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Though colleges like Smith College and Ithaca College are making strides, we will not reach business leadership equality until 2085, at this rate

By: Nicole Gutierrez and Chelsea LeVander

Photo from SaraKauss.com
According to an article in The Diamondback by Andi Cwieka, female CEO of the waterbottle company S'well, Sarah Kauss,  came to speak to about 50 students at the University of Maryland.

Kauss discussed her setbacks based on her gender during her speech and encouraged the UMD students attending to take risks in their career.

"I had to let go of always trying to do things perfectly, Kauss said. "If I kept [S'well] back until it was ready, it would never have been ready, or someone else would have done it first."

Kauss is currently on Fortune's 40 under 40 list and her company is making $40 million in revenue.

Smith College and Ithaca College have organizations that focus solely on women in the business world

Sarah Kauss, however, is in the minority. There is no doubt that there is a gender gap between women and men in the entrepreneurial business world. Women today only hold 16.6% of board seats in Fortune 500 companies, according to an article on the University of Pennsylvania's "Wharton" website.

 

There are colleges in the country that are trying to close the gap. Two examples are Smith College and Ithaca College. 

At Smith College, there is an organization called Business Women of Smith College. This organization provides "students who are interested in pursuing careers in business, consulting, and entrepreneurship with resources and networking opportunities."

The organization frequently has women speakers come to their meetings to ensure that they are fostering a community of successful business-minded women. They also attend other business classes at other business schools across the country to ensure that their business education is the greatest that it could be. 

At Ithaca College, they have a "Women in Business Network," which was founded in 2007 at the college. Their mission states, "The mission of this organization is to emphasize the importance of women in business and leadership. This will be through networking opportunities, lecture series, conferences, and mentoring programs." The group's Facebook page states that they want to get this mission across to its members on a weekly basis.

At this rate, leadership equality will not exist until 2085

 



While many campuses across the country are home to organizations like this, Nian Hu, a writer for the Harvard Political Review, says that having organizations for just women illustrates the fact that a significant gap still exists on campuses and in the business world, as well. 

Hu states, "Why are there two different clubs for aspiring scientists, anyway? It seems to imply that women need extra 'help,' since they are not intrinsically suited to become a scientist the same way a man is."

In addition, according to Judith Warner, a writer for the Center for American Progress, "it will take until 2085 for women to reach" leadership equality in our country. 

While changes are happening, the rate is not enough. More needs to be done to close the gender gap, starting at the university level. 

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