Campus has been buzzing with curiosity ever since the mysterious posters regarding a new club for women in leadership appeared across campus. Since then, the official club launch has taken place, but there are still questions amongst students regarding what this club is and what it does.
The posters and Instagram account originally had zero information about who is in charge of the club. The faculty advisor is Sandi Altena, who is the head of the Franken Leadership Center. Sydney Rodman and Emma VanDrie are the club officers who lead a team including Debola Adeyemo, Makayla Bjork, Kendra McGinnis and Lauren Faber. The leadership team meets twice a month to plan events for the club.
The leaders hope to hold events such as documentary screenings, a TED Talk + discussion event, a conversation panel, inviting an influential speaker, holding a service project and facilitating a Bible study. However, Rodman says the leadership wants to get input from the campus and facilitate events that people want.
The purpose of the club is to encourage, equip and empower women in roles of leadership. However, this doesn’t mean the club is exclusively for women. In fact, men play an important role in encouraging women in leadership, and the club leadership team encourages men to become involved as well.
According to information put out by the club, Women in Leadership is an opportunity for students who are passionate about women in leadership to come together. According to the Center for American Progress, women have outnumbered men on college campuses since 1988, yet they have not moved up to positions of prominence and power in America at anywhere near the rate that should have followed. Further, at the current rate, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in key leadership roles in the U.S. This statistic is eye-opening to the current reality of female leadership roles and is encouraging women on campus to get to work. WiL hopes to inspire more women to take the initiative and move up into crucial roles of leadership.
Starting in February, monthly events will take place, open to anyone on NW’s campus, including men, women, students, faculty and staff. These events will be varied and largely informed by the students who are involved in the club as well as the leadership team.
This club’s inspiration comes from a woman in leadership herself, Sandi Altena, Director of The Franken Leadership Center, which supports development of Christ-like leaders who will capably and confidently bring their faith into their careers and communities after graduation. As the faculty advisor for Women in Leadership Club, she will be partnering with the student leaders to support them and advise them on the direction and execution of club activities.
The presence of this club on campus has brought more attention to the need for women in leadership positions, respect for those already in leadership and inspiration for women who feel the call to be a leader but don’t know how. This club aims to reach campus as a whole to encourage and inspire more women in leadership.