Strong. Courageous. Well-rounded. Compassionate. Resilient.
These were just a few of the words used to describe the mothers, girlfriends, mentors and other female role models who were mentioned at the Undergraduate Business Women’s Association’s first panel, “I Am, Because She Is,” on Tuesday.
The event was designed to bring men and women together to celebrate and pay homage to women who had played irreplaceable roles in the lives of male students.
“When I thought of the woman that impacted and helped me the most, my mind immediately went to my mother because she literally raised me,” Nathan Grine, a fourth-year in strategic communication and a speaker at the event, said. “At the end of the day, I owe her everything.”
But Grine had no trouble identifying more women who had affected him, adding friends, supervisors and classmates to the list. At the event, other panelists also spoke about multiple women who led led them to success.
“UBWA wanted anyone attending the event to feel some common connection with at least one panelist,” Grine said. “So they went about creating a panel that really represents the student body and the many facets of the university.”
There were five male student speakers — Imran Nuri, a third-year in finance and president of BuckeyeThon; Drue Chrisman, a third-year in consumer and family financial services and redshirt junior punter; Austin Mack, a third-year in consumer and family financial services, wide receiver and president of Redefining Athletic Standards; and Jimmy Franklin, a third-year in marketing and president of Phi Gamma Delta.
All of the panelists were identified as leaders in their respective organizations and communities.
Grine said the event was being used to help young men become more aware and recognize the women whose guidance influenced their professional, social and educational decisions.
“Women play such a vital role in society and in helping shape youth in particular,” he said. “All of us are still young men, we’re all still college students, so they’ve really helped us our whole lives.”
Grine also hopes the panel challenges men to give more credit to these role models moving forward, to help elevate women and promote equality, both in the business world and in everyday life.
“I think that sometimes the women in our lives don’t get the credit they deserve,” Grine said.
“So this event allows us to showcase and put a spotlight on the women who have sacrificed for us because they aren’t noticed as much as they should be.”
The panel was part of Women’s Week, UBWA’s first three-day event geared toward celebrating women while also spreading awareness and opportunities to women in business, which began on Monday with a networking dinner.
“I think right now is such a powerful time to showcase women and all that we have to offer, highlighting what we have done and will continue to do for our communities,” Lauren Covetta, a third-year in political science and international business and vice president of corporate relations for UBWA, said.
Covetta came up with the idea for the panel after attending the Women Global Leaders Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland. She said her main takeaway from the forum was how important it was to engage men in women’s rights issues so they can be more engaged in advocacy efforts.
“Your message is only as effective as the audience you’re reaching,” Covetta said. “So we wanted to make this event something that was relatable to everyone in the room and had value to everyone that attended.”
Covetta believes events that are inclusive are important for building solidarity within the community.
“We wanted to emphasize how important it is to have a collaboration piece between men and women who are working together to advance our cause,” Covetta said. “Basically, women need to empower women, and men need to empower women.”