Yesterday was International Day of the Girl, and in honor of creating opportunities for women, I’d like to celebrate with the Stiller Women in Business. In 2015, two professors at Champlain College gathered a group of women in various degrees to form an on campus empowerment organization that seeks to support female identifying individuals in this division find their place and expand their networks.
Survey data by Pew Research Center, highlights how the general public perceives women to be qualified for leadership, but there number of women in leadership roles is low. The goal of our group was to provide space for women to feel like they deserve a place at the decision making tables. Whether it be in their classes, their internships, and maybe one day their boardrooms, women in professional fields should know the worth they bring to their endeavors.
In the two years since we started, I don’t think I have ever felt so invigorated by the impact I can create as individual. I can feel in an almost tangible way the influence it has on the lives of our members, in the culture of our campus, and on the nature of women in business on a greater scale.
With support from members of Stiller faculty staff and students, we have opened up opportunities for professional development in the areas of Appreciative Inquiry. We have tackled topics like the transition from student to professionals. We’ve managed to get our women into the door of organizations, and help them stand out for internships and jobs thanks to our semi-annual networking events.
It’s been a real journey from our first Stiller Women working session, I have created lifelong friendships with the individuals who were my mentors. I have even travelled the world with my mentor Karisa. She was a senior member in the leadership team when I was a sophomore. She was an inspiration for me to work hard and get involved in my career and community. Her example of leadership, influenced me to see the skills in myself and pursue her role in the future. Not only has the relationship I created with her given me confidence to be Chairwoman of the organization, it has also given me hope for what I can do after graduation.
In my own mentee who will be taking over next year, I see the grit and determination to be better and more successful. Its this network of powerful women, I’ve found support. I hope to continue this work in the future, and cannot wait to see where the Stiller Women goes in the future. Here’s to a world of women who lift each other up.
When women support each other, incredible things happen.