Empowering women in business

In honour of International Women’s Day, Selin Simsek, ‘22 BCom, has a conversation with Megan Kwan, a third-year student majoring in business technology management and the VP of marketing for the U of A’s Women in Business, a student club that empowers people, facilitates connections and builds confidence.

In honour of International Women’s Day, Selin Simsek, ‘22 BCom, information and outreach coordinator in the Alberta School of Business, had a conversation with Megan Kwan, a third-year student majoring in marketing and the vice-president of marketing for the U of A’s Women in Business, a student club that empowers people, facilitates connections and builds confidence.

*the following conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.


Can you tell us about Women in Business (WIB) and what values are its core?

The primary goal of Women In Business is to provide women and allies with a sense of community, confidence, and empowerment, which they can then use to enhance both their personal and professional lives.

Women In Business strives to do this by facilitating workshops that offer skill development and advancement in both the above categories. In these workshops, Women In Business will seek to create and facilitate discussion around women and allies in professional settings and their experiences, all while building a safe space where members can foster new connections and express their own unique perspectives. As a club, we work to ensure our members become connected with industry professionals around Edmonton and Calgary to drive value for our participants.

Women In Business strives to empower women and their allies by providing them with the necessary tools to enter the workforce and enhance their self-confidence. We hope that by doing so, our members will feel empowered to forge their own unique career paths.

Why do you think empowerment of women is important in the business world?

When women are given equal opportunities and support in the workplace, they are empowered to contribute their unique perspectives, skills, and experiences. Our goal is to ensure that our members have the skills to confidently advocate for themselves and their expertise in their chosen careers. No woman should feel as though they have to fight to have their voice heard, or that a company does not hold enough seats at the table for them. By acknowledging the gender gap in business and striving to ensure that women are given equal opportunities for growth and advancement in the workplace, we are empowering women to pursue their passions and forge their own paths to success.

Can you tell us more about the initiatives and events that your club hosts?

Women In Business is a student group that aims to build confidence, community, and empowerment in our members. In order to do so, we put on 14 workshops (two per month), throughout the year on a wide variety of personal and professional development topics. We put on these events in hopes of equipping our members with all of the skills that they need to reach their highest potential in the workforce, all while balancing their personal lives and prioritizing themselves. In addition to skill development, Women In Business also places a high focus on simply building community. Throughout the year members are able to connect and foster incredible relationships with one another, building their own network of powerful women and allies: an asset equally, if not more important, than all of the skills they build. Overall, Women In Business is a safe space that is open to all who wish to better themselves and those around them, both personally and professionally.

What are some important skills that you think would benefit women in business?

Navigating a male-dominated workplace is a crucial skill for women in the business world as it can help them overcome gender-based obstacles, build professional relationships, and advance in their careers. Women often face biases and stereotypes in male-dominated workplaces, which can hinder their progress and limit their opportunities. By developing the skill of navigating these environments, women can learn how to establish credibility and communicate effectively. This skill can help women overcome gender-based challenges. Ultimately, the ability to navigate a male-dominated workplace can help women break down barriers, shatter stereotypes, and pave the way for future generations of women in the business world.

Do you believe equity in the business world is important? If so, why?

Equity in the business world is essential for creating a level playing field where all individuals have equal opportunities to succeed, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. Our hope is that in the future, with enough advancements being made in equalizing the playing field and more focus being put on professional development both in the classroom and in the workplace, there will no longer be a need for groups like Women In Business to fill in the gaps.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with our students?

Although Women in Business is a business club, we are open to all students interested in developing their professional skills. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us, as we are all eager to connect with you as well!

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