On April 10, 1987, for the first time ever, an event was held to bring women from all of the university's divisions, which was billed as the "First Annual University-Wide Women's Forum." Some of the women attending that luncheon decided to launch an organization, and the first meeting was held on October 10th. While the Women's Forum (renamed the Johns Hopkins Women's Network in 1998) continued to offer events where women from throughout The Johns Hopkins University could come together, it branched out into presenting educational and cultural programs and addressing issues of concern to Hopkins women (as described below). Officers of the JHU Women's Network have also been involved in the American Council of Education's annual conferences on women in higher education and the ACE National Identification Program.
Over the past 14 years, the JHU Women's Network has worked with the University's administration on a variety of issues including equity in salary and benefits, recruitment and retention of women faculty and staff, sexual harassment prevention, childcare, career development, and campus security. It was the JHU Women's Network that, in 1988, established the first University-wide committee, the Provost's Committee on the Status of Women. The Chair of the JHU Women's Network serves as a member of the Provost's Committee.
Since 1991, the JHU Women's Network has forwarded to the Committee on Nominations and By-Laws of the Board of Trustees a list of potential women Trustees for the committee's consideration. The JHU Women's Network appreciates the responsiveness of the Trustees in electing four of these women to the Board. Over the past five years, there has been a net gain of one woman among the voting members of the Board of Trustees. (There were seven in 1989-1990, and there are currently eight in 1996.) It is hoped that this number can be increased further and that women will be added to those Trustees committees where there are none. The JHU Women's Network has also provided lists of potential candidates to search committees seeking to fill senior administrative positions.