A new student organization on campus hopes to demonstrate that the Princeton Review's recent ranking of the School of Business as one of the top 10 schools in the country for women was well-earned.
With similar groups at Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania, schools with prestigious business programs, GW's Women in Business student organization aims to help undergraduate women succeed in the modern workforce.
"This seems to be a very special place for women," said Susan Phillips, dean of the School of Business.
The organization's launch event last week in the Marvin Center's Continental Ballroom showcased two speakers including Phillips and Scott Brennan of the organization's corporate sponsor, Lehman Brothers Firm.
Co-founders of GWWIB and senior finance majors, Julie Beggans and Katie Considine, said a speaker they heard over the summer while interning together at Lehman Brothers inspired them to form the new group at GW.
The speaker, Janet Hanson, is founder of 85 Broads, a global networking organization that now boasts over 15,000 female members since its creation in 1999.
"Katie and I looked at each other and had the same idea," Beggans said.
The co-founders secured corporate sponsorship from Lehman Brothers as well as Bear Stearns, and established an executive committee of female undergraduates from the business school. The group has more than 200 members.
"It's for anyone wanting to be a part of the professional world, anyone who can benefit from hearing guest speakers and getting resume and interview help," said Katie Musolino, communications officer for the new group.
One important aspect of the student organization will be its network of business contacts.
"In order for GW to remain competitive, a network needs to take shape," said Considine, adding that her organization has begun to establish that network.
The group also plans to host philanthropic events and workshops focused on skills like resume development and public speaking. The group is already involved with philanthropic organizations Operation Smile and Avon for Breast Cancer.
Wednesday's launch event emphasized these goals, but also described the presence of women in the changing demographics of today's business world. A video presentation shown at the launch event said that women currently control 38 percent of business in the U.S.
Brennan, a GW alumnus, emphasized how the professional realm has evolved away from the "old boys" network, and now also represents a culture of women and minorities.
"It's great for me, to come here and give back. I have a lot to give back," Brennan said.
The first GWWIB body meeting will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in Marvin Center 403.