Like many of you, I had already informed myself before my first semester what student initiatives FS has to offer, and one clearly caught my eye: Women in Business. Without further ado, I took part in the kick-off event and signed up for the list of participants without knowing how much enrichment and fun this would bring me.
Women in Business was founded by two female students who wanted to offer a space for women at FS to support one another rather than elbow each other out. The initiative’s vision is not only to create a safe space, but also to provide its members with the resources needed to build and grow their network, knowledge, and skills to successfully pursue a career in business. We started off with eight members. Now, we’re about 30 times the size.
Women in Business has a clear policy that everyone can join. That means, we are not a women-only network; our diverse allies are more than welcome to join and support us.
We distinguish between passive and active members. The initiative mainly consists of passive members, who support Women in Business through their positivity and contribution within the network as well as during events. Active members, however, are students who actively help in one of our departments. This brings me to my next point: the Women in Business Board.
We have established this system relatively recently due to the strong increase in members. This gives us the chance to introduce a distribution of tasks and to move the initiative forward in the best possible way. The board consists of eight members: our two initiative heads and the six department heads for Internal Affairs, External Relations, HR, Social Media, Social Events, and Mentorship. After all, eight heads are more creative and innovative than two, right?
Women in Business is based on several pillars. First and foremost, we are a network of and for female students, who make up the minority of students at FS. Just recently, we launched our Learning Hub where we post articles and books that might interest our members.
And now for the biggest pillar, events, of which we have three different types at Women in Business: internal events that are only for WiB members, events with other initiatives, such as FS EcoPol or the Business Forum, and external events with corporate partners.
Of course, we are not immune to the pandemic. Since our picnic last summer, we haven’t been able to meet in person. Nevertheless, we offer many non-contact alternatives for our members. For example, our social events team organizes a monthly Wine-Down, where our members can relax together with a glass of wine over Zoom to end the evening. Our collaborations with partners outside of FS do not suffer from Covid-19 either; quite the opposite: the pandemic gave us the opportunity to look beyond our own horizons and enter into partnerships with companies in other German cities or even other women’s initiatives from countries like Portugal or the UK. In the last semester, we organized a variety of events: from women round tables, over networking events with investment bankers, to online training about virtual presence.
That’s it from my end. I hope I could inspire some of you. And maybe there’s also one or the other future WiB member among you, who knows?