By Clara Marks
Oxford can seem daunting enough without the added world of student-run societies. Today I wanted to talk about my experience with the Oxford Women in Business society.
Before I joined Oxford Women in Business, business was something alien, gate kept by men in suits, MBA graduates and LinkedIn influencers. OxWIB taught me to throw out all these preconceived ideas. Being a woman in business isn’t exclusive to working in consultancy, finance or law, it is a state of mind which we are all capable of. The most common question I get asked about OxWIB is, ‘Do I have to study business to join?’ and the answer is absolutely not! Our members and committee study everything from STEM, to humanities, like me.
I joined the OxWIB mentorship scheme in my first term of Year 1 at Oxford and was paired with an amazing graduate journalist who I am still in touch with today. I was so grateful for this opportunity that I applied to be on the committee the next term as Events Director, a role in which I stayed for two terms, organising over thirty events. Over this period, my team focused on diversifying the meaning of business, going beyond the traditional routes by organising panels in the social sector, fashion, beauty and entrepreneurship.
Over the past summer and last term I served as Secretary and now I am lucky enough to be President Elect. The OxWIB community is a thriving hub of empowerment. We were even lucky enough to be recently voted Bright Network’s Women’s Society of the Year by our members and a judging panel. Working with an amazing committee of thirty students, and over thirty ambassadors is an amazing experience to meet new people.
This term I am excited to announce we have organised over 17 events, some in-person and some online, which will continue to cover all areas of business and skills-development. Our Inspirational Women Series, which aims to provide a platform to discuss the experiences of women in the workplace, and to inspire them through the insights of speakers who have been hugely successful, will continue with our very own Founder of That Oxford Girl, Tilly Rose, and the CEO of Natwest Group, Alison Rose. We will be hosting a Leadership Workshop series with Melissa Jones Briggs, Professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, teaching Acting with Power in partnership with leading social scientists. We have panels exploring careers in Digital Health and Sports as well as a panel on Male Allies being organised by our mentorship team. On the 16 February we are hosting a book reading and signing event with Blackwells and Brita Fernandez Schmidt, former Executive Director of Women for Women International, tickets which are available now! Additionally, our fortnightly drop-ins serve as an excellent way to network and socialise with like-minded individuals with a free drink or snack.
Find out more about OxWIB events and join our community at www.oxwib.com and follow our Instagram and Facebook Page @oxwib.