Council on Women

Council Logo


The Council on Women is established in Virginia Code Section 2.2-2630 as an advisory council in the Executive branch of state government. The purpose of the Council is to identify ways in which women can reach their potential and make their full contribution to society and the Commonwealth. The Council consists of 18 members from around the Commonwealth, who are appointed by the Governor, as well as one of the Governor’s Secretaries (currently the Secretary of the Commonwealth) who is an ex-officio member with full voting privileges. Members serve a term of three years and may be reappointed.

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Members of the Virginia Council on Women after the October 2016 meeting.

Powers and Duties


The Council has the powers and duties to:

  1. Determine the studies and research to be conducted by the Council;
  2. Collect and disseminate information regarding the status of women in the Commonwealth and the nation;
  3. Advise the Governor, General Assembly and the Governor’s Secretaries on matters pertaining to women in the Commonwealth and the nation;
  4. Establish and award scholarships pursuant to regulations and conditions prescribed by the Council;
  5. Review and comment on all budgets, appropriation requests and grant applications concerning the Council, prior to their submission to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources or the Governor; and
  6. Develop programs and projects on matters pertaining to women in the Commonwealth and the nation through public-private partnerships.

Members


Council Members:


Women's Healthcare Initiative

At the August 2013 meeting of the Council on Women, the Council voted to establish a subcommittee to look at the issue of women's healthcare in Virginia and develop recommendations on what our state government can do to improve access to quality healthcare.  The Council is looking forward to examining policies that will best support women and their health, their wellbeing and their families.

--Subcommittee Meeting Minutes--

STEM Essay Scholarship Contest

The purpose of the Council on Women (Council) is to help women reach their potential and maximize their contribution to society and the Commonwealth. The Council has initiated several projects to meet this goal, one being the annual essay contest for young women in high school. We believe opportunities offered to women early in life will help lead to their success as productive and resourceful citizens.

In 2012, the Council on Women kicked off their STEM Initiative and hosted the first annual STEM Essay Contest.  The Council’s intention was to award a $5,000 scholarship, provided through the fundraising efforts of the Council, to a female junior or senior planning to pursue a STEM career at an institution of higher education. The first year they exceeded their goal and distributed $10,000 in scholarships to three girls. Thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of our Council members, each year the contest has grown bigger. In 2015, the Council distributed $33,000 in scholarships to Virginia girls.

The deadline for the 2016 STEM Essay Contest has passed. The Council was thrilled to receive nearly 500 submissions from girls around the Commonwealth!   2016 STEM Essay Contest Winners will be notified March 28th, 2016.

2016 Award Recipients

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 April 20, 2016 - Council on Women Reception Flickr Album

The award recipients are as follows: 

  • Eastern Virginia/Hampton Roads: Grace Kaupas, Grassfield High School, Chesapeake, VA
  • Richmond/Central Virginia: Meredith Wilson, Douglas Freeman High School, Henrico, VA
  • Northern Virginia: Jessica Liu, Loudoun Academy of Science, Ashburn, VA
  • Southwest/Southside Virginia: Hollis Talbot Saliba, George Wythe High School, Wytheville, VA
  • Valley/Western Virginia: Cameron Kelly, Roanoke Valley Governor’s School, Roanoke, VA 

Learn about our 2016 winners, sponsors and judges here

Photos from the April 20, 2016 Council on Women Reception  

2015 Award Recipients

2015 Stem Essay Winners

2015 award recipients at a reception at the Executive Mansion with Governor McAuliffe and Secretary of Education Anne Holton (Left to Right: Anna Ruefer, Valerie Chen, Paige Haley, Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Holton, Nayla Labban, Bailey Sasseville)

Learn about our 2015 winners, sponsors and judges here 

2014 Award Recipients

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2014 Award Winners, Jennifer Louie and Melissa Angell, with Council members and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe (Left to Right: Ruth Zajur, Tracy Key, Lis Breese, Dorothy McAuliffe, Jennifer Louie, Rita Surratt, Melissa Angell, Theresa Preda)

Learn about our 2014 winners, sponsors and judges here   

2013 Award Recipients

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The 2013 STEM Essay Contest Winners (from L to R): Charlotte Keeley (3rd Place - $3,000 award); Michelle Wang (1st Place - $5,000 award); Caitlin Schoemmell (2nd Place - $4,000 award) (Photo courtesy of Rita Surratt, Council Member)

2012 Award Recipients

Winners

The 2012 STEM Essay Contest Winners (from L to R): Christina Washington (2nd Place - $3,000 award); Alisha Konst (3rd Place - $2,000 award); Caitlin Grumbling (1st Place - $5,000 award).(Photo courtesy of Rita Surratt, Council Member)

2016 STEM Essay Scholarship Contest

The Virginia Council on Women is excited to host the 5th annual STEM Essay Contest with Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe serving as Honorary Co-Chairs for the contest.

Thank you to everyone for their submissions. Winners will be notified March 28th, 2016

About the Council



E-mail: women@governor.virginia.gov 

Mailing Address: 
Virginia Council on Women
Attn: Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Post Office Box 2454
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2454