Graduate Women in Business (GWB) has been hard at work, running virtual programming for its members and creating a slate of new initiatives.
- July 30, 2020
- Booth Women
Tina: We put together a virtual speed networking event with breakout rooms on Zoom. We wanted students to be exposed to as many other students in the GWB community. Students introduced themselves and talked about how far they were into the program and what their career aspirations were. Afterwards we shared a list of students with everyone so that women with similar aspirations could get in touch with each other and work on building out their career advancement plans, and those with connections to particular areas could be another helpful resource to each other. We’re planning to run another one because the feedback was so strong.
Christine: Actually, having a Zoom setup can bring even more people together because now Weekend students can participate in our events throughout the week, so it's not geographically limiting. We have regular coffee chats where students can drop in, and we just had a yoga event that one of our co-chairs led. We are also trying to build relationships with the Full-Time Program’s Chicago Women in Business (CWiB), as well as other business schools in the area—for example, we recently had Kellogg participate. We looked at the virtual format as an opportunity to expand our community and learn from others in our network.
Christine: We redefined our mission, which is to create an inclusive community, fostering growth through mentorship and professional development across Booth cohorts. So the two areas where we're really choosing to focus on this year are inclusivity and allyship. We’ve been hearing that our members want to be more involved in programming specific to GWB, so we are looking to offer opportunities that enable our group of women to lead and to influence.
We have two upcoming opportunities to get involved: the first is an entrepreneurial bootcamp that has been run by Booth students in the past. We plan to continue the legacy. GWB will help women founders in the Chicago area build out their skill set through a series of workshops that address topics like how you approach an investor or how you build your business plan. Not everyone has access to the resources we have, so this is a way for us as Booth women leaders to pay-it-forward. We also have an opportunity with a local nonprofit, where we hope to extend our reach to younger girls in grade school and high school to help them develop their confidence through mentorship and other programming we’ll help develop.
Tina: Allyship is one of the new initiatives we’re introducing this year. We’re working with the Forte Foundation and Chicago Women in Business from the Full-Time Program to create an allyship committee to drive engagement. There’s an organization in Chicago called Network of Executive Women that is putting together programming for their corporate partners and they offered to pilot within Booth, which is exciting. We are looking forward to leveraging the learnings from already existing allyship programs.
Christine: We want to think about how we can get the entire Booth community to stand behind Graduate Women in Business and promote women to engage in experiences that will empower them to be stronger and more influential leaders.
International Women’s Day is our keynote event. It’s a great platform to both network and explore the perspectives of notable female thought leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs. The event enables us to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. We also take advantage of this day as a call to action to accelerate creating a more inclusive community #eachforequal. Now in its second year, we’re looking forward to being creative both with our content and reach—be on the lookout for more information on this event in the coming months!
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