Last Thursday, the Chicago Women in Business (CWiB) held its annual Spring Dinner, a formal event that celebrates the women at Booth. The event opened with a cocktail reception and many group photos with the scenic views from Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer in the background. The women were seated shortly after for opening remarks from Dean Stacey Kole. Dean Kole gave a warm welcome to the CWiB members, noting how significant it was to have so many women in the room, for it was not so long ago that the gender ratio was much different.
Not only does Booth have better female representation today, with 42% of the Class of 2017 being women, but Dean Kole made sure to emphasize just how strong a presence our women have as leaders at Booth and in the greater Graduate School community, with KR Ling as outgoing Executive Graduate Business Council President and Elizabeth Gosselin as incoming President, with Katie Perri as outgoing Graduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees and Megan Beck as incoming Graduate Liaison, and with the outgoing CWiB Co-Chairs who maintained CWiB’s strong brand and launched an exciting new initiative, Common Chromosome, putting Booth at the forefront of addressing gender equity in a way that engages both women and men at Booth. The list of amazing women at Booth goes on and on.
While the event is certainly a celebration of women at Booth and the support system we have built for one another, it is also a subtle reminder that we are not quite there, that we must continue to encourage women to pursue MBAs, that we must work to ensure that we are equitably treated and fairly represented in our future positions. The new CWiB co-chairs understand that it is our responsibility to carry forth the work of past co-chairs and help to not only prepare women professionally for positions of leadership, but also to continue to foster dialogue with our classmates and our networks to figure out how to ensure that our successes are equal, that there is no discrepancy in pay between women and men, and that our biases are curbed to their greatest extent when we serve as managers and heads of organizations. In the past 10 weeks, we have seen just how much work it is to run CWiB from behind the scenes, and we thank Whitney Enright, Darcey O’Halloran, Nicole Lapka, Emily Low, Sarah Reinemann, and Marylynn Diallo for all that they did to shape our experience as members this past year. We are excited to see what the next year brings and what our futures hold, for our classmates have certainly proven that the women at Booth are destined to be great leaders.