By Amanda McCormick ’17, CWB Fellowship Historian
Each spring semester, the Center for Women and Business (CWB) offers the CWB Student Fellowship for students who are interested in learning more about gender and workplace diversity issues. The program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of any gender, and students must go through an application process to participate.
“All of our Fellows have a passion for creating an inclusive culture on campus, and bringing those ideals into corporate America,” says CWB program assistant Dorothy Polatin, who plays a major role in organizing the program.
The goals of the program are to educate students about contemporary gender diversity issues, particularly in the professional world, explore what companies are doing to improve gender equity, and empower students to address these issues for themselves and colleagues. Through a variety of targeted activities and events, networking opportunities, and social media, the CWB Fellows complete the Fellowship with a more robust professional network and a set of tools they can use as they move into their own career.
As a current Fellow, I can say that this experience has given me a better understanding of what I could be dealing with as a woman, especially in a business career. I’m thankful that the CWB gave us this opportunity to interact with other students, alumni, and experienced mentors to better understand what we can do to address these complicated and important issues.
As CWB Fellows, students are required to attend eight or more program events, reflect on these experiences throughout the semester, and give a culminating presentation to the group about the impact of the Fellowship experience. Some notable events from this semester include the “Working the Room” workshop with PwC recruiters and alumni, a talk from former NFL player Wade Davis about men supporting gender equity, the Dynamic Women in Business Conference at Harvard University, and a mentor circle with EY Principal Jane Steinmetz. Many of these events allow the Fellows to directly connect with accomplished women in leadership positions.
“I have learned from current women leaders in business how they overcame career hurdles, especially related to gender. I find strength from their stories and aspire to be an informed, strong, and supportive woman in business after I graduate,” says Roma Gujarathi ’19.
In addition to building an understanding of gender and diversity-focused topics, CWB Fellows also strengthen important soft skills they will carry into the workplace.
“I joined the CWB Fellowship because I wanted to learn how to be the best leader I can be,” explains Gujarathi. “I have learned from the Fellowship that women in business must overcome numerous obstacles that men do not confront. Having strong leadership skills will help me face these challenges.”