As part of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management’s inaugural diversity week, Forté Campus will be hosting the first ‘Business Club Summit’ on Sept. 24 to explore the experience of women in the business community.
“The inspiration behind this event was Forté’s background as a vehicle of women’s empowerment and the observed lack of female representation of females on the executive board’s of many clubs on campus,” said Kamakhya Misra ’20, a member of Forté. “We believe this problem starts at the university level and carries over to the professional world where the lack of female involvement in management is a known issue.”
A professional development organization for women, Forté Campus at Cornell is part of the collegiate chapter of the Forté Foundation, a network that supports and provides resources for women seeking to achieve MBA degrees, according to the foundation’s website.
“We bring together women with a broad range of academic, professional and personal interests to create an environment where every member can gain from this diversity,” Misra said.
The upcoming summit will be open to the public as an hourlong round table-style discussion on how student leaders can actively create a more supportive and inclusive culture to all members.
Business club leaders across campus have been invited to the discussion to consider the ways in which diversity is being leveraged at the club recruiting process and regular operations.
“As the president of the first all-female executive board in the history of our business club, I’ve been able to fully appreciate the importance of having the voices of women at the table — particularly in leadership roles,” said Nancy Jiang ’19, president of the Cornell International Business Association, a participating club at the summit. “I’m optimistic that the Business Club Summit will provide a platform for students on campus to discuss gender equality and internalize its importance.”
According to Misra, at the end of the summit, all participating organizations will also be asked to sign a pledge committing to supporting gender diversity, in order to conclude the event with a “tangible result.”
“Our thought process was to have all actors to, at the very least, be cognizant of this issue early on and take action to make these professional-interest organizations more inclusive,” Misra said. “We don’t want to reduce diversity to a token badge.”