Fuqua’s Association of Women in Business (AWIB) community is starting the school year on a joyous note with the announcement that the percentage of women in the Daytime MBA Class of 2020 is the highest ever for a class at 42 percent! As AWIB co-president, I’m excited that we’ve recalibrated our priorities to try and serve the women at Fuqua best as possible. Here’s a look at what we have planned.

One key goal is greater engagement with all Fuqua women, from prospective to current students to alumni. This summer, we spearheaded AWIB Summer Socials in eight cities across the country to give women an opportunity to get together and socialize even when school’s out. We were heartened by the enthusiasm, with over 250 women attendees across all the cities.

As the school year is beginning, our focus is directed towards planning the 14th annual Weekend for Women (W4W), taking place November 1-3. We’re moving our annual Women’s Leadership Conference to take place on November 3, in conjunction with W4W, in order to foster greater engagement between prospective and current students. Additionally, we started the AWIB Speaker Series in partnership with Fuqua’s Alumni Relations department, to bring more awesome alumni back to campus to discuss their career journeys in both large and intimate settings.

We’re also very excited to welcome the aforementioned Class of 2020 and are designing programming to best serve its needs as incoming MBAs, in terms of academics, recruiting, and social activities. We’re continuing our AWIB Real Talks series with panels of second-year MBAs breaking down their recruiting experience through a variety of topics and perspectives. And this year, we have an international career lead to better support international students in their recruiting journeys.

More than a dozen students, mostly comprised of some of the women at Fuqua, pose after a workout at a Durham gym
Our group outing to the gym

On the community engagement front, we’ve created two new club cabinet positions to better address specific needs within our community. That includes a health & wellness lead to plan events that maintain the physical and mental well-being of Fuqua women, and an academic experience lead to ensure a positive classroom experience. We’re excited to continue our growing Male Allies program to engage men on campus on how to best be supportive to their female classmates and colleagues.

We’re also consciously engaging with other campus diversity and professional groups to promote intersectionality among our members. This is core to our goals and will run throughout our programming, from social to recruiting events.

I’m so humbled by the hard work of my classmates and energized to tackle an ambitious agenda in partnership with our incredible AWIB cabinet and the tremendous support from the administration and Admissions department. In light of challenging news and events facing women internationally, it’s gratifying to have the opportunity to support women in our day-to-day lives through AWIB and see the progress every day on campus.

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three dozen students, mostly comprised of some of the women at Fuqua, pose for a photo in the beer garden at Ponysaurus Brewing
AWIB members and allies at Ponysaurus Brewing