A Message from Dean Jacquelyn Litt
During the month of July, we are all called upon to think critically about the meaning of independence, liberty, and justice in our world. As we celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and barbeques, we also celebrate the economic independence that access to education, particularly business and financial knowledge, affords women. Financial competency ranges from knowing the basics of business and budgeting to understanding systemic sources of income inequality. During this year’s Convocation Ceremony, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver declared that while “many things have changed for women over the decades for the better,” obtaining financial independence remains a necessary component for women’s success. With these sentiments in mind, Douglass incorporates economic and business lessons into student programming with the aim of promoting long-term financial freedom.
In the Douglass Course: Knowledge and Power, several class sessions are devoted to teaching students how issues of gender intersect with economics. Through a selection of readings, videos, and group discussions, students learn about collective bargaining and the gender pay gap. By making students aware of fiscal inequality in the workforce, the course hopes to encourage students to recognize instances of economic injustice and to advocate for the compensation they deserve in their future careers.
The Global Village Business and Entrepreneurship House focuses on preparing women to be business leaders on both national and international stages. By instructing students in strategies and best practices, the program sharpens students’ business acumen. However, at the same time, the program offers valuable social and cultural insight into the role of business and commerce in a globalized economy. Students learn to understand and dismantle the barriers to access that many in the field still face, and learn the utmost importance of establishing and maintaining solid ethics in any business or entrepreneurial space. Through a well-rounded business education, participants in the program learn to become both successful and responsible businesswomen. Additionally, through the BOLD Center at Douglass, students are able to gain experience in areas such as marketing, management, human resources, and finance directly from alumnae in the field.
The journey of this month’s featured alumna, Sara Zayed DRC’16, exemplifies how embracing a visionary spirit during one’s undergraduate years can lead to long-term success. Douglass will continue to provide the foundation for our students to have financial and business competency, as it is key to securing personal freedom.