About Us

"A world that is good for women is good for everyone."(TM)

~Susan McGee Bailey, Ph.D., 1995

Our Vision

We envision a world of justice, peace, and wellbeing for women and girls, children and youth, families and communities, in all their diversity around the world.

Our Mission

Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.


The Wellesley Centers for Women is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College.

While women’s and girls’ perspectives and experiences are at the center of our institutional identity, we recognize that the conditions of women’s and girls’ lives are shaped not only by their sex and gender, but also by other important factors: race, ethnicity, and culture; social class and economic status; nationality and religion; sexual orientation and gender expression; age and ability status; level of education; geographic context (urban, suburban, or rural); and a host of other factors. We share the conviction that the lives of men and boys – indeed, people of all genders – are as valuable and important as those of girls and women.

We work with the understanding that the change we seek occurs simultaneously at micro and macro levels, encompassing individuals, dyads, families, communities, and society-at-large. Only when social equity and equality, psychological wellbeing, peace, and freedom from violence and want evince for all people will our research and action programs have reached their true aim.

Our work is sustained by funding from federal, state, and local government agencies, private foundations, the Centers’ endowment, and the generosity of individual donors committed to social change, as well as essential infrastructure support from Wellesley College. We seek to make our work accessible and useful to policymakers, thought leaders, decision makers, academics, advocates, activists, direct service providers, funders, the media, and any others, including the general public, who have the power and desire to make positive change.

Read about WCW’s history and milestones.


Wellesley Centers for Women and Wellesley College


The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) at Wellesley College is the largest social science organization in the U.S. dedicated to gender research. The College founded the Center for Research on Women in 1974 and the Stone Center for Development Services and Studies in 1981. The two centers came together in 1995 to form a single organization--the Wellesley Centers for Women.

The Centers offers five internships for Wellesley College students, providing meaningful research experiences. WCW also employs dozens of the College's students each year to work in a variety of program support roles. A few WCW researchers and scholars at WCW teach Wellesley College courses or in the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs.

Wellesley faculty and students also benefit from WCW's NGO status and can participate in the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meetings in New York City. WCW scholars occasionally collaborate with faculty and students on special initiatives and programs--planning seminars, hosting guest speakers, and networking building. WCW Lunchtime seminars held several Thursdays during the fall and spring semesters are open to the College and greater community.

Funding for WCW's work comes from federal, state, and local government agencies, private foundations, the Centers' endowment (managed by the College), individual donors, and Wellesley College. WCW receives 2-4% of its net revenues, plus essential infrastructure, facility, and governance support from Wellesley College. 

WCW has close and special ties with two Wellesley College programs: The Stone Counseling Services and the National HERS Project.

Since its founding in 1981, the Stone Center has maintained close ties with the College’s Counseling division—known as the Stone Center Counseling Service. The work and theoretical focus of the Stone Center are incorporated into the clinical work and programs of the Counseling Services which are directed to the mental health needs and overall psychological wellbeing of Wellesley College students. The Counseling Service is a part of the Division of Student Life and reports directly to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Wellesley College office of the Higher Education Resources Service (HERS) has been housed in the original Center for Research on Women building (Cheever House) since 1976. HERS programs are designed to improve the status and opportunities of female academic professionals and are attended by 50 women from across the country each year.


    Since 1974, WCW has produced:
  • 400+ papers, reports, and curricula
  • 200+ scholarly journal articles
  • 100+ books


    These have resulted in:
  • Millions of readers
  • Tens of thousands of practitioners trained
  • Thousands of citations in scholarly journals and the popular press
  • ...and critical changes in public policies, perceptions, and practices
    Our Mission
  • Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.


    A world that is good for women
    is good for everyone.