Undergraduate Women’s Network aims to empower students through building connections
UIC’s Undergraduate Women’s Network (UWN) is rapidly expanding as it reaches its three-year anniversary. The student organization hosts a wide range of events, from weekly social gatherings to major panel discussions.
“The UWN was built on the premise of offering women opportunities and resources they would not otherwise have,” said Michelle Antonucci, UWN president and senior in finance. “The more exposed our members become to higher level executives, the more they are going to be empowered and enabled to redefine that future for themselves.”
The UWN will connect students with Josephine Kramer, director of mergers and acquisitions for Walgreens’s, during its next event from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 27 in Douglass Hall Room 310. Kramer will discuss how she navigated and ultimately persevered in a male-dominated field.
In addition to the Josephine Kramer event, the UWN will also be hosting its fifth annual Women in Business Conference “If She Succeeds I Succeed” from 1 to 6:30 p.m. March 7 in the Illinois Rooms, Student Center East.
- Susan Poser, UIC provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs
- Julie Holzrichter, chief operating officer of the Chicago Mercantile Inc.
- Andrea Zopp, CEO of World Business Chicago
- Joycelyn Winneck, chief marketing officer of PCMA (former VP of Chicago Tribune)
- Dilara Sayeed, founder & CEO of vPeer, Fulbright specialist, lecturer at Northwestern, and 2017-2018 candidate for Illinois State Representative, 5th District
Those who take part in the event will network with panelists and fellow attendees. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a professional development workshop. Students who wish to attend the conference must register online.
In keeping in line with the theme of the conference, the organization is committed to opening its doors to all potential members across academic fields and genders.
“We are not about excluding anyone,” Antonucci said. “We are about putting at the forefront the cause of promoting inclusion, fair treatment and empowerment of women in our community.”
The organization also provides its members with a strong sense of community. Through various leadership opportunities, such as running for a position on the executive board or taking the initiative on an event, the organization aims to help its members be confident while navigating the academic and professional world. Additionally, members can be paired with a mentor on the executive board, which allows them to gain insight and advice from someone who has been in their shoes.
“Members are supportive of one and other,” Antonucci said. “We really want each other to know that there is someone on the sidelines cheering them on every step of the way.”