The Center for Women's Leadership serves women across Oregon. While housed under the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, the impact of the Center can be seen far beyond the urban campus.

The Center for Women’s Leadership believes equitable leadership will lead to better solutions for the complex problems vexing our world. With an average 15% of women in leadership across all sectors, we know increasing women’s involvement will create lasting and necessary change.  We envision an Oregon where women have equal representation in leadership positions and lead confidently in their chosen fields. The Center aims to be an advocate, an authority, and a resource that provides women with the knowledge and networks needed to take on leadership roles throughout Oregon.

Our Mission

Our Mission: Through dedicated outreach, education and skill training, the Center for Women's Leadership empowers women and girls in Oregon to embrace their voice, lead confidently, and change the narrative of their leadership. Our ethos and programming honors and respects the intersecting identities and leadership journeys represented in our communities. 

Our Core Values

In early 2019, we revisited and re-committed to our core values. What unfolded was an intentional process to engage with our community in order to best represent what we value most.

Our core values: 


Women are great leaders.
We support women to lead and walk in their power. 
We drive structural change.


We represent diverse leaders throughout Oregon.
We elevate the voices of those who are traditionally unheard.
We leverage our differences to build strength and power.


We build community with intention.
We develop enduring relationships and a deep sense of belonging.
We are a bold force for personal and community transformation. 

We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.

— Beyoncé

What We've Achieved

  • Last year alone, the CWL served women and girls from 40 high schools and 21 colleges/universities around the state!
  • On average, 16% of our annual new leadership Oregon cohort are mothers.
  • Each new leadership Oregon cohort has participants ranging in ages from 18-55+.
  • The 2017 New Leadership Oregon cohort was composed of 58% women of color.
  • Interests from this year's cohort include biomedical engineering, African American history, political science, business management, and mathematics.