Texas Tech University

Rawls Students Attend Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations

Darla Vasquez

December 5, 2016

Women's Entrepreneurship Day

Four Texas Tech University students traveled to New York City on Nov. 18 with staff advisor Jessica Carrillo to attend the Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED). WED is a celebration of the work of women entrepreneurs in today's society.  The event was held at the United Nations. Attendees were given the opportunity to talk with keynote speakers, such as: Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing officer at HP Inc.; Cristina Gallach, United Nations under-secretary-general for communication and public information; Crown Princess of Serbia Katherine, a philanthropist and patron of Lifeline Humanitarian Organization; Iris Apfel, founder of Rara Avis on HSN; and many more. Four members of the Women in Business organization had the chance to participate in the conference, including: junior MIS major, Celina Turner; junior accounting major, Kimberly Del Angel; junior MIS major, Isabel Torres; and senior public relations major, Shannon Helm.

"As a member of Women in Business, I was given an opportunity to attend the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Conference. Being surrounded by so many successful and brilliant people who dedicated their time to enrich and inspire women was an honor.  Listening to stories of struggle and success was very uplifting and instilled a level of confidence I did not have before. One of the many things I took from the conference was Antonio Lucio's message regarding women in the workplace, 'Men are promoted based on potential and women are promoted based on performance.' This opened my eyes to the double standard we as women face and how to be a self-advocate regarding my professional success. I left the trip motivated and focused to achieve more for myself in business and personal life. I'm thankful for this life-changing opportunity, which I will use to move forward in my future endeavors.  I look forward to using this experience to motivate and inspire others and to continue being an advocate for women," Celina Turner said.

"Being able to attend Women's Entrepreneurship Day was both inspiring and motivational. I learned what it takes to be a successful women in business and got so many ideas about what I want to do post-graduation. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to attend the conference," Shannon Helm said. "I learned a great deal traveling to New York City and being able to attend the Women's Entrepreneurship Day! Three main things that I brought back with me and want to share are that perseverance and hard work DO pay off; to succeed, you must set yourself apart through hard work; and the importance of having a mentor. I feel that since my arrival at Rawls, I have been told this through various workshops and meetings with the Career Management Center. Re-iterating these topics in a different environment with powerful women reminds us that we must embrace what we learn at school to carry on with us for the rest of our career and life."

"When an opportunity such as this arises, students often think 'I'll never get chosen' or 'It's too much work to do for something I probably won't be chosen for.' Closing the mind to those thoughts and working hard to achieve it is key. I had those thoughts as I prepared my essay, but I applied anyway because you never know what can happen. It can be you if you work hard enough for it. I am a non-traditional student and, before I came to Rawls, I had decided that I would jump in with both feet running. It is not always easy as my peers are often much younger than I am, but I still want to make the most of the time I have at Rawls, since I did not take advantage of going to college straight out of high school. I am grateful for the opportunity. I hope to empower women from everywhere to do better and to rise above," Isabel Torres said.

About Women's Entrepreneurship Day

WED was founded by Wendy Diamond, who spent time volunteering with the Adelante Foundation in Honduras. Upon her return to the United States, she began developing a similar philanthropic foundation, which ultimately became WED.

Fortune magazine describes WED as "a global movement to celebrate and support female founders and shed light on some of their challenges." Additionally, Forbes identified the intention as a desire "to mobilize a global network of female business owners, entrepreneurs and change makers who support and empower this community." WED has been proclaimed an official day by NYC's Mayor Bill De Blasio.

The inaugural event was held in 2014 at the United Nations, with simultaneous events being held in several other countries. Overall, 144 nations recognize WED, which includes the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards.

This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.