Hosted by HERS and co-facilitated by Academic Search, Inc, Next Stages, Next Steps was created to give women the tools they need to secure top-level positions in higher education. Recent research shows that women held only 30% of president roles at the nation’s colleges and universities. Next Stages, Next Steps is our response to narrow that equity gap.


Senior-level search processes are significantly different and more demanding than other hiring processes, not least because they are often conducted by an outside search firm. Academic search firms discard cover letters they feel are templated, have different expectations for administrative CVs, and put applicants through a demanding multi-stage interview process.

We have partnered with Academic Search, Inc.—itself an outside search firm—to give workshop participants an insiders’ look at what each top-level position entails, how the senior level search process works, as well as one-on-one coaching to ensure their candidacy’s serious consideration. Participants learn how best to:

  • Prepare job application materials that best demonstrate their qualification for the job
  • Tackle search committee interviews and campus visits with supreme confidence
  • Expand and activate professional networks to advocate on their behalf

And unlike other one-on-one coaching options, Next Stages, Next Steps is not only less expensive, it introduces you to a cohort of similarly go-getting women. Long after the workshop wraps up, alumnae can tap into their cohort for networking, feedback on job application materials, and inspiration.

Am I Qualified for a Top-Level Position?

Don’t fool yourself into believing you’re just not qualified enough for the role. You may have heard the oft-quoted stat that men apply to jobs when they meet 60% of the qualifications, while women only apply when they meet nearly 100% (Hewlett Packard). Academic Search, Inc. says, in their experience, it’s closer to 40-45% for men and 85-95% for women.

Further studies by the Harvard Business Review have shown that, contrary to public opinion, this gap does not reflect a lack of confidence on the part of women, but a misunderstanding of how the hiring process works. As Tara Mohr of HBR writes, “[Women don’t] see the hiring process as one where advocacy, relationships, or a creative approach to framing one’s expertise could overcome not having the skills and experiences outlined in the job qualifications.”

The Next Stages, Next Steps workshop is about mastering the art of using all three to position yourself as an exceptionally strong candidate, even if you don’t meet 100% of the qualifications. If you’re ready to take your leadership to the highest level, HERS is excited to provide all the practical knowledge you need to secure that senior-level promotion.

Who Should Attend

Next Stages, Next Steps invites women leaders applying to directorships, deanships, vice presidencies, provost roles, and comparable leadership positions at colleges and universities. The ideal candidate for the program has a significant amount of experience in higher education and is ready to participate in search processes typically conducted by outside search firms.

Where and When

January 16 – 18, 2020

Residence Inn by Marriott, Phoenix Downtown

Phoenix, AZ