As Co-Presidents of Michigan Business Women, We Have a Clear Vision for What We Want to Achieve
Entering the Ross School of Business, we both had personal and professional goals we wanted to achieve, one of which was being involved with Michigan Business Women.
After serving as directors on the MBW board, we decided to run for co-presidents together — realizing as we were filling out the application that being a co-president of MBW was a goal we had each set for ourselves.
Our motivations for being MBW co-presidents are multi-faceted. We wanted to develop professionally and gain experience in leadership, but most importantly, we wanted to create a sense of community and belonging among womxn and allies of all backgrounds by cultivating inclusivity and collaboration within MBW through a member-driven environment.
What we loved about MBW this year
We both knew we wanted to be involved with MBW leadership as first-year MBA students. However, we did not know what our involvement would entail. How would we engage with the club during the virtual school year?
Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, MBW championed its members. In a year full of Zoom happy hours, MBW was able to foster community through virtual events such as chocolate candy making and skin care nights, bringing together members who were scattered across the globe. We learned from professionals how to create an equitable environment in recreational sports and heard meaningful stories about culture and experiences from our member base during the WomenX storytelling event.
MBW also supported all career paths. This past school year, MBW launched Women:Rising, an initiative for those actively recruiting for internships and full-time roles as a resource to participate in workshops and share recruitment experiences with peers. In addition, the club held panels and networking events with companies to help foster connections and networks.
The MBW leadership board was exceptional when planning events, creating an inclusive and supportive space, and encouraging community during a difficult year. After a midyear pulse survey to our community, we heard which areas needed improvement, and our board immediately jumped into action. For example, our members expressed that they would like to see more diversity at corporate events, so the corporate relations team were more intentional about which companies were represented and who represented the companies we were working with. Our member-driven community allows us to listen and be more nimble in our decision making. We are thrilled to build upon what MBW has already developed to elevate members and their careers.
MBW aspires to uplift all members. This year, we want to emphasize inclusivity and collaboration in all MBW events by fostering an environment in which everyone is empowered to embrace their true selves and learn from, and with, friends and peers. This vision statement includes growing our international student and ally involvement, leveraging our alumni network, and continuing to build a sense of community.
In order to build a stronger community, we will embrace diversity. As one of the largest clubs at Michigan Ross, we will seize the opportunity to make all of our members feel included and represented. Through international- and ally-focused events, and partnering with minority/LGBTQ+/women-owned businesses and speakers, we hope to ensure that all voices are represented and heard.
The MBW community extends outside Ann Arbor, with members active globally. By using our alumni network, we will connect current members to new friends and mentors across the United States and around the world. Our widespread network will ensure members will always be there to elevate and support one another — through school, in the workplace, and beyond.
Prior to Michigan Ross, we both worked in male-dominated fields. Anisha worked in engineering and technology while Cindy worked in a military service organization. After graduation, we will continue on in male-dominated fields — finance for Anisha and technology for Cindy. Our hope is that one day, “male-dominated” will be a term and sentiment of the past. In order to eliminate the male-dominated work environment, we must use our platforms and network to elevate women in these industries. As we progress in our careers, we aim for MBW to be a safe space in which members can continue to develop personally, professionally, and equally.