It was a Thursday evening a few weeks ago when I was standing at Stern’s weekly Beer Blast with a few of my female blockmates, sipping a nice lager and eating sushi courtesy of the Japan Business Association.
We were discussing how well our block was doing in club president elections but in particular how the women in our block were doing. Our two block captains had just been elected to Executive Vice President of Student Government (SGov) and Co-President of Stern Women in Business (SWIB), respectively. Another Block 2 woman had also been elected President of the Entrepreneurs Exchange (EEX), and since then, three more of us have been elected President of the Entertainment, Media and Technology Association (EMTA), Graduate Marketing Association (GMA), and Speechmasters.
Of course, male or female, we all support each other regardless of gender and individual interests, but it’s impossible to ignore the success of these women and to not celebrate it. Especially in honor of Women’s History Month, here are some highlights on how all of my fellow female classmates are stepping up and shaping Stern for future classes (i.e. you!):
1) Employment/Recruiting: As companies put more effort into recruiting women, Stern women are jumping in, winning positions, and expanding Stern’s network across all industries and functions. Here’s a sampling of where current female students have interned, will be interning, or will be going/returning for their full-time offers:
2) Club Leadership: Stern’s 40+ clubs are each run by a board consisting of President/Co-Presidents, Vice Presidents (VPs), and Associate Vice Presidents (AVPs). You already have an idea of how my class is doing regarding female leadership for next year, but here’s some data on what the club leadership looks like this year:
Among these positions is the board of SWIB, which boasts 32 female leaders in itself. Meanwhile, I didn’t count other leadership at Stern, such as Block Captains, Spring Break Trek Leaders, and students on various committees. (Also not counted in the above data are a few clubs that did not self-report their boards online.)
3) Culture/Events: To celebrate International Women’s Day on Tuesday March 8, SWIB hosted GIRLS WHO BOSS, Stern’s first Women’s Week. Events to support gender equality kicked off with a keynote address by Gloria Feldt, Co-Founder and President of the women’s leadership nonprofit Take The Lead and former CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Gloria discussed her nonprofit and how to promote gender parity in the workforce.
This event was followed by “Toast to International Women’s Day” at one of Stern students’ usual haunts (Tuesday, 3/8), “Pizza, Beer, and Banter: A Free Form Discussion on Male Allyship at Stern (Wednesday, 3/9), and “Let’s Get in Formation: Dance Class with Stern Steps,” also at Stern (Thursday 3/10).
And all this follows SWIB’s successful conference last month, which featured a keynote address from Susan L. Jurevics (Stern MBA ’96), CEO of Pottermore (J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter expansion site), and panels featuring Stern alumnae who have gone on to become CEOs and SVPs across various industries.
4) Admissions: SWIB is also making a concerted effort to bring more women to Stern. Last Fall, SWIB played an integral role in the success of Opening Doors for Women, an event that Stern hosts for prospective female students. I had the pleasure of helping out at the event, where over a light breakfast I got to casually chat with a handful of diverse female prospectives and tune in to a panel of three Stern alumnae, who offered their wisdom on how their MBA programs at Stern (Full-time, Part-time, and Executive) have shaped them both professionally and personally.
As one can see, Stern women and our male allies are dedicated to working to make Stern an even more inclusive place for women than it already is, and it’s efforts like these that help foster the kind of environment that allows the entire class to succeed in school, in business, and beyond.