Supporting Women’s Leadership in Education

16th-womens-symposium-logoAt the close of the 2017-2018 academic school year, more than 30 women leaders from international schools in nearly 20 countries assembled for the annual Mary Anne Haas Women’s Symposium to discuss the context for women leadership in international schools, network, and further their own professional development in a stimulating series of workshops and conversations.

New this year, was an added focus on social media activity, as well as the recently released video montage, in an effort to spread the word far beyond this group setting, to the larger international education community, including young women and rising leaders.

Now in its sixteenth year, this annual symposium helps advance women educators in leadership in international schools – as well as provide important role models to future generations of women leaders. Little data exists on the diversity of international school leaders, but US data from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) suggests that while women and educators of color are increasingly assuming a variety of leadership roles in schools, still only about a third of US private school heads are female and only seven percent are educators of color. In a presentation on the leadership pipeline, Liz Duffy, President of International Schools Services, stressed that, “It’s important that the leadership of international schools reflects the increasing diversity of students and families in those schools, especially since many studies have shown that diverse teams make better decisions and such teams provide effective role models for all students.

The symposium was held at the Chauncey Center in Princeton, NJ on June 17-19, 2018 and is supported through a generous grant from the Office of Overseas Schools at the US Department of State, as well as key sponsors. The 2018 participants now join a dynamic alumnae group of nearly 400 women, who have served as mentors, peer advisors, and motivators for a much larger cohort of female educators and students. Key organizer of the symposium, Beth Pfannl, ISS VP of Administrative Searches and Governance Services, said, “At 92 years young, Mary Anne Haas has been a wonderful mentor and dear friend to so many individuals, but now, looking at all of the symposium delegates and their positive energy, I can see the empowerment multiplying and spreading throughout the world. This event is a true catalyst and I am thrilled to be a part of it.” #issedu #ISSwomenlead #Wlead


Sponsors of the 16th Annual Mary Anne Haas Women’s Symposium

Grant: Office of Overseas Schools

Gold Level Sponsor: Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA)

Silver Level Sponsors: George Mason University; East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS); AAIE Institute

Bronze Level Sponsors: Association of American Schools in South America(AASSA); CSDA Architects; Frosch Travel; John Farrell & Taylor, LLC; College Board; Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA CESS); Mediterranean Association of International Schools (MAIS); and Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA)