The ACE Women’s Network is a national system of networks within each state, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia with the goal of advancing and supporting women in higher education. Each state network is led by a state coordinator who works with institutional representatives and at least one presidential sponsor to develop programs that identify, develop, encourage, advance, link, and support (IDEALS) women in higher education careers within that state.
The state networks are linked to one another through their connection with the Inclusive Excellence Group and the ACE Women’s Network Executive Council, a group of senior women executives from across the country who serve as both mentors to the state coordinators and as advisers to ACE on the overall functioning of the ACE Women’s Network. State coordinators also benefit from the mentorship and advice from college and university presidents and chancellors who have agreed to serve as presidential sponsors.
The ACE Women’s Network facilitates the networking of women interested in pursuing leadership opportunities in higher education. A four-part structure — Network Executive Council, independent, state-based networks with state coordinators, presidential sponsors, and institutional representatives — facilitates these connections, allows for sharing of best practices, particularly at the State Coordinators Annual Conference, and enables local leadership training by the state networks.
In 1977, with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, ACE launched the ACE National Identification Program (NIP), which is now the ACE Women’s Network. Through the NIP, ACE sought to gain a better understanding of and address the needs of women in higher education careers in addition to supporting their professional development and advancement. This mission is still relevant today, and our networks across the country continue to support it.