Women in Business members look forward to an in-person semester


Courtesy of the Collegiate Association of Women in Business

Caryl Anne Francia, Business Editor

The Collegiate Association of Women in Business has established itself as a supportive community for young, business-minded women who are building their future at Baruch College.

The largest female-led organization on campus has had a lot to celebrate since joining student life in 2005, from its dedicated alumni and Athena mentorship program to its successful professional and philanthropic events.

But in the three years since it was last profiled by The Ticker, WIB has added something to celebrate: returning after persisting through challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While members still met over Zoom calls, remote activities limited what members of WIB could do physically. But that did not stop them from carrying out the club’s mission.

“We want to provide young women with the skills and the networking opportunities and just experience necessary to promote their professional and personal development,” WIB Executive President Nidhi Shah told The Ticker, who joined as a freshman during a fully remote school year.

WIB joined the rest of the college when it moved its activities online in March 2020. All four members of the executive board started at Baruch after spring 2020.

This will be their first in-person, full-semester club experience since the Office of Student Life announced that club activities would return in-person for the 2022 fall semester, but the organization will be aided by the strong support of WIB alumni.

The club will see an in-person return of their biggest events, such as the “Pearls of Wisdom Leadership Conference,” which brings in industry professionals to speak with students. In addition to holding a virtual panel, the conference made a partial in-person comeback in spring 2022, but was downsized into a small tabling event.

In addition to the conference, other WIB events — such as the fall semester’s Pink and Denim Day and the spring semester’s “Resilient, Independent, Strong, Empowered,” or “R.I.S.E.” — will fundraise money for  charity or to support important causes.

“Something that we also take in importance is trying to raise awareness for things that are going on in the world,” WIB Executive Secretary Riya Sawant said. “Just making sure our community is educated on these issues and trying to educate others on them is also very important.”

In The Ticker’s last profile, club members were open about industry-related problems they faced. Executive board members discussed the gender wage gap and honest interactions with superiors.

The profile cited a CNBC article that reported women were being paid 79 cents for every dollar a man made. Now, women are paid 83 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to CNBC.

Shah said the industry is “taking small baby steps toward where [women] need to be,” but when faced challenges in the workplace, members of WIB will have a strong foundation so they’re only moving upward.

“When [club members are] just breaking into the corporate world, I know it can be really hard as a woman, so I think building our members’ confidence is really important,” WIB Executive Vice President Caitlin Cusack added. “We hope that our members will have that and have their experiences in WIB, or taking something they learned from an alumni or professional that came in to speak to us, they can have that in their back pocket through challenges they face throughout their careers.”

Although its second general interest meeting on Sept. 6 and mixer event on Sept. 8 will be held online, WIB has an exciting year planned with in-person activities.

Students will “physically feel the community” beyond the Zoom screen, WIB Executive Treasurer Maitri Pandya said.

Looking to foster stronger relationships beyond Zoom’s chat function, Sawant said she is excited to interact with freshmen “face to face and for them to be able to hear [their] experiences.”

Students interested in joining the club may check its website and follow its social media accounts to see what events are coming up.

“If you’re new to Baruch —  or even if you’re not — and you’re looking for a community where you’re going to be welcome, learn as well as make great connections and friends, WIB is the place to be,” Shah said.