Two students wondered why Blair Academy didn’t have a club for women interested in business, so they started one.
Katie Schultz ’22 and Megan Donaghy ’22 were inspired to create the Blair Women in Business Club after realizing the benefits a women-based business club would provide for students on campus.
“I think a small group is really a strong place for girls to lean on each other and open up to others,” Katie explained. “I have been passionate about business since I was a little girl, and I wanted to create an opportunity for all of the girls at Blair to learn more and be open to that environment.”
The pair suggested the idea of a business club for women to Associate Dean of Admission and college counselor Caroline Wilson, who agreed that this type of resource would benefit Blair students. The new club was approved for the 2020-21 school year, and, since September, the 35 club members have convened virtually for regular meetings.
Over the course of the fall semester, the Women in Business Club welcomed several guest speakers, including Karen Heath-Wade, senior vice president and head of global client services at American Century Investments, April Vandervort, vice president of life and annuity at Nationwide, and Candi Carter, executive producer of the Tamron Hall Show. According to Katie, each speaker brought her own unique point of view about how to run a business successfully, and club members enjoyed hearing their stories and advice, and asking questions.
Looking to the spring semester, the club plans to organize and run fundraising events to support the nonprofits headed up by some of their guests, including a clothing drive to support Bottomless Closet, a nonprofit brought to the club’s attention by Ms. Heath-Wade.
“It’s important to our club members to give back to others in the community,” Katie said. “Following up on the discussions we’ve had with such incredible women is inspiring. A goal of our club is to give back what we have learned from these accomplished women. I can’t wait for Blair to become involved with these great organizations.”
Ms. Wilson noted that Katie and Megan are doing 99 percent of the work running the Women in Business Club, including contacting speakers, setting up the meetings, creating plans and maintaining all contact with the club members. “I am simply helping with a few logistics,” she said. “I am so impressed with everything Katie and Megan have done to bring female empowerment to our student body.”
“The Women in Business Club is truly a place where students at Blair can hear from women who have succeeded in different areas of the business world and gain the knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in their own ways,” Katie said. “Although this is only our first year, we are excited to continue to grow, and we look forward to seeing the future impact of our club at Blair.”