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Provost Advisory Committee for Women’s Initiatives (PACWI)

PACWI serves as an advocate for women-identifying faculty, staff and graduate students at the University of South Carolina (UofSC Columbia and Palmetto College) by providing engagement and educational opportunities and creating awareness and effectuating change for benefits, pay, equality and equivalent and unimpeded opportunities at UofSC.

Membership in PACWI is open to women-identifying faculty, staff and students at the University of South Carolina (UofSC Columbia and Palmetto College). The goal is to represent a diversity of backgrounds, roles, academic disciplines and functional areas within PACWI.

PACWI also sponsors the annual Women's Leadership Institute offered in the spring to women in all higher education institutions in South Carolina.

Joan Creed, 2021-2023 Faculty Co-chair
Associate Professor, College of Nursing

Gloria Y. Washington, 2021-2023 Staff Co-chair
Instructional Designer, Center for Teaching Excellence

Open Letter on Paid Parental Leave

Read the personal stories of the women behind the “Open Letter on Paid Parental Leave” featured in The Daily Gamecock. 

I am in my third year with the university and very happily married to my partner. We were undecided about whether to have a child in the first few years of our marriage. Recently, we decided that we would like to be parents. In order to provide the care and time for bonding that I believe is necessary for a newborn, I will need to severely limit the sick and vacation time that I would normally take throughout the course of the year. My partner and I have decided to cancel vacations that we had planned to take, and will be rescheduling doctor’s appointments for early mornings and weekends where possible.  

In my office there is so much support and encouragement to take the time you need to be rested, taken care of, and happy so that when we are at work, the person we are for our students is our best self. I have loved working in an office that so explicitly encourages a healthy work-life balance, especially during remote work during the pandemic.  

Unfortunately, in order to care for the family I want in the best way I can, I must sacrifice that work-life dynamic and delay having a child for another two years while I accrue sufficient leave.  

I am a five-year university employee and two-time alumna. I’m also expecting my second child in May. 

Three weeks after I gave birth to my daughter in 2018, I received a call from HR at the university with the news I dreaded: after congratulating me, the representative informed me if I wanted to keep my pay and insurance, I would have to return to work in 3 weeks. 6 weeks after giving birth. 

The reality of this was starkly different from the theoretical planning I had done, now that I was living through new parenthood. I was still in so much pain. I was sleeping a disjointed two hours each night. My brain jockeyed between disbelief and anger; I was incapable of thinking of anything other than keeping this tiny person alive and breathing. How could anyone expect me to go back to normal a month and a half after giving birth? 

Through a flurry of calls, advocacy, and solutions from people my own office at the university (parents themselves, who knew firsthand how stressful this was), I was able to take 10 weeks. I was grateful and still am to their efforts. Even this time was—in no sense—enough. 

Meet Sarah and Catherine on The Horseshoe on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 12:00 noon


Policy Brief

Increasing representation of women in leadership positions at the University of South Carolina, October 19 Brief [pdf]

See PACWI's upcoming events

If you would like to receive notifications about future PACWI events and activities geared toward women-identifying persons at UofSC, subscribe to the PACWI Listserv®.

Strategic goals
  • Advocate for fair and equitable opportunities through awareness, engagement and education.
  • Prepare and equip women-identifying persons to achieve their personal and professional goals.
  • Engage and educate allies to promote systemic transformation.
  • Network across higher education throughout South Carolina to cultivate a supportive coalition.

Donate to PACWI

Give now to support the Provost's Advisory Committee on Women's Initiatives.

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