For Colgate’s Women’s Leadership Forum (WoLF), International Women’s Day came a little early this year. While the holiday is internationally celebrated on March 8, the committee gathered at the ALANA Cultural Center this past Friday for a relaxed dialogue about the importance of the upcoming day. The luncheon was attended by around 20 WoLF committee members and other Colgate staff who lounged on couches and plush chairs, making conversation and enjoying a variety of international and comfort foods. The WoLF Steering Committee opened up the event by inviting all attendees to share their previous experiences with International Women’s Day. While most women in attendance expressed having known of the holiday, many had never officially celebrated it, with one woman remarking that she had even previously thought of it as simply “a Hallmark holiday.”
WoLF Chair Jasmine Kellogg explained how WoLF was in many ways spearheaded by former ITS director Jen Servedio and spoke to her role as “a mentor to a lot of women at Colgate.” It was through initial hard work and planning by Servedio and the Steering Committee throughout the Summer of 2018, Kellogg explained, that the forum quickly gained traction and membership within the Colgate community. The group held its kick-off event in September of the same year and garnered “an overwhelming response,” a turn-out which Kellogg estimated to be around 150 women from all walks of life within the Colgate community.
Throughout the event, motivational quotes submitted by attendees were displayed on the Lounge TV as well as the International Women’s Day website. Steering Committee member Robin Bridson spoke about the website in relation to efforts the group will be making going forward to incorporate more internationally-recognized Women’s Day events into WoLF’s personal celebration of the day.
Bridson also highlighted the diversity of events that the group has worked to organize since their inception in 2018. Past events include a three-week American Sign Language workshop to a Women’s Safety and Self Defense Course.
“The group is making a concerted effort to create opportunities that support women from all across campus,” Kellogg said.
Throughout the event, Kellogg advocated the necessity of fostering groups like WoLF so as to “tap into the talent that is all around campus” and give women a place to safely and comfortably thrive in academic spaces.
And WoLF is nothing short of busy. On March 17, they will be collaborating with the BRITE Women Project out of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business for a Mini-Bootcamp on networking, effective communication, and work/life balance and have plans for a Car Care Workshop and a Ted Talk Breakfast in early April.
The Steering Committee meets monthly, and aims to hold two events every month. More information about the group can be found on the Colgate website.
One of WoLF’s upcoming events is in collaboration with BRITE Women Project where they will host a BRITE Women mini-bootcamp on March 17.