Before Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, set off a national debate on why more women don’t occupy positions of power, Bowdoin had its own plans to start a conversation about women and leadership.
Back in early February (a good month before Lean In was released), the Bowdoin Women’s Resource Center was set to host an inaugural Women’s Leadership Lunch with faculty, staff and the 13 female trustees who were planning to be on campus at that time. As it happened, a blizzard derailed the trustees’ travel plans and the lunch was canceled.
Not to be deterred, four student-workers at the Women’s Resource Center — Laurel Varnell ’14, Emily Ausubel ’13, Jackie Fickes ’15 and Helen Conaghan ’13 — with WRC Director Melissa Quinby, organized a second attempt at the lunch. Although they couldn’t gather all the trustees together, the team was able to invite more than 60 female students/campus leaders to join 14 faculty and staff to talk about women and leadership at Bowdoin.