Sometimes, the most important connections result from seemingly small initiatives to start simple conversations.
In a business setting, your network and the connections you make are everything. Someone you met at a recent networking event may introduce you to your dream job; a coworker may prove to be a true friend during a time of need. Securing a relationship with your boss can lead to an early promotion, and maintaining contact with old college friends may open doors to new industries and careers.
Especially as a freshman who is now finally getting her bearings at a university as large as UC Berkeley, I have learned so much about the importance of forming and maintaining connections with people who may potentially have a big impact on my life in the future. I have learned to reach out to professionals by cold-emailing, arranging coffee chats, or connecting on LinkedIn, and it has not only furthered my own professional development but also made me proud of myself for taking initiative and deciding what is important for me.
I never imagined that meeting or conversing with individuals of various academic backgrounds and experiences would allow me to learn so much about myself. Allocating time in my day to talk with fellow peers about life has cultivated into organic relationships and a better understanding of what I would like to do after college. The sky's the limit, especially when you create connections and surround yourself with diverse, inspirational people.
Some takeaways: take initiative to expand your professional and personal worldview. Learn as much as you can and invest in developing lasting relationships with peers and coworkers. Send a quick text to a fellow friend who has an interesting internship or reach out to a professional whose work you find inspiring. It's that easy.
By McKenna Hathaway
Who is this?
A. A Young Betty White
B. Teddy Roosevelt (sporting a potential Trump wig?)
C. Don’t try to trick me, this is your grandma
D. Anne Hathaway
If you picked B: Teddy Roosevelt you are right, congratulations! This photo gives two important clues relating to gender and marketing norms. You may have already noticed one right away; the future President of the United States is wearing what appears to be a dress (The Atlantic). However, the second may not be so clear. Teddy Roosevelt is sporting what was most likely a pink dress (The Smithsonian).
Today, practically every children’s item, from clothes to wall paint, is divided strictly according to gender: pink for girls and blue for boys, no questions asked. However, this gendered social construct was not always true. During the early 1900s, people assumed that pink was the natural masculine color: strong and bold. Blue, it was spouted, fit the characterization of young girls and women better: soft and gentle. Yet, during the 1940s, this color norm was completely reversed for not much of a reason that can be historically traced (The New York Times). Gender norms are based upon arbitrary assumptions, which can be seen in the lack of explanation for the switching of colors associated with genders during this time period.
It is easy to take gender stereotypes as facts and assume they have always been that way. Thus, remember to be cognizant and aware of the gender norms and social constructs you follow on an everyday basis that have become normalized! This may seem to be a small and insignificant example, but it stands as a reminder for all other gender stereotypes that still remain in the corporate world and are normalized and internalized as facts. These stereotypes surround pressing issues within the workforce, regarding leadership positions, maternity leave, and even more nuanced issues such as women being categorized as “emotional” or “bossy”. It is important for us, the women of BWIB, as change-makers to have the constant courage to challenge these stereotypes - because more often than not, when we scratch the surface of these everyday norms, we find that they are nothing more than mere social constructs based on made-up, sexist tradition. So, go on out there and buy yourself a new blue, pink, red, purple, yellow, or rainbow dress! Teddy would want you to!
Maglaty , Jeanne. “When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 7 Apr. 2011, www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/?c=y&page=1.
Fromson, Daniel. “FDR Grew Up in a Dress: It Wasn't Always Blue for Boys and Pink for Girls.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 14 Apr. 2011, www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/237299/.
“Pink and Blue.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 Apr. 2011, brooks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/pink-and-blue/.
Edited by Erinn Wong
By Sarah Stukan
This semester, I am enrolled in an undergraduate business administration course at Berkeley-Haas taught by Professor Bill Fanning that is titled “Consumer Behavior.” The class covers an expansive range of topics ranging from learning, memory, and decision making to personality, attitudes, and culture. Recently, we discussed the importance of projecting warmth and competence in high stakes settings to attain success.
So, how can we develop these qualities for our next job interview or project presentation?
One strategy (as you have probably gathered from the title) is power posing!
