Kayla Gross, Special Projects Manager, presented on challenges facing women in the workplace and tools for navigating them at the 2019 UW-Madison Women & Leadership Symposium with Sheridan Blanford, Director of Inclusion for University of Wisconsin Athletics.
Concurrently pursuing a master’s degree in Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, Gross’ research interest on women who work in male-dominated spaces stems from her professional experiences working in intercollegiate athletics. Prior to joining the Wei LAB, she served as the Director of Beyond Football at Oregon State University. In this capacity she was responsible for developing the strategic vision and implementation of a donor-funded initiative to develop the personal and professional competencies of football student-athletes and improve post-graduation outcomes. Prior to joining Oregon State University, Gross served as the Community Relations Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department where she played a predominant role in the creation of the Badgers Give Back program that provides volunteer opportunities to UW-Madison student-athletes.
Utilizing research on diversity/inclusion and female leadership and lessons from their personal experiences creating and leading programs in intercollegiate athletics, Gross and Blanford (1) identified challenges facing women in the workplace, (2) outlined the competencies and tools women can employ to navigate the challenges and opportunities of male dominated workplaces, and (3) discussed ways organizations can best support female employees and foster an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment across all industries and sectors.