Preparing Young Women for a Future in Business

Capilano’s chapter creates opportunities students might not get elsewhere

Bridget Stringer-Holden // Contributor
Valeriya Kim // Illustrator

Modern day education is steadily moving towards a focus on transferable skills that will help graduates succeed in the workforce. Young Women in Business (YWiB) is a national society that aims to help women create and gain that expertise. With city chapters in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, and university chapters in seven different universities throughout Canada, YWiB allows students to create connections and acquire experience and confidence that will help them succeed. 

Angela Jiang and Michelle Zhen approached the national board and campaigned to bring YWiB’s platform to Capilano University. In 2017 they co-founded the Capilano chapter with the intention of supporting young women in the campus community. 

Jessica Steward’s position as Vice-President of Internal Relations has allowed her to observe how Capilano’s YWiB has changed over the last couple of years. Stewart agreed to get involved with YWiB after Jiang approached her in-class and offered her the role of VP Internal. It showed Steward that she had made a positive impact on someone and she wanted to continue to do so in an official capacity. “I feel like a lot of people don’t think that their daily interactions are prominent to others, or stand out, so when people approach you it makes you feel like you’ve done something out of the ordinary,” said Steward. “Plus, I love what they stand for, promoting young women.” 

Steward adds that YWiB’s goal has always been to continue to improve and grow from both within the company and what it offers students. Steward hopes that they can implement more activities and improve attendance to events. “We also hope to grow the team and our presence on campus,” she said. Due to Capilano residence being off-campus and many coming from all over the Lower Mainland, it is difficult to get students to come to events. 

YWiB was created to empower and inspire women, and one of the ways they have accomplished this is through their Speed Networking events. It has been the most successful YWiB event due to its trendy speed-dating style that allows students to network with professionals in their potential fields. “We put our own take on networking. Instead of having the big open and intimidating situation, we broke it down and made it a guiding process for students to practice their networking skills,” said Jiang. “The students found that it helped them and that it really gives them a lot of courage. It’s those things that me and my co-president aim to build and we have even seen that in our own executive members too.” 

The best way is to get involved is to simply attend the events. For students who want to be part of the executive team, Capilano’s YWiB will be hiring soon. Alternatively, students can contact to get involved with the members-at-large team and advocate for YWiB. “We’re willing to work around everybody’s availability. We don’t want to make it another barrier to get involved, to get to know more people and learn more skills,” said Jiang. The Capilano chapter also has an Instagram account and Facebook page that students can check out to keep updated on YWiB events, workshops and meetings. “I found confidence by being a part of something,” Steward said. “Although it hasn’t changed or impacted how I find work, it has broadened my networks with people here.” 

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