Students Lauded for Contribution to Critical Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report
Several Chargers recently collaborated on important research that is now part of a report publicized by an alliance of women’s business organizations. Their work, which enabled them to build their networking, research, and presentation skills, is already making an important impact.
March 3, 2023
By Elise Browell ’23, Cora Cogill ’23, and Julia Tiso ’23
The students’ contributions have been widely recognized by WBC and Gender Collaborative, which rates companies and organizations based on how they are progressing on equality and helps companies continue this work.
The students, as part of the University’s Liberty Initiative, were part of a study evaluating public DEI information from more than 550 companies, including Fortune 500 companies.
Below, several students reflect on the experience and what it meant to them to be a part of this important project.
Elise Browell '23
Working with the Women Business Collaborative (WBC) during the Fall semester of 2022 was eye-opening. I was asked to be a part of this project by Prof. John Rosen, who I had as an advertising professor. This project involved working with the WBC to research and report corporate companies’ transparency with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This topic has always grabbed my attention and incentivized me to join this team.
As a senior music industry major and as a woman who’s about to enter the music industry field, I feel the topic of DEI and companies’ transparency is relevant as I begin to look for jobs. Preparing to work in a male-dominated industry that focuses on networking, I found this project gave me a chance to analyze other industries and connect with other women at the University of New Haven who are also entering the business world.
As I was researching 60 companies varying from healthcare corporations to technology companies, I analyzed the different ways certain websites went about presenting DEI data. This varied from publishing a specific Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion report, or releasing DEI statistics in the company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance report. Larger corporations, such as Walt Disney, presented copious amounts of data and information regarding their stance on DEI, while smaller companies, including those in the steel industry, released minimal data.
It was an honor to be a part of this project. Not only am I able to research DEI stances and data for my own job search now, but I met a group of women within the business world who have a passion to see change and more representation within multiple industries. This experience emphasized the need for these conversations and the importance of data and analytics collection.
Connecting with the Women Business Collaborative has given me the opportunity to enter the workforce with more confidence in my application process, and more hope that we as women, can continue to push change forward.
Cora Cogill '23
During the Fall 2022 semester, I had the opportunity to work with other students to collect data and research for the Women Business Collaborative. Throughout this research project, I was able to connect with organizational leaders to share the work my team and I completed each week.
I was tasked with the quality assurance process. Each week, I would focus on taking a sample size of the data collected by the other researchers and ensuring that data was correct. The data collection and quality assurance process were both eye opening, as I learned so much about Fortune 500 companies’ transparency in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion reporting.
Toward the end of the research project, I had the opportunity to work with another student to create an overview presentation of the data we had collected throughout the entirety of the project. In December, organization representatives from the Women Business Collaborative and Gender Fair came to the University’s Orange Campus to view the presentation of our research.
This was an amazing opportunity to network and present our findings in person. A few months after our presentation to the Women Business Collaborative and Gender Fair, the Women Business Collaborative published a report using our data. It was very exciting to see the work we completed be part of an official report.
Overall, this experience aided me in gaining more skills in research and professional development.
Julia Tiso '23
As a woman in business, I was excited to be presented with the chance to research how women are represented in some of the top grossing companies in the United States. This project allowed me to understand how I can ensure that women, myself included, could continue to pave the way for generations to come.
Throughout this project, we took more than 500 companies and calculated, through extensive research of the companies’ websites, their EEO-1 reporting, and other accessible data, which companies had dedicated themselves to diversity and inclusion across all metrics. After the data had been collected, we formatted it into a proposal to then share with the WBC that they then used for their own initiative.
I want to thank Professors John Rosen and Leah Hartman for their unwavering encouragement, as well as my fellow researchers on this project. Without their help and constant support, none of this would have been possible in the timeframe that we had. The work done with this project will continue to pave the way for women entrepreneurs, and the WBC will continue to run projects such as this to ensure that women are being properly represented in our respective careers for years to come.
This was an experience that taught me so much. I gained skills and insights that will continue to shape me and my career, as well as inspire me to be the best at whatever challenges I may face in the future.
Elise Browell ’23 is a music industry major at the University. Cora Cogill ’23 is a business management major. Julia Tiso ’23 is a marketing major.