Launch of the ‘Women in Leadership Society’

On Monday a new Society was born; the “Women in Leadership Society”. Launched is more appropriate as the society members explained that this had been in the making for quite a lot longer than just a couple of weeks. And the work seems to have paid off. A little disclaimer: I (as the writer) am male. Now I know that that should not matter, but with a society putting ‘Women’ in the title, I do feel I need to add it.

One of the main aspects which made the meeting so enjoyable is that the Society does not seem to push an agenda. It’s about raising the confidence of young women in positions which are normally male-dominated. Now before all males turn away, Sarah Nield from PWC summed the dilemma up nicely when she said “Men wait until they are 80% confident and then just do it, while women wait until they are 120% confident and then slowly ease into something”. Ms. Nield talked about her life, her role, her education; showing what was achievable for women and only focused a little on the gender issues.

Ms. Nield did naturally address some issues and fielded some questions which were more relevant to females; “How to deal with part-time arrangements” or “What were some struggles you faced”, the openness of PWC to professionals with children, but most questions focused on success, opportunity, how to land a job, the same questions that would be asked of a ‘male’ leadership figure. However, I do have to add that from what the upcoming events were like, it would not be a society for males. The focus seems to be on ‘female’ events. This should not be taken as a negative. LUBS and LUUTIS are male dominated whether one wants to admit it or not. “Women in Leadership” is actively trying to stand for being a female ‘Investment Banking’, ‘Business’, ‘Accountancy’ society.

Before coming, there was a sense for me that there might be too large of an overlap between “Women in Leadership” and the other business societies: LUBS, LUUTIS or maybe International Business Society (the fact that I have to type out the name shows that few people know about it). The feeling that I got from the “Women in Leadership” committee was much more vibrant and alive, than from LUBS for example. The committee has a plan  full of ambition and is still idealistic enough to want to focus on its members instead of focusing on its committee. A suitable analogy would be that of a start-up in the tech world, with LUBS as the complacent behemoth. “Women in Leadership” has the chance to make an engaged society for its members; what LUBS should be, given its size and prestige. For me what showed the difference between this new society and the other business society events that I have attended, is that none of the committee members introduced themselves. Not with position or name. The focus was on what it says on the tin; Women in Leadership, in this case perfectly encapsulated by Sarah Nield. It is free to join, so there is no reason not to sign up.

By Tim Knickmann

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