Maisie Karlin: A Representation of Local Female Leadership

Having grown up in a household that promoted hard work, Maisie Karlin has spent much of her time at DU as an integral part to many organizations and projects, such as student government, Delta Gamma, and the Humans of DU Instagram account. Karlin continues to leave her mark at DU by being involved as a woman leader.

“I have always operated on the philosophy if not me then who, if not now then when. I don’t think that it is fair to complain about things if you’re not doing anything to change them,” Karlin said. 

With her mother being a successful and independent woman, she demonstrated how hard work could pay off. 

“She is a neurologist, which, when she was going through medical school, was a completely male dominated field,” Karlin said. “She didn’t necessarily have 100% support for choosing her career path, and then once she did and became a neurologist, she was the only woman in the office. She has been a really strong pillar in my life and a really big inspiration.”

One of Karlin’s leadership projects on campus was the creation of the Humans of DU Instagram, inspired by her want for representation.

“I think there is a holistic community that’s lacking at DU and people are very involved with their perspective things,” Karlin said. “I don’t think people are aware of what their classmates are doing, and they are doing some pretty awesome stuff.”

Even though Karlin is involved around campus and in numerous leadership positions, it was not always easy to take the step towards being a leader.

“I ran for junior class president in high school,” Karlin said. “I found out that the two guys we were running against were sending campaign texts to people saying, 'Women should be in the kitchen and not in leadership roles.'"

After experiencing this in high school, it became apparent to her the struggles women face frequently. 

“When you grow up as a girl, you don’t think about the little things that necessarily make you different or the inequalities that exist between you and your male counterparts,” Karlin said. “I think that was the first time that I realized that there was a big division here.”

As a leader on campus, Karlin encourages all women on campus to try to get as involved as possible.

“It is so worthwhile once you do win and you do get a seat at that table because then you can tell the story that you were struggling with it, but it will end up being the most worthwhile thing you do,” Karlin said.

Karlin believes that, despite the hurdles that may appear, it is important to support representation on every scale.

“I think that it is imperative to have equal representation for the population that exists or else there is always going to be an underrepresented group,” Karlin said. “That in itself is a form of oppression, because that means you are not getting as big of a seat at the table where decisions are being made.”