In celebration of International Women’s Day, women and allies in the Scheller MBA community gathered for a virtual Boards & Brunch event hosted by Jacquelyn Renée Schneider (BSBC ‘06 and MBA ‘18).
The 2021 International Women’s Day theme is ‘Choose to Challenge,’ and Schneider’s hope was to curate an event that incorporated this theme with Georgia Tech’s motto of ‘Progress and Service.’ “Securing a board position is a phenomenal way to be of service within your community, drive lasting progress, and make an impact,” Schneider explained.
For the Boards & Brunch event, each of the three featured speakers presented on a topic surrounding board engagement. Angela Hong (MBA ‘21), head of corporate communications, Asbury Automotive Group, shared her experience on finding the right non-profit board. Errika Moore (ISyE ‘96), executive director, STEM Funders Network, provided insight into thriving on a non-profit board. Lastly, Neeti Dewan, global tax director, Cynosure, and co-founder, Symmr, closed out the event focusing on the board portfolio and navigating corporate boards. Two breakout sessions were also included in the event to allow for additional connection and relationship-building opportunities.
Key takeaways included the importance of aligning your passion to your service and the vital role networking plays in identifying board opportunities. The featured speakers advised attendees to learn from their peers about the process of joining a board, requirements, culture, etc. Lastly, they emphasized the importance of fiduciary responsibility and understanding expectations up front before signing on. Attendees walked away informed, educated, and inspired. “By the end of the event, I was inspired and gained some self-confidence to become a more active member of the community,” said Joanna Oliva (MBA ‘22).
“At Scheller, we are incredibly fortunate to have a strong community of women and allies to serve as sounding boards and advocates,” Schneider emphasized. “As women, we are at a pivotal time where we all need to continue maintaining progress and continue gaining ground. This year, what might you choose to challenge? How will you continue to help build a gender equal world? Do not let International Women’s Day be only one day, make that commitment every day.”