Baruch celebrates women’s accomplishments with events and panels throughout March

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Panelists at the Pearls of Wisdom event discuss how to succeed as a female professional working in a corporate environment

Women’s History Month is coming to an end as spring is coming into full swing. Baruch has been celebrating women and all of their accomplishments for the past month, with a myriad of different panels, interactive seminars and movie screenings encompassing the strengths and accomplishments of women worldwide.

Many different Baruch organizations came together to help co-sponsor all of the various events, including USG, Model UN, Lexicon, WBMB, Sigma Alpha Delta Honor Society, the Hillel and the Office of Student Life.

The Women’s History Month Committee, filled with both students and administrators, helped plan events and contact successful women speakers. Veronica Mena, a Baruch student and committee member, explained her motivations behind joining the committee.

“I believe that having events for any minority is important because minority misrepresentation in general is still so huge today. If it was not an issue then we wouldn’t need to have a history month for it.” Mena acknowledged that women are often overlooked as a minority today. Since the plight of women’s suffrage is long behind us, many forget that women have, and still do, face many injustices in today’s society.

Understanding that women can face struggles, even in our progressive world today, is necessary in being educated about the dynamic role they play in and out of the workforce. Many female college students are still navigating their way through classes, along with their role within their communities.

When asked if she thought women faced more struggles in the working world, Mena responded , “The best and most simple answer to give is the wage gap along with the glass ceiling that women have to face. I think, predominantly in business, that it is a male-dominated field.... I do think that it is a shame that women have yet to be able to achieve equal pay since it is 2016 and all.”

Although it seems to be a pessimistic view, it is one that is all too true.  According to Mena, women will not allow this to hold them back, “Women are paving their own way every day.” This assurance is evident through the successful female speakers the committee highlighted throughout WHM.

Last week, there were multiple panels led by successful women in business, including the Hillel’s Women’s Power Lunch. This lunch featured Larisa Rangini, Michelle Levine, Elle Kaplan and Fran Hauser, who held careers from all industries, including law, technology and venture capital.

The women spoke about the struggles they had as women in the workforce and how they overcame them.

When first navigating her way through her career in venture capital, Hauser spoke about how her first career working for fashion and lifestyle magazines gave her a confident edge. She was used to working with only women in that field, so when she switched to venture capital she did not even realize that it may be deemed “weird” for women to be moving up the ranks.

According to Hauser, only 4 percent of women are in venture capital, which can be discouraging for females who want to delve into that field. She told the audience to not doubt a woman, but instead embrace the unique perspective they can bring to a male-dominated field.

“If there were only men on an investment team, a lot of new ventures would never happen,” added Hauser. This can be said for companies like HelloGiggles, a successful multimedia community for women, which almost was not backed because there were only men on the investment team.

Larissa Rangini, a Baruch College alum, spoke about her entering the corporate world for the first time.

“I was the only female in a room of men. I eventually started imitating male behavior to fit in, even dressing more masculine at some point in order to be taken more seriously,” said Rangini.

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