer, dean, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Amanda McBride, dean, Graduate School of Social Work

Michael McGuire, dean, University College

Daniel McIntosh, dean, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Renea Morris, vice chancellor for marketing and communications

Nancy Nicely, senior vice chancellor and chief of staff

Stephanie O’Malley, associate vice chancellor for government and community relations

Valerie Otten, vice chancellor for university advancement

Karen Riley, dean, Morgridge College of Education

Todd Rinehart, vice chancellor for enrollment

Tom Romero, interim vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion

Michelle Sabick, dean, Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

Shelly Smith-Acuña, dean, Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Bruce Smith, dean, Sturm College of Law

Gary Starling, interim vice chancellor and chief information technology officer

Tali Thomason, chair, Women's Coalition

The First of Women: The Urgency for Change in Institutional Leadership

Join us for a Heritage Months initiative in partnership with C+V

On the 20th of January 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first Women to hold the second highest position in the government of the United States of America. A century and half have gone by since the Seneca Falls Convention where women first advanced what was then a radical notion that American women were autonomous individuals with political power. However, even now women are still achieving “firsts” in various disciplines, leadership, and industry. In this conversation we ask some trailblazing women who are firsts in their positions in institutional leadership about the experience of shattering glass ceilings and the continuing struggle to shed patriarchal systems of thinking and practice.

Panelists coming soon! 

Register Here 

Visit the Heritage Months Website

The University of Denver is committed to living our values of diversity and inclusion. Our community and institutional success is dependent on how well we engage and embrace the rich diversity of our faculty, staff, administrators, students and alumni.

With that shared value in mind and in partnership with Human Resources & Inclusive Community (HRIC), the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), The Cultural Center, and the Staff of Color Association (SOCA), we will celebrate the identities and histories of members of the DU and world communities. Each month we will feature a staff or faculty member and a student in recognition of each heritage month, along with an event to honor one another and learn about our unique differences.

Learn More

Propose a Program or Highlight a DU Community Member for Heritage Months

The University of Denver is committed to living our values of diversity and inclusion. We recognize that our community and institutional success is dependent on how well we engage and embrace the rich diversity of our faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni. With that shared value in mind, throughout this academic year, we plan to publish a series of articles to celebrate cultural and ethnic heritage months. In partnership with Human Resources & Inclusive Community (HRIC), the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), The Cultural Center, Community + Values (C+V), and the Staff of Color Association (SOCA), we will feature a staff or faculty member and a student in recognition of each heritage month, along with an event to honor one another and learn about our unique differences.

Also, if you are aware of any events that are happening on campus or have an idea for Heritage Month events, we'd love to hear about them and promote them campus-wide.

Share Your Perspective