An expert that is often referenced for knowledge on this topic is social psychologist Amy Cuddy. She has an extensive TED talk about the in’s and out’s of power posing and the science behind them:
Here’s my list of takeaways from Amy’s speech and other studies on the topic:
High power postures are expansive, tall, and stretched out whereas in powerless postures an individual makes themself closed up, wrapped up, and small.
Our hormone profile actually changes when we adopt a high power pose: we experience boosted testosterone and lower cortisol levels.
Tiny changes people make can lead to a dramatic outcomes: individuals in studies who posed for just two minutes were more likely to enact a trait associated with dominant individuals and reported feeling more powerful.
A natural mechanism called “mirroring” ensures that people who observe an empowered individual are more likely to reciprocate that feeling and initiate a social interaction.
In total, standing in a posture of confidence — even when we don't feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence and might have an impact on our chances for success.
Take a look at this essential list of power poses and be sure to try one out before your next high pressured circumstance. (My personal favorite is the “Wonder Woman.”) You might find that using a bit of your preparation time to strike an unusual posture may make all the difference in the outcome!
By McKenna Hathaway
There is a short list of things we know about the future. The future is inevitable. The future is malleable. The future is dictated by decisions made today. Then there is the list of things we hope about the future. The future is peaceful. The future is tolerant. The future is female. It’s a slogan that has recently picked up traction in the feminist movement and has been plastered on t-shirts, laptop stickers, and even poster boards. But how do we know this to be true? In short: we don’t. However, in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” and if there is someone who proved that to be true, it is she.
Eleanor Roosevelt transformed the Office of the First Lady from a passive to active and influential position. One of her dreams for the future was for it to be female, and she took action to ensure just that. Her ingenuity and courage is best illustrated in her all female press corps. On only the second day of her husband’s presidency, March 6, 1933, she held a press conference in the Red Room of the White House. However, she founded it upon an important caveat: the reporters sent by news agencies must be women. She did this to force the hand of press agencies to hire women reporters, which they would have not have done without it being a requirement. This in turn provided the women reporters with job security, income, and access to news and professional status, all luxuries hard to come by for a woman in the early thirties.
As the weekly press conferences went on, the scope of topics widened to include political developments and inside information on the headlines of the time period from the New Deal to Prohibition. Moreover, Eleanor used this platform to champion other progressive movements such as low-cost housing, minimum wage, and equal pay for equal work. This gave women access to crucial new stories that often led to professional success. One example of this is Emma Bugbee, who was hired as a temporary reporter for the first lady. As the all-women press conferences continued, the company was in essence forced to hire her full-time and her stories often made the front page!
We have all heard the cliche, “Think outside the box,” about a million times from parents, teachers, and inspirational leaders. However, what does that mean for our lives, as we are not First Ladies, just mere Cal gals? The problem lies in this type of thinking. Just as Eleanor transformed her role as First Lady into an unrecognizable figure that citizens did not expect to see, we must do so with our lives. She thought, dreamed, and acted beyond the constraints of the traditions of “the Oval” Office to make an impact on the future. If we want to make the future female, we must stop asking ourselves to think outside of “the box,’ and rather ask ourselves how we can overcome the circumstances that are limiting us in life. The shape in our lives may not appear to be the traditional “box,” or even the “oval” Eleanor faced in her lifetime. However, just as Eleanor thought outside of “the oval” that characterized her life, we too must think about what aspect of our lives that confines us, think outside of it, and ultimately use it to our benefit.
Edited by Erinn Wong
Today is International Women’s Day, so it only seems fair to pause and recognize how vital women have been to the emergence and progression of virtual reality. The sheer number of females, globally, who have made a tangible impact on the field, is astounding. At the 2017 “Women in Tech” panel in Finland, it was even argued by attendees that women have greater involvement in virtual reality over other STEM fields due to the fact that it is a more versatile space, and less male-dominated, as it is so new (1). Regardless of the reason, there are some incredible women who deserve to be honored for their profound influence on VR.
