Despite 21st Century innovations and universal promotion of gender equality in the United States, sex discrimination, unfortunately, remains prevalent in the nation, not excluding the corporate world. Even with 18 female CEOs on the Fortune 500 this year, women continue to face unique challenges. Some of which are the fact that female professionals tend to not be taken as seriously as men, have multiple obligations both at the workplace and home, and the burden of always having to prove oneself in a still male dominant industry.
Berkeley Women in Business (BWIB) exists to serve as a community and support system for female Cal students who want to pursue careers related to business. BWIB does so by providing professional development and networking opportunities, as well as educating women about contemporary issues in the business world. BWIB aims to prepare women to address struggles that we may have to confront as females in a comfortable and welcoming environment. BWIB members are exposed to a diverse panel of business areas through leadership projects, social events, skill-building workshops, conferences, working and internship opportunities, and mentorship programs.
BWIB also consists of different committees, namely: Finance, Internal Relations, Marketing, Membership Development, and Communications. Committees help manage BWIB and ensure operations under each of the five sectors run smoothly. Last week, BWIB announced their new committee members. The women met for a committee retreat on Saturday, September the 23rd, where committee members got to know each other better through games and events organized by BWIB’s VP of Internal Relations, Anni Zhang.
Committees participated in a “Never Have I Ever” game. All girls would be sat in a circle. A first player will stand in the middle and start the game with a statement about something she has never done. Any player who has done what the first player never did will have to change seats. In this process, the first player will run to find herself a seat. One will be left standing, and she will then have to state something she has never done and repeat the whole process. This allows the committee members to learn new random facts about their peers.
To prepare BWIB committee members for the real world, the executives created a rockstar exercise. Members were assigned to groups. Each group had to call dibs on a song from the execs’ list and perform it. The groups were expected to come up with a band logo on the spot, market themselves through an impromptu business pitch to hitch a contract from a record label, represented by different execs, and win the hearts of consumers that were interested in specific genres. It was a fun and learning experience for everyone.
Committee members also engaged in a game of jeopardy. The questions were categorized by pop culture, leaders, business, BWIB, and “surprise”. The girls’ knowledge of female professionals, women CEOs, and basic business were tested. It was a great way to gain information about BWIB as well as other interesting general facts.
Just for laughs, BWIB committee members tapped their creative juices in the Story Maker event. The main gist of the game was for the first player to mention either her favorite food, location, or someone in the room, in her introductory sentence to start the story. The rest of the players were to continue the story with a sentence or two until the story is concluded by the last person/speaker. The purpose of the game was for the members to see if they could come up with a coherent story.
To end the day, BWIB members were asked what they liked about the retreat and share their insights about which event they enjoyed the most, and what they expected from their committees. It was definitely both a fun-packed and productive Saturday for BWIB, as the ladies were able to develop friendships, learn from and contribute to their committees, all while having a great time!
Class of 2014
Photo credit to BWIB’s Lucy Lu