Written by Zoe Montague, a freshman accounting and political science major from Davidson, N.C. for The BlueStocking
55:45. That’s the ratio of females to males here on campus. So, it is no wonder that for the past two years Presbyterian College has hosted a Women’s Leadership Conference to connect female students with possible mentors and future employers. But this year, when Career Development and Student Success was tasked with putting the event together, Kaley Lindquist and Kim Lane decided to take the conference in a different direction.
“I have a passion and experience in programming for women’s development and empowerment, as a lot of my undergraduate and graduate research focused on college-aged women specifically on faith-based campuses,” Lindquist said. “So as Kim Lane, my supervisor, and I thought about what our goals were for this event, we really felt that students had to be at the heart of it.”
Lindquist and Lane created the Women’s Leadership Committee as a way to get students involved in not only designing the leadership program but also as a way to discuss women’s issues on campus and around the world.
“The idea was to start with a group of 10-12 diverse students who would, along with a team of faculty, staff, and community mentors, explore themes of women’s issues globally, in the local community, and on our campus, then put those into action by creating whatever project they wanted to create,” said Lindquist.
The committee was open for anyone, male or female, and there was so much interest that 23 students ended up joining.
“Each student offers different talents, abilities, and ideas. They also see and know different aspects of campus and community. They bring unique perspectives and experiences. I think it is necessary to bring students–and not just a select few–to the table of conversations that impact them and their involvement on campus. This is important work and there are students who want to be involved, so hearing their voices and encouraging them to take action empowers them to develop leadership skills that prepare them for life beyond PC.”
The assignment that the committee has been working on is called the Women’s Leadership Project. It is a whole week of programs and events based around the theme “Stand Tall.” Lindquist said that standing tall is about confidence in being yourself.
“This theme empowers women to feel good in their own skin, confident of their abilities,” she said. Lindquist also emphasized that the theme was about empowering women and men as advocates for justice.
The Women’s Leadership Project will be during the week of March 6 through March 10. Events include conversation groups, mentoring networks, leadership networks, and more. The week culminates in the PC Women’s Honors event on Friday afternoon. Lindquist is most excited about this event.
“It is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the women that are making positive impacts on this campus, in our community, and in the world. Eight honors that represent what the Women’s Leadership Committee stands for…will be given to women nominated by faculty, staff, and the committee,” Lindquist said. “I think that supporting, recognizing, and celebrating all the contributions of the women on our campus and in our community is important and beautiful.”