The Wisconsin Lounge was enlightened by positivity on Monday evening as people joined together to kick-off LeadHer, a new program promoting women’s civic leadership.
This program will provide 13 female UWM students with the leadership expertise, experience and exposure to pursue active campus and community leadership. The females come from all walks of life and various areas of study. Yuanuan Qi is a transfer student from China studying accounting here at UWM. Qi believes learning about leadership will benefit her as she aspires for an internship position at Deloitte,a global accounting firm.
“In interviews they always ask questions about leadership, like do you have leadership? Do you know what leadership is?” Qi said. “So I think this is a good place to start.”
Dr. Joan Prince, the 2012 United Nations Co-Ambassador and UWM Vice Chancellor, lifted spirits with her guest appearance.
“When you step up into leading it is not about expecting people to do what you say.” Prince said. “That’s not leadership, that’s badgering.It is about thinking about what the dream and the vision is and then helping other people see that dream or vision and walk with you on the journey. That’s what leadership is.”
One goal of LeadHer is to help increase the female representation on UWM’s