Skip to main content

About the Institute


The Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership fosters women’s advancement through education, advocacy, community‐building and the collaborative creation of new knowledge. We believe gender equity is central to the common good, and are committed to developing leaders in the Augustinian tradition of self‐understanding in the pursuit of a just and peaceful world.


The Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership will be nationally recognized as a premier organization known for its groundbreaking scholarship, innovative programs and effectiveness in advancing women as leaders. The Institute will create awareness, inspire actions and develop opportunities for Villanovans to work together as a driving force for gender equity.

To that end:

  • We will build a vibrant interdisciplinary research environment to engage faculty and students in scholarship related to women’s leadership and the broader field of Gender and Women’s Studies, which will lead to transformative thinking and inform policy change.

  • We will establish opportunities for lifelong skills development that position Villanova women to achieve leadership success and empower both women and men to enact social change.

  • We will create a climate that fosters new opportunities and connections within Villanova and the broader community in order to mentor, network, exchange knowledge and inspire the development of women leaders.

  • We will cultivate an environment in which Villanovans speak out to challenge gender-based assumptions and advocate for policy changes, leading to a better and more equal society.
The McNulty Institute is open to all and engages individuals across the gender spectrum.


Guiding Principles of Leadership

The Institute uses the following guiding principles to aid in the understanding of leadership through a gender lens. This allows us to move from a focus on positional leadership, where women have been historically underrepresented, to a broader experience.

Impact: A strong effect on someone or something. Effects on others can be measured in many ways, whether in changes in a system, an organization, or individuals' outcomes.

Influence: The capacity to shape the character, development, or behavior of someone or something. a sphere of influence can be as small as a family unit or group of friends, to as large as a culture or global organizations.  

Change agency: Promoting and enabling change to happen within any group or organization. Some leaders recognize that change may not happen directly from their own actions, but rather from those they have empowered to make decisions, lead, and be the change they wish to see in the world.

Equity: The quality of being fair or impartial, free from bias or favoritism. It is justice according to fairness-- especially as distinguished from the mechanical application of rules.

Our Space:

The Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women's Leadership is located in Tolentine 203.
Keeping with our mission to foster women’s advancement through connections, community-building, dialogue and the collaborative creation of new knowledge, all are  welcome to utilize this space to do work, to study, to hold informal gatherings and more! The space features work stations, flexible furnishings, a conference room, and stocked kitchen.

Two additional features include: a Care Closet of feminine and personal hygiene products for those that lack access or are in a quick need and a Little Free Library with books on gender equity and leadership (both fiction and non-fiction). In keeping with the Little Free Library tradition, individuals are encouraged to “Take a Book, Share a Book.”

If you would like to reserve the space for a formal meeting or gathering, please email