Cardinal Women*

group photo of Cardinal Women holding signs reading strong, change-making, powerful, strategic, innovative, trailblazing, significant, and courageous


The Cardinal Women* program is a growth opportunity specifically for women* who are Iowa State University Faculty and Staff. Participants engage in discussions designed to foster leadership development, goal orientation and purpose in their personal and professional spheres.

Since it began in 2018, Cardinal Women* has impacted Iowa State University through the alumni from all areas of our organization who participate in the program.  Tera Lawson and Dr. Denise Williams-Klotz, co-founders and co-directors of Cardinal Women*, have worked to create a program that provides space for conversation, tools for development, and a community where Iowa State leaders can thrive.


Why the asterisk?

This group is open to faculty and staff that identify as women*. This includes women who are cisgender, trans, of trans experience, etc. We recognize that gender is complex and we also welcome individuals who identify as gender non-binary or gender queer who seek this community.


From Participants

“I don't even know how to describe what I learned from Cardinal Women*. In my mind I wanted you to tell me exactly what I needed to do to improve and be a better leader, etc.

What I got was something else entirely. You didn't tell me the exact steps of how to get there, but you encouraged me to grow on my own so that I just WAS a better leader, had more confidence, KNEW and understood myself on a completely different level.” - Kristi Elmore, 2019 Cardinal Women* Cohort




Applications to participate in the 2022 Cardinal Women* cohort are currently being reviewed.  Applicants will be notified of their status on July 1st.

Thank you to our Cardinal Women* Sponsors

Office of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs | Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost | Office of the Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance | Information Technology