Gracie Campbell — Staff Writer
In today’s day and age, some people question how much society needs to emphasize women in business. The equality gap between men and women in this occupation has improved, but is not perfected.
Abby Vander Pol, a business administration major, has noticed this difference in some of her classes at Dordt University.
“So far being in the classes, it is pretty maledominated and oftentimes it’s the guys who will speak up,” Vander Pol said.
Although it does depend on emphasis, the world of business is dominated by men. Deloitte Insights conducted a study in 2021 that found “the proportion of women in leadership roles within financial services firms is 24 percent.” This number, though expected to rise, is still low.
After seeing the need for a community for young women, Sandy Vanden Bosch, professor of business administration at Dordt, established the Women in Business group on campus. Starting last spring, Vanden Bosch began welcoming females into classrooms once a month over the lunch hour. At the first meeting held last year, 10-12 women attended. This year, over 20 came to the first meeting on Sept. 30.
“When I came out of Dordt and was looking for a career, I was super insecure and not sure of what I could offer,” Vanden Bosch said. “I appreciated that there were people that were a generation or two ahead of me that were pouring into me and so now, this is my chance to mentor into students.”
The club aims to give women a community to grow in confidence in their business careers. Vanden Bosch designed the space for women to learn from each other, recognizing they all have something to add in the classroom and beyond.
Last year, the group hosted businesswomen to speak about their experiences and careers. It became a place to hear other women’s stories and acknowledge the different paths students can take.
Senior women in business began to come to meetings and mentor freshman by giving advice and sharing personal experiences. Soon, a group of three upperclassmen students took up the group, bringing it before the student government to establish it as a club officially. Now those women organize the club, plan meetings, and create ideas.
Kassie Brands, a junior accounting major, joined the club last year and now helps lead it.
“I think it’s important [to have a WIB club on campus] because a lot of times women are a little bit in the minority, especially in accounting and finance,” Brands said. “[The club is important] to be able to come together and share struggles, give advice, and form a community within that.”
Brands hopes that through the club, women are encouraged to push through hard classes, know it is possible to succeed, and gain support throughout college and their career.
The club hopes to invite more speakers in, giving students the opportunity to hear what women are doing in real world careers. Brands wants the club to become “an interactive space where people can really get to know each other and form a community.”
Women in the business world need both confidence and community. The Women in Business Club plans to provide and connect young women with resources and opportunities to develop these areas.
Photo credit: Jeralyn Wessel