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Global Women of Color Mentorship Initiative

Women of color on staff at Cornell face unique challenges. The Global Women of Color Mentorship Initiative (GWCMI) is a new program that fosters a supportive environment bringing together peers and mentors. GWCMI encourages career advancement and retention, enhances campus diversity, and enriches quality of life. We invite women of color and those that supervise or work with them  to join us!

Applications closed on November 30.

Three women working together around a laptop.

Personal identity | Professional integrity | Vocational vitality

GWCMI addresses the following goals:

  1. Prepares women of color on staff at Cornell for career advancement and leadership
  2. Aligns with the university's goals and priorities
  3. Fosters significant, substantive, and long-term effects
  4. Supports women's issues and advances Cornell's founding commitment to inclusion, focusing on gender equality in various academic and professional fields

About the Program

GWCMI is funded by a Frank H.T. Rhodes Leadership grant from the President’s Council of Cornell Women. The Frank H.T. Rhodes grants provide support for women’s issues and gender equality at Cornell. The program will advance Cornell’s retention of women of color on staff by enrolling women of color and staff supporting the career advancement of women of color, into a year-long mentorship program to foster an environment that offers support, encourages retention and career enhancement, enhances campus diversity, and enriches quality of life at Cornell. The program draws on the expertise of staff across Cornell.

Women of color are underrepresented at Cornell, face unique challenges in the workplace, and often leave the university within a few years. Retention efforts require support for women of color, and those that supervise or work with them, through programs such as this that offer mentorship and guidance for career advancement.

Our no-cost program will be informed by principles and practices of Circles of Trust®, characterized by the intentional preparation of mentors, retreats that bookend peer mentoring circles and guidelines for engagement to foster a trustworthy space for shared exploration. This unique cohort approach will offer opportunities for mentees to explore how they can best bring their gifts and skills to their work, as well as how to fully engage in their work while remaining true to themselves, as they renew personal identity, professional integrity, and vocational vitality in a supportive environment with others. 


The program targets women of color who are full-time employees on staff at Cornell, with at least one year of service, and who intend to progress within their careers at Cornell. Participants can be from any job family or level. While this program was designed with women of color in mind, we understand that there may be those on staff who work with or provide support or supervision to women of color who may find value in the program. We applaud your investment in understanding more about career advancement from a woman of color’s perspective and encourage you to participate in the program as available space allows.

We welcome staff participants of all ages, gender identities, races, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientation, or other dimensions of diversity.

Program Schedule

  • January 18 and 19, 2022: introductory virtual retreat
  • Monthly Peer Mentoring Circles February 11, March 11, April 15, and May 13 (90-minute meetings)
  • June 2 and 3: closing retreat (we hope that this will be in-person!)
  • July to December: series of informal networking events and opportunities to gather, and workshops


Reach out to Nishi Dhupa, associate vice provost for international affairs. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2021.

Apply Today