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Ohio Women in Business

Within Ohio University’s male-dominated College of Business, Ohio Women in Business (OWIB) worked their way to the top. The organization won the Most Outstanding Student Organization award granted by the university’s College of Business. Only one business student organization is granted the honor once a year.

 

Driven to aim for pay equality (women only get 77 cents to the dollar compared to men, according to a Huffington Post article), OWIB wants to provide a support system for women in all job-related fields. They want to “aim for more balance” within the College of Business since women only make up 30 percent of the college, said Vice President of Finance and junior, Kaley Meyer.

 

OWIB President Rachel Niese believes the organization won the award because of its growth over the past two years, with 122 members and counting.

 

“It’s incredible how fast it has grown,” Niese said. “It just shows that we are an organization that needed to be here because women weren’t having any representation in the College of Business.”

 

OU alumna Liz Doyle established OWIB in Fall 2013. Doyle came into one of Meyer’s business classes and talked about the gender pay gap. Meyer believed she could greatly benefit from their networking events and by also becoming a member, since she’s a woman and she’s in business.

 

The organization works on three tiers: attract, develop and launch. They want to attract women in business and act as a support system, develop as successful leaders and launch women into the workforce, Meyer said.

 

OWIB hosts events from résumé workshops and interview preparations to membership meetings featuring educational or professional speakers. They bring in leaders to share their stories of how things are changing in the workforce.

 

“I would like women to feel more confident when they’re telling people what needs to be done rather than feeling as though they are coming off as bitchy,” Meyer said, referring to the negative stigma of a woman being in charge.

 

Meyer also said she wants women to feel confident enough to negotiate a salary since this contributes as to why women are often paid less compared to men.

 

Joining the organization is applicable to anyone who is seeking professional help; anyone with any major can participate. One doesn’t have to be a woman to join as well. OWIB currently has three male members. The men help by coming to member meetings and helping with bake sales; theses are  just a couple of examples of how they support the organization.

Cookies from a previous bake sale put on by OWIB. Photo courtesy: Jordan Endres.

“The guys understand women’s professional struggles and learn to deal with it a different way,” Meyer said. “They especially stand out because they’re not expected to be there…I’m sure [being a part of OWIB] is one of the first things that jumps out on their résumé.”

Niese added that the guys come to every meeting, which helps members stay engaged to keep the organization growing.

Look out for OWIB’s upcoming events. In August, they are partnering with Connect, another College of Business organization, to do a LinkedIn workshop. Also, OWIB plans on having a women’s networking-after-graduation event where they want several companies to send their representatives to make business connections.

For more information, check out their website.

If you’re interested in getting involved, contact Jenny Hirschl at jh132212@ohio.edu. Follow them on Twitter at @ohiowib and like their page on Facebook.

Rachel Niese (top, center) and Kaley Meyer (bottom, far right) with the rest of the Ohio Women in Business executive board members. Photo courtesy: Jordan Endres.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." -James Dean. E.W. Scripps School of Journalism kid. Avid explorer. Puppy (and all things fluffy) lover.  Twitter: @Taylor_Stano & Instagram: @TayStano
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