Five years ago, female students at the Retail Management program at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) became increasingly aware of the male dominance among students, teachers and executives. SASSE Women’s Network was then founded to provide a platform where female students could share experiences, get career coaching, and networking opportunities.
A key aspect was to connect with successful women who could share their stories and most importantly serve as role models, since an important element in getting more women to aspire for the highest positions is the ability to picture oneself in that very position. Most importantly, the network consists of 300 female students and alumni who will all go on to have interesting careers and all make for invaluable lifelong connections.
Taking over the responsibility of leading the network, we immediately knew that our goal was to increase visibility and awareness to make the network a strong presence at SSE. We also wanted to have a theme connecting our different events and decided on ”starting your career toolbox”. To accomplish this, we needed to clarify our purpose and mission and be a stronger presence in the SSE community. We decided to arrange both educational and social events to make the network more vibrant and inclusive and to increase or communication by opening a new Facebook page and instagram account with continuous updates.
During the year, a total of twelve events where held ranging from CV screening with Nordea, Inspirational leadership training with Bain, and a full day celebrating International Women’s day ending with a mingle at Hotel Miss Clara. To wrap up the year a highly appreciated panel debate was held in cooperation with Barbro Ehnbom’s female business network, Barbro’s Best and Brightest, where alumni students shared their career journeys.
For the past year, Nordea has been our partner and co-hosting events – all within the theme “starting-your-career toolbox”. Together we invited our members to CV screening, case cracking, a crash course in networking and an inspiring lecture on how to reach your goals. With the support from Nordea, we have managed to reach our goals of raising visibility and awareness as we increased our member count by more than 50% from just under 200 to 300+.
We make a point of always sharing our key takeaways from events with all members so that those who were not able to attend can also benefit. So we would like to stay true to form and share our key takeaways from this year:
- Networking is a key to success, most positions are filled based on recommendations. Be generous – what comes around goes around.
- Manage your personal brand and always be prepared.
- To succeed and be an inspiration to others, focus on your strengths and passion instead of weaknesses.
At last – it has been a true pleasure to work together with the Nordea team and we hope that next year’s project group will continue on the work of making SASSE Women’s Network a strong platform for female students at SSE and a force to be reckoned with.
All the best,
Julia Rubin & Hanna Schiller
President & Vice President of SASSE Women’s Network