Student starts club to support women with business aspirations

In mid October, Elise Testa ’17  started the Women in Business club at the College, and along with Stephanie Li ’18, Betty Chen ’19 and Skylar Smith ’18 has become a member of its board of directors.

The club aims to “empower and encourage female students to join the business field,” according to Testa.

When Testa worked at two different investment banks this past summer, she found that she was the only female intern.

“At my internships this summer, I was not by any means isolated or discriminated against due to my gender…,” Testa said in a Sept. 23 op-ed, “Where are the women?” in the Record. “…I could do the job better than the other men alongside me. I want other women to know they can not only work in finance and be investment bankers, but also rise to the top and be leaders in their field.”

In one of its first actions as a club, several members traveled to Boston on Oct. 17 for the Harvard Intercollegiate Business Convention, an event hosted by Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business and attended by more than 1200 people.

“There were great speakers and workshops, and we had the opportunity to meet and network with many women and students in the business field,” Testa said.

Testa said that while the Women in Business club is similar to the EphBusiness association in some aspects, she has not modeled the club after any existing one. She has, however, reached out to the president of the Women in Business club at Stanford University and hopes to incorporate some of its ideas.

Since its recent inception, the club has also set up a mentorship program that pairs underclassmen with upperclassmen who can offer advice and guidance.

The group has several plans for the long term. In January and throughout the spring, the club will bring several female speakers to campus. So far, the lineup includes Valerie DiFebo, CEO of Deutsche Bank, and Yvonne Hao, a partner at Bain & Co. Testa has also reached out to other women in business to come speak. In addition, group leaders plan to organize workshops for members on resume and cover letter building, excel and public speaking.

“We will be expanding the program to also have a community outreach program to encourage female high school and middle school students in local communities to become involved in the business field,” Testa added.

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