University of Minnesota: Connecting rural women leaders

(photo courtesy of University of Minnesota)

EXCERPT: “The importance of connecting and empowering women leaders across Greater Minnesota has perhaps never been so evident as it is today. ‘Women’s leadership is not just a ‘nice-to-have,’ we are finding it’s a matter of survival for our small towns,’ says Kate Stower, a recent graduate from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Stower has been working to strengthen capacity among rural women leaders with the nonprofit 100 Rural Women, the University of Minnesota Extension Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs. Today, fewer than 18 percent of all city council, county board, and mayoral positions in Minnesota are held by women. ‘When we think of revitalizing small communities with dwindling and aging populations, it will rely on having more women in leadership … who can represent the changing needs of their communities,’ Stower says. Stower, who grew up in rural Wisconsin, recognized early on that her heart is in rural America. She enrolled in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs graduate program with the goal of supporting the vitality and resilience of small towns.” FULL STORY: