Inspiring Women, Inspiring Change

Written by Rose Gao

Presenting a whitepaper to the United Nations on women’s empowerment in corporations. Listening to the most influential women in business share their work experiences. Networking with prominent firms, alumni, sisters. Being part of a community that supports

women and supports each other.

These are some of the reasons why I’m proud to be a sister of Phi Chi Theta. I joined my fraternity almost immediately in my first semester at NYU. Phi Chi Theta (PCT) is the only professional women’s business fraternity in Stern, and this sisterhood is comprised of passionate, driven, smart women. We uphold the three pillars of PCT: professionalism, community service and social events.

Each year, PCT’s largest professional event is an annual Women’s Corporate mingle. Women’s Corporate Mingle serves as a platform in exploring leadership opportunities for women. In the past, we have had more than 150 attendees from current undergraduate students, distinguished members of the faculty, and professionals from various industries. This year, the theme is “Women, Find Your Voice” with the focus on helping women leverage her own unique voice in the workplace. Our keynote speakers are Kathryn Kaminsky, a partner at PwC, and Sharon MacLeod, a VP at Unilever who led the award-winning Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and is a champion for women advancement in the workplace. PCT sisters and other interested students will have a chance to learn firsthand from industry professionals about their experiences in being heard in male-dominated business settings.

In addition to Women’s Corporate Mingle, Phi Chi Theta also sponsors a variety of professional events for women, such as Lean In and Dress for Success. However, PCT is not only devoted to strengthening the bonds between women in the business community, but also to strengthening its ties in the New York community. A key initiative is Open Sight, an outreach program founded by a Phi Chi Theta sister, where sisters plan interactive workshops for elementary school students on topics ranging from holidays to ethics. When I first visited a local elementary school, P.S. 3, I was surprised to see how engaged our students were and eager they were to learn about topics not generally taught in elementary school. It was a very rewarding experience made possible by other PCT sisters.

Although PCT has fewer than 40 sisters, and sisters are active members of the NYU community and are accomplished student leaders, each sister is fully engaged in a Phi Chi Theta committee or executive position. Sisters are inspired to host the largest women’s corporate mingle event, or start a non-profit that guides elementary school students on relevant topics, and are unafraid to do so because they know that they have access to resources and support from other sisters. The range of initiatives only corresponds with the ambitions of Phi Chi Theta sisters.

As a whole, the support for professional, personal, and collaborative growth strengthens the community and makes strides towards breaking the glass ceiling and supporting women in the workplace. Being a member of Phi Chi Theta has inspired me personally to become involved in social impact, in women empowerment, and in NYU as a whole. It is certainly the most formative experience so far in my college career, and I believe that it can enable any business-minded woman to gain skills, inspiration, and support necessary to effect change.

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