Harvard Women in Business to Succeed

How the Intercollegiate Business Convention is breaking barriers and building changemakers

IBC 2018 is "daring" its members to take risks and invest in themselves.

After a decade of stagnation, the global gender income gap is widening. In 2017, the average pay for men was $21,000, compared to only $12,000 for working women. Many attribute this partially to the gender imbalance in senior management positions–only 22% of which are held by women (Harris). Unfortunately, these statistics also extend to the world’s largest economy; American women earn only 81% of what their male counterparts do for working the same job (ILO).

But there is a path forward. Although women currently represent fewer than 50 percent of leaders in almost every industry, research has shown that when women are well represented in leadership roles, more women are hired across the board in a ripple effect (Petrone). It is statistics such as these that fuel us as members of Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business (HUWIB).

As Harvard College’s largest business organization, HUWIB strives to empower enterprising young women around the world by uniting them through business education and experience. Our organization offers unique opportunities for our affiliates to build both internal and external networks through mentorship programs and acquire tangible business skills during workshops and internships.

Since 2005, Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business has hosted the globally-recognized Intercollegiate Business Convention (IBC) every fall. From 400 participants in its year of inception, the conference has grown to attract over 1,000 girls from over 45 different countries. IBC is a day of focused programming for driven female leaders from top universities around the world to explore career opportunities, expand their network of peers and mentors, and be inspired by top business leaders.

This year, the 14th annual IBC will be held on October 28 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. IBC attendees will have the opportunity to hear from inspiring keynotes speakers, as well as from nearly 100 speakers in 13 industry-specific panels and 3 career-focused workshops covering a wide range of topics. This year’s keynote speakers are Kathy Calvin (CEO and President of the UN Foundation), Sallie Krawcheck (CEO and Founder of Ellevest), and Anne Fulenwider (Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire). This year’s IBCtalks, which specifically spotlight female entrepreneurs, are Huda Kattan (Founder of Huda Beauty), Iman Oubou (Founder and CEO of SWAAY Media), and Anna Auerbach (Founder and CEO of Werk). In addition, participants will be able to build their networks by engaging with professionals during the Networking Lunch and the Career and Networking Fair, as well as by interacting with their fellow aspiring business leaders throughout the day.

14 years later, IBC continues to develop and grow. IBC 2018 is expected to achieve record levels of geographic diversity among its attendees. We are also excited to introduce speaker addresses, such as a joint fireside chat between Iman Oubou and Anna Auerbach, that are intended to increase engagement and spark dialogue among the speakers and the attendees alike. This year’s conference will also feature an unprecedented caliber of panelists, including company founders and CEOs such as Katerina Schneider (Founder and CEO of Ritual), Alicia Yoon (Founder and CEO of Peach & Lily), Angela Lee (Founder of 37 Angels), Samantha Snabes (Co-Founder of re:3D), and Sarah Hofstetter (CEO of 360i), just to name a few.

Our team believes that:

“When you take such a large delegation of intelligent, driven women and put them in a room together, great things happen. We are honored to be able to host an event that that gives attendees a platform to build their internal and external networks, to learn valuable advice from professionals in a vast number of career fields, and to reflect on the kinds of leaders they aim to be.”

HUWIB is also dedicated to improving the accessibility of IBC for young women who wish to attend. This year, we are excited to devote a record proportion of funds to our financial aid initiative, so as to enable as many women as possible to benefit from the convention. The scholarship program will waive the participation fee and help to defray the cost of flights and hotel accommodations.

We hope that IBC 2018 will empower an interconnected and supportive group of women to lift one another up beyond the statistics, propelling them into the workforce as collaborative change-makers.

For any additional questions about IBC, please contact the IBC Co-Chairs Charlotte Kim ([email protected]) and Julissa Higgins ([email protected]). Further details can be found on the conference’s website: www.huwib-ibc.com.

Tickets may be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intercollegiate-business-convention-2018-registration-45457752361?aff=es2

Works Cited

Harris, Briony. “What the Pay Gap between Men and Women Really Looks Like.” World Economic Forum, 6 Nov. 2017, www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/11/pay-equality-men-women-gender-gap-report-2017.

ILO. “Gender Inequality and Women in the US Labor Force.” International Labour Organization, 23 Nov. 2011, www.ilo.org/washington/areas/gender-equality-in-the-workplace/WCMS_159496/lang–en/index.htm.

Petrone, Paul. “5 Troubling Stats About Gender Equality in the Workplace.” LinkedIn Learning, 4 Jan. 2018, learning.linkedin.com/blog/working-together/5-of-the-most-worrisome-stats-from-the-global-gender-gap-report.

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