Kelly Gillett, vice president of the Women in Leadership club at UC Davis, and board member of WEAVE’s retail advisory board, offers her insight into attracting more women into leadership roles in both the business and nonprofit world. For more from Gillett, check out “A Seat at the Table” in our March issue. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll email you when it’s available online.
What’s the biggest change in the Women in Leadership club in the past year?
[We’ve seen] a steady incline in membership. With this incline comes a surge of energy as each member brings their personal passions and a strong commitment to our mission. This is largely a result of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s commitment to increasing our female student enrollment. There isn’t a business school in the country that has yet to break 50 percent or more in female enrollment. However, UC Davis has remained committed to our future female business leaders and our club has greatly been affected by that support. Additionally, Women in Leadership President Julianne Fraker and I have witnessed an increase in interest in our club from the greater Davis and Sacramento communities over the last year, and we have worked hard to maintain the momentum.
What do you foresee as the biggest change on the horizon in the year to come?
As we know, this has been a monumental year for women in the United States. Open and honest conversations regarding gender inequality have sprung up throughout the country and I don’t see that fading anytime soon. Women in Leadership can continue to use that momentum to further our cause. As we begin to prepare the next class of club leaders, we feel confident knowing that each set of successors stands on the shoulders of the women than came before.
Our club is successful because of all the incredible women that worked hard to lay such a solid foundation. It is also important to mention that our club is not only composed of women, we have many dedicated male advocates that stand beside us in our mission for equality. I only see this support increasing over the next year, as more and more men join in the conversation. The UC Davis Women in Leadership [members] have an incredible opportunity to keep this conversation going in our business school and continue to implement meaningful change.
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