Women in Business Conference 2018:“Breaking Societal Norms: Readdressed.”
On April 21, The Skidmore Women in Business (WIB) team hosted their third annual leadership conference, “Breaking Societal Norms: Readdressed”. Founded during the fall of 2013, WIB has sought to foster women’s leadership within the Skidmore community. WIB has become one the most active and highly attended student-led clubs on campus with over 40 loyal members. Through events including the WIB Talks Speakers’ Series, social media campaigns, and high-impact fundraisers, WIB has engaged and brought together the Skidmore and Saratoga Springs community. This year’s conference gave an opportunity for students and alumni from various industries to connect, discussing strategic and successful techniques for achieving their career goals.
To begin the conference, the Keynote Speaker Dr. Diana Perry 89’ delivered an inspirational and significant address about perseverance and success. She told her life story of becoming a neo-natal physician. From there on, the sessions were made up of a combination of single speakers, panels, and breakout sessions.
Included in the Entrepreneurship & The Arts panel was Professor Colleen Burke. As an advocate for gender equality, Professor Burke was the first woman to live on campus while attending Harvard Business School. An accomplished entrepreneur, Burke’s first product was the “Snugli” Baby Carrier, which was just featured in the MoMa exhibition “Is Fashion Modern.” Burke spoke from her extensive experiences to give students encouragement in their aspirations.
The conference was constructed through a year-long process led by co-presidents Gabrielle Pagnozzi-Schwam 18’ and Woeser Dolma 18’. Other executive board members who were instrumental were: Deniz Aytac 20’, India Schley-Ritchie 18’, Isabella Fabella 20’, Jen Monderer ’20, Jonnea Herman 18’, Kalika Likhi 18’, Prachee Arora 19’, and Simran Shah 18’.
Pagnozzi-Schwam reflects on the messages of the conference, saying “I am intrigued by businesswomen’s networks, economic empowerment, and investing. Skidmore Women in Business has been an extraordinary platform through which to explore these passions. I plan to impact the world through helping a diverse group of individuals to infiltrate our corporate and political systems. University students today are coming of age at an extraordinary moment of mobilization for gender equality. I truly believe that all of our voices are important in this new global movement.”
Co-President Dolma expressed her feelings about the outcome of the conference: “The Skidmore Women in Business Conference was amazing. We had the opportunity to highlight women of color and underrepresented individuals, which is critical in this day and age.”
The conference was well attended by students, faculty, and alumni. Though many of the e-board members are seniors, upcoming leadership is motivated to continue with the annual conference and related events for Skidmore students.
Photo from left to right: India Schley-Ritchie '18, Jonnea Herman '18, Woeser Dolma '18, Gabrielle Pagnozzi-Schwam '18, Kalika Likhi '18, Simran Shah '18, and Isabelle Fabella '18