WHU Women in Business Club is an initiative founded by WHU MBA students, whose objective is to broaden the exchange and development of aspiring women in the business and leadership context. In an interview, the student club presents its objectives and how they want to shape the business world.
What is the idea behind the MBA initiative WHU Woman in Business Club? Which objectives do you pursue?
As seven students from four MBA batches, we were inspired to come together and create a platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities of women in business today. We feel that to empower workplace equality, we need a stage to showcase positive business role models. As a club, we drive thought leadership in business and management topics. Events will spotlight business professionals who manage high leadership roles. Networking events will aim to connect students with fellow females who have pursued successful careers in Germany. We aspire normalizing multi-cultural female leadership and making an impact in the business environment in Germany and beyond.
Who can become part of the club and what qualities should interested individuals bring along?
Any WHU MBA student or alumnus who shares our vision of equality in the workplace should join! We are targeting professionals about to make an impact in middle management or start female-led ventures after graduation. As we support inclusion and diverse life experience, male allies are just as important as female members. We are seeking club members who want to lend their voice to this cause.
Through which events – may it be virtually due to the digital transformation during the corona crisis, or in person and on campus, as soon as it will be possible again – do you plan to bring people together?
While digital events are necessary under the current pandemic situation, we are proud to bring live fireside meetings through virtual encounters. Once health restrictions are relaxed, we plan to host events with alumni, industry speakers, and other professionals in Dusseldorf. Anticipate hearing more about our meetups, keynote speakers, and even brunch events scheduled for this summer and fall!
What differentiates your club from other student clubs and networking events at WHU?
Two numbers differentiate our club: 35 & 15. In WHU’s 35-year history, we are the first student-led club focused on women in business. We found it necessary to create a footpath for future WHU MBA students to follow, as there are growing opportunities for women in business in Germany and worldwide.
15 represents the percentage of women in leadership in German companies. This coincidentally accords with our current female enrollment rate in the part-time MBA program. Through our club activities, we not only promote the excellence of WHU programs but also inspire and uplift underrepresented women in Germany.
Gender-equal workplaces and female entrepreneurship are topics on your agenda. How do you want to contribute and make an impact on those fields? What are further subjects you want to influence?
Our club will contribute to topics like the gender-gap and female-driven entrepreneurship by providing workshops, topic series (i.e., women trailblazers), networking, and mentorship opportunities. We envision the club to be a platform to discuss real issues encountered by women in business, such as balancing high-pressure careers with parenthood, negotiating a raise or promotion, juggling dual-income households, especially during WFH restrictions, and more. We hope to share stories of female leaders in industries or functions where women thrive despite being underrepresented. With various events throughout the next year, we plan to set the stage for future leaders to link with perspective VCs, hear about female-based funding, and other opportunities for women in business. Unconscious bias in the workplace is top of our agenda.
We aim to influence the career trajectory of MBA students, by supporting them in finding role models and building their network on campus, in Dusseldorf and beyond. Feel free to join us and help us enrich our network and careers – Let's break the glass ceiling!