On March 29, 2015, Boston College will host its first OWN IT Summit. Women in Business and UGBC have teamed up to bring one of the largest women’s empowerment events to BC. The full day event will feature two keynote speakers, four panels in four different fields (STEM, Politics, Media and Business) and two breakout sessions. The summit is expected to draw 400 attendees.
OWN IT began at Georgetown University in 2013 and has since expanded to University of Notre Dame as well as Washington University at St. Louis. Boston College is the fourth institution to join the movement and help advance its goals: celebration, learning, and empowerment.
The published schedule of events on BC OWN IT’s website reveals that the first keynote speaker is Carrie Rich, co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund. The Global Good Fund seeks to unite young, bright, entrepreneurial minds with leaders and executives who can help them learn and build the skills they will need to succeed. The second is Kate White, New York Times bestselling author and former Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Other speakers include males and females from diverse backgrounds, races and fields. From stay-at-home moms to female CEOs and professors to entrepreneurs, the Boston College Women’s Summit seeks to offer the most comprehensive look at leadership and success.
The summit offers not only a diversity of speakers but a diversity of interaction. The smaller scale groups allow speakers to make their talks more specific and interact with BC students on a more intimate level. For BC students, they have the opportunity to choose a specific field or person to follow.
It is important to note that the summit is not a networking event but rather an opportunity for conversation and learning. Additionally, despite the fact that it is called the Boston College Women’s Summit, it is definitely not reserved for women. The summit is for everyone and in order to achieve the greatest impact, all genders should attend. “We need to spread the message that if we want BC and by extension the larger community to say that gender equality is important, then empowering everyone to want that is necessary,” said Olivia Hussey, A&S ’17, BC OWN IT’s Director of Speakers.
Joe Arquillo, LSOE ’17, the campus representative for BC OWN IT, believes it will have a positive impact not only at BC but also for the larger community. “We’re going to share the event with other universities to bring awareness to our campus. We want to say ‘hey, this is what Boston College is doing and maybe something that you can consider for next year,’” he proclaimed proudly and confidently. This event echoes BC’s devotion to “men and women for others,” “ever to excel” and “set the world aflame.” BC is setting an example and pioneering the movement in the Boston area. The summit embodies the pursuance of gender equality as a universal and necessary goal and strives to better the BC community by empowering its members and leading the way for other universities.