The Charger Blog

Women’s Leadership Council Endeavors to Prepare the Next Generation of Leaders

A new initiative at the University of New Haven, the Women’s Leadership Council brings female students and prominent women leaders together for mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as for inspiration and empowerment.

February 24, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of students and faculty
"Women as Leaders" brought together students, faculty members, and leaders.

When Rachana Pillai ’20 MBA attended a recent "Women as Leaders" panel discussion and networking event, she was moved by the conversation about balancing work and personal lives, as well as the message of empowerment.

"Women in leadership know that it is essential to help other women," she said. "When you learn from other women, they can encourage you and give you the strength and inspiration to achieve your goals."

Hosted by the University’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), a group that provides inspiration, guidance, and opportunity for women at the University, the event brought together students, faculty members, and leaders such as Josephine Moran ’01 M.S., ’19 EMBA, a member of the University’s Board of Governors and an executive vice president at Provident Bank.

The WLC was first conceived when Moran became chairperson of the University’s College of Business Advisory Board in 2018. Committed to the engagement, growth, and development of women, the WLC aims to help women to reach their full potential.

"It's important for future female leaders to have role models who they can emulate to increase their chances of becoming leaders, themselves, one day."Courtney Smith ’20

"Mentorship has had a tremendous impact on me," said Moran. "Without the belief and encouragement I had earlier in my career from both male and female mentors, I would not be where I am in my career. I would like the council to do the same for current students."

The University has hosted a Women’s Leadership Conference for the past five years, and the hope is that the new Women’s Leadership Council will be a female student-focused program that will host even more events geared toward networking and empowerment.

"The Women's Leadership Council is an exciting new initiative, building on five years of success with the Women's Leadership Conference," said Nancy Savage, Ph.D., the conference’s steering committee chair and associate dean of the University's Tagliatela College of Engineering. "I look forward to working with the Council membership in creating meaningful opportunities for our women students and alumnae to connect."

Endeavoring to encourage women to become inspirational, transformational leaders in their communities – while fostering a robust learning environment and connections with one another – the WLC leadership committee includes more than 20 professional women, who represent diverse backgrounds, industries, and areas of expertise.

Image of WLC panel
Josephine Moran ’01 M.S., ’19 EMBA (right) was part of the panel discussion at the “Women as Leaders” event.

"I expect the WLC to empower women at the University to be confident changemakers," said Khadija Al Arkoubi, Ph.D., an associate professor of management. "It will hopefully boost their confidence and self-efficacy as well as create opportunities that support their quest for personal and career growth."

Courtney Smith ’20, a business management major who also attended the "Women as Leaders" event, is grateful that the WLC will continue to provide these meaningful opportunities for students.

"A Women's Leadership Council is important to have at the University because it allows upcoming female leaders to see examples of women who have already become leaders in their fields," she said. "It's important for future female leaders to have role models who they can emulate to increase their chances of becoming leaders, themselves, one day."

The WCL’s next event will be on Wednesday, March 4, from 4:30-7 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge in Bartels Hall on the University’s main campus. Entitled "Strategies to Survive Student Debt," it will focus on assisting students with understanding credit and paying off student debt. The first in a series focused on student financial wellness, the event is part of the University’s celebration of women’s history month.