Yuge Liu (BCom’15) – Harvard Intercollegiate Business Convention 2014
Featured Speakers: Richard Edelman, Lauren Leader-Chivee, Andy Bird
I’ve always understood that women face certain struggles in the workplace, but knowing that there is a supportive group of women from across the continent and meeting them at the Harvard IWIB and IBC was an empowering experience.
Hearing from speakers like Richard Edelman, Lauren Leader-Chivee, and Andy Bird helped me to see that though the challenges are very real, the support is also there. Most of all – I learned the important role that sponsorship plays in helping women to achieve their aspirations. Sponsorship, not mentorship, could be the turning point in a woman’s career. How sponsorship differs from mentorship is that sponsors actively advocate for their sponsoree, and connect them with opportunities that help them to advance.
Although mentorship is helpful, having certain knowledge without the means to achieve it could be considered to be too passive for some. For example, Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg had a powerful sponsor – Larry Summers – to guide her. And in the same way, I should actively seek sponsors who can support me. Attending IWIB and IBC has been an eye-opening experience for me, and inspires me to keep building up my network for mutual support and sponsorship.