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About NEW Leadership Oregon

NEW Leadership Oregon is the award-winning women's leadership development program housed at the Center for Women's Leadership at Portland State University. Open to college women enrolled at any college in the state of Oregon, NEW Leadership Oregon runs an inclusive women-centered leadership program that educates and encourages outstanding college women to develop paths towards leadership.

Victoria Lara, Founder of Lara Media Services, has spoken at both our Girls: Oregon, Action, Leadership, Service Summit and NEW Leadership Oregon program about her experience as a communications leader. On the final day of this year's program she surprised this year's class, including her employee Karla Andrade (highlighted in video), by coming in to tape the final moments of the program. Thank you for creating this testament to the power of women’s leadership development!



NEW Leadership Oregon teaches leadership through action. Participants:

  • Practice public speaking, planning, organizing, and networking to address real social problems.
  • Draw on the expertise of seasoned coaches and the experiences of women leaders in government, business, science, and the community.
  • Learn a set of skills designed specifically to prepare college women for public leadership.

NEW Leadership Oregon's ongoing program starts with an intensive, six-day, residential leadership training, specifically designed to introduce Oregon's college women to opportunities for leadership. In addition, we have a September Training Day to address issues such as wage negotiation, board service, and career enhancement. We also offer ongoing networking, mentoring and educational opportunities. By participating in the NEW Leadership Oregon program, college women find out why and how to develop their own leadership skills through interaction with Oregon's past and present women officeholders, business leaders, policy specialists, and activists. Hands-on skills-building workshops teach women to lead by taking action.


Women's involvement in elective office, business, media, law, public policy making, and all aspects of leadership is a matter of justice and equity and is imperative for a vital democracy. In order to solve the world's most critical problems it is imperative that we have everybody at the table. 

Congress: According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, Women hold 104, or 19.4%, of the 535 seats in the US Congress. Women hold 20, or 20%, of the 100 seats in the Senate and 84, or 19.4%, of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. 

State Legislature: According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, 1,786, or 24.2%, of the 7,383 state legislators in the United States are women. Women hold 435, or 22.1%, of the 1,972 state senate seats and 1,351, or 25%, of the 5,411 state house seats. Since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has increased more than fivefold.

Business: In 2014, women held only 4.8% of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 5.1% of Fortune 1000 CEO positions. In 2013, women of color held only 3.2% of Fortune 500 board seats (Catalyst).

Media: In 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up 38.5% of people in the news analysts, reporters and correspondents category. Women made up just 23.3% of top-level news media management positions in 2010, according to the IWMF Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media.

Law: The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that women made up 33.1% of all lawyers in 2013. According to the American bar association, of female lawyers in the private sector, 45% were associates and only 19.9% were partners. Only 4% of the partners at the country’s 200 largest law firms were women.

Technology: According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, in 2013, women made up 26% of the computing workforce and held only 9% of management positions. While women earned 57% of all undergraduate degrees in 2012, only 18% received degrees in Computer and Information Sciences. This percentage is down from 37% in 1985. 

Summary: According to Judith Warner of the Center for American Progress, "Women have outnumbered men on college campuses since 1988, they have earned at least a third of law degrees since 1980, were fully a third of medical school students by 1990, and have outnumbered men in earning undergraduate business degrees since 2002... [However,] in a broad range of fields, their presence in top leadership positions—as equity law partners, medical school deans, and corporate executive officers—remains stuck at a mere 10 to 20 percent. Their 'share of voice'—the average proportion of their representation on op-ed pages and corporate boards, as TV pundits, and in Congress—is just 15 percent. In fact, it’s now estimated that, at the current rate of change, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in leadership roles in our country."