Hult’s Women in Business Club Mean Business

Hult Boston student clubs are known for organizing great networking opportunities and guest speaker events, and a recent Women in Business Club certainly lived up to expectations. Women Who Inspire was an evening that included a panel presentation by three successful businesswomen including Hult faculty members, Dorothy Chen-Courtin and Joanne Lawrence, as well as Yolanda Nokuri Hegngi.

The speakers talked about their challenges in becoming successful in the business world, ranging from society’s influence on decision-making to the effects of motherhood on one’s career. By hearing from these successful women the students gained a new perspective on the ups and downs of the business world, a realm that many students have yet to experience.

Many students, male and female alike, expressed interest in hosting more empowering events like this. “It was great to see so many women and men at the event,” said student moderator and Master of International Business candidate, Mack Ascanio from Venezuela. “Even though we [men] acknowledge the glass ceiling we have a different way of thinking and need to challenge that.”

Yolanda Hegngi conducts leadership development programs and executive coaching for the International Finance Corps, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. She focused on being creative and perseverant in getting what you want. She stressed that hearing “no” doesn’t mean you should give up; instead it presents a challenge that you can overcome. A student spoke highly of her insight, “Yolanda was so easy to listen to. Her experiences are similar to what I see or hear about when I read stories of women who struggle working their way up.”

Dorothy Chen-Courtin is a Hult professor and the President of Marketing & Management Associates for Nonprofits, a management consultancy. Her insight affected the students so much that some now plan to take her class. “Sometimes you have to challenge yourself and speak from the back of your throat,” said Chen-Courtin. Her self-assuredness and knowledge is something to be looked up to. “She packs a punch! I want to have the same confidence,” raved another student after the event.

Joanne Lawrence teaches Global Citizenship and Corporate Social Responsibility at Hult. She stressed the importance of presence, and that to succeed you must stand tall and stand out. According to a student, “Professor Lawrence just has a way about sharing stories and engaging everyone.”

These women started a vital discussion about challenging the status quo and, more importantly, they opened the door to mentor relationships among the students. “You want people to look up to you the way people look up to those speakers,” said club board member and Master of International Business candidate, Deanne Bhamgara, from India.

The Women Who Inspire event did exactly what it set out to do: it inspired people. “This was one of many opportunities to start the conversation on how we’re supposed to empower this generation,” said Lauren Piontkoski, Hult Boston Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.

“This event for me personally was not only exciting but also an event that left me pondering at the end,” said student moderator and Master of International Business candidate Whitney Sims-Rucker, from the United States. “Reflecting upon my own personal work experience I found that even in my young professional life compared to what they shared in their early careers, time is changing the way women and men work together, at least at the management level.”

The Women in Business Club isn’t finished with discussions about women empowerment; they will be hosting their own panel event for middle schoolers, called Inspiring Success. Delivering the message of inspiration to young girls and boys is vital to the future of women in business in the coming generations.

Women’s Leadership Trends for 2015

Cari Guittard, Professor of Women’s Leadership, Corporate Diplomacy and International Negotiations, is hosting a webinar on March 25th on ‘Women’s Leadership Trends for 2015’. She is a thought leader on women in business and regular columnist at The Huffington Post. The webinar touches on how to make the most of the women’s leadership trends for 2015, how to leverage the strengths of both men and women to work more effectively, and finding best practices in communicating. See the webinar

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