One such woman is Nonny de la Peña, better known as “the Godmother of Virtual Reality”. De la Peña practically pioneered the intersection of VR and immersive journalism, founding the immersive virtual, augmented, and mixed reality company, the Emblematic Group. Some of her work includes, the film “Hunger in L.A”, which was premiered at Sundance, and shows a homeless man collapsing while waiting in line at an LA food bank (2). By using VR as a tool to truly get people to empathize with societal issues, she has been able to change the meaning of the field as a whole (3). Additionally, de la Peña has seen VR shift right before her eyes from her extensive experience with ancient-looking VR headsets back in the day to her company’s present day use of photogrammetry – not to mention, Oculus Rift founder, Palmer Lucky, once interned for her (4).
Similar to Nonny de la Peña is Jayisha Patel, a filmmaker who made a short based on the life of an Indian human-trafficking survivor, entitled “Notes to My Father”. Through her work, Patel has not only been able to give users a visceral perspective of the objectification and vulnerability of trafficking victims, but her film also integrates the female voice into VR content, a rare feat in a field where a good amount of the content is targeted towards male-users (5). Gio Minaya is yet another female trailblazer in virtual reality, serving as VF supervisor at a leading digital studio in the US called ReelFX. Minaya, who has 20 years of experience in animation production, has said that one of her goals with the development of VR content is to make it a less isolated activity, and bring more people together via virtual reality (6). As a revolutionary face in the field, Minaya additionally states on being a woman, “I don’t look at my gender and think it holds me back... Women and men should be treated equally but in most cultures that is not the case and this is not confined to the tech industry. It is in most industries” (7).
Beth Marcus, Carolina Cruz-Niera, Jannick Rolland, and Char Davies are just a few more names that are apart of the broad list of distinguished women who have affected the VR realm (8). As the female presence in virtual reality and STEM grows, we get more perspective and minds to strengthen the field. Be sure to use today (and honestly everyday) as an excuse to celebrate a woman in your life and all of her accomplishments!
- Kirschbaum, Judith. “Virtual Reality Is the Place to Be for Women in Tech 2017.” Medium, The Shortcut Talks, 11 Oct. 2017
- Knoepp, Lilly. “Forget Oculus Rift, Meet The Godmother Of VR.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 Apr. 2017
- Helmore, Edward. “'Godmother of VR' Sees Journalism as the Future of Virtual Reality.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 Mar. 2015
- Knoepp, Lilly. “Forget Oculus Rift, Meet The Godmother Of VR.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 Apr. 2017
- Faramarzi, Sabrina. “How Women Are Gaining Ground in Virtual Reality.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Aug. 2017
- Coleman, Lauren deLisa. “How This Woman Is Changing The Face of Virtual Reality.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 June 2017
- Morie, Jacki. “Why Yes, Virginia, There Have Always Been Women in VR.” VRScout, 24 July 2015
Written by Sonal Kapoor
Recently, BWIB had a campaign and tabling event, called Recognizing Role Models : Thanking Inspiring Females in Our Lives . Our mission was to encourage people to recognize and give thanks to the strong women they look up to in their lives. They could either write letters to their moms, sisters, and girl friends, or partake in our social media campaign by taking a picture with the statement, “ _____ inspires me because _____!” See the photos on our Facebook for the empowering messages people had to say to the strong women in their life! 😊
In light of our campaign, I wanted to take some time to recognize my top 5 female role models:
5. Ellen DeGeneres
“Be kind to one another.”
Everyday Ellen ends her show every day with this mantra. She is understanding, accepting, positive – she always gives her guests surprises to recognize their extraordinary efforts in helping people . Ellen is one of the first major day time television hosts to come out as lesbian, which paved the way for more LGBTQ+ people to have a role on the big screen! Did I also mention that she likes to dance?!
Who run the world? Girls! This one is no surprise –
I mean, who doesn’t love Queen Bey?
3. Lady Gaga
I have always looked up to Gaga for how fearless she is to embrace her identity and individuality ! The Born This Way album spoke volumes to many of her little monsters . She also supports mental wellness and empowers the youth through her Born This Way Foundation. Above all else , Gaga stays true to her fans and her music, and reminds us that she is human too.
2. Tyra Banks
Supermodel. Producer. Host and TV Personality. Businesswoman. A fierce, strong, independent woman (and queen) who can walk the walk and talk the talk (as well as have a very, strong smize game) . Tyra has produced 23 cycles of America ’ s Next Top Model – talk about giving women of all color s , shapes and sizes an opportunity in the fashion industry and mainstream media!
1. My Mom
I could not end this list without recognizing the woman who has been there for my entire life, my mom. My mom has made countless sacrifices for me and brothers, so we can do more of what we love. She always takes care of me and wants the best for me . Even though she doesn’t show it sometimes, I know she loves me, and I love her! Thank you, mommy!
Who are your top 5 female role models?
How will you show them your appreciation this holiday season?
Written by Erinn Wong
To all the sophomores in Berkeley Women in Business, who are applying to Haas –
Simply put, you are amazing.
With only 30 days to fill out the Haas application, topped with classes, midterms, clubs, work, family, relationships and life, I can’t possibly know how stressful this time of the year may be for you. The Haas application workshop with Ana revisited my fears of applying next year – Oh no, what if I don’t have enough experience by then to write an essay about, or what if my grades don’t meet the average GPA? And to think that I am only one year away from this application process in the midst of all this craziness, I am actually so scared! I just wanted to take this time to say that I truly applaud all of you for applying and want to wish you the best of luck!
I know for many of us, although we don’t vocalize it, we think that Haas is the ultimate fulfillment and a large part of helping us get to our goals– that most of our worries will be gone if we get into Haas, and life will be figured out. That’s why the stakes are so high. Obviously, this is far from reality – our lives will work out regardless if we get into Haas. It is so, so hard to trust the process. In February, whether we get that letter of acceptance or rejection, take it in as a moment to reflect on how far you’ve grown. If you got in, congrats and we can’t wait to see how you’ll take Haas to fulfill your goals! If you fall in the latter, have some ice cream and we can’t wait to see how you’ll take Berkeley to fulfill your goals! Yes, it is hard to face the defeat in the moment – we think that all our hard work didn’t get us in or that we weren’t good enough.
Quite frankly, that isn’t true, and I think we need to take a step back to realize the bigger picture. We’re here. We’re living. We’re breathing. We’re at Berkeley. We’ve gained so much knowledge in our studies, professional careers, friendships and in all the areas of life that we don’t see – and there’s still so much to learn. We’ve also grown so much in such a short amount of time – just one year. Imagine the amount of growth we’ll experience at the end of our journey here at Berkeley. We may not be able to see the growth within us in that moment of defeat, but we need to realize we have been learning and growing all along. In fact, the BWIB alumni I met at the networking event reminded me that regardless if they got into Haas, they are now working at companies they enjoy. Even then, they’re still learning and growing both personally and professionally. There was a comment one of the alumni made that stuck with me – we asked her, if there was one thing she could have done differently back in her time at Berkeley, what would she do? She told us that while she was satisfied with everything she was involved with, she wished that there was more time to try and do more activities, and to appreciate the multitude, variety and accessibility of opportunities there were. So go, keep trying and exploring! – because that’s how we’ll learn and grow the most.
So as a young freshman myself, you may be thinking – So what? What do I have to know? Why do I care?
I care because I see so many people stuck in this cycle of blindness, that they beat themselves up for not achieving a professional title and aren’t satisfied internally – Sometimes, we confuse ourselves and think that our external, materialistic success defines our personal success. This isn’t true. We must be personally fulfilled before we can be professionally fulfilled. We can look to our alumni, who are all examples of leading women taking pride and enjoying the work they’re doing both professionally and personally.
Don’t forget that you all have incredible stories to tell. So sit back and think about where you stood one year ago, and where you’re at today. How did you grow? What did you learn about yourself and how did you try to make an impact? When did you struggle and how did you make it through?
We all have stories to tell, and you are all talented people who want to make change in the world. We just need to be reminded sometimes – that yeah, we’re pretty amazing! Yes, we’re all #girlboss(es), regardless of Haas! And we will continue to be!
A freshman who really admires all of you and the impact you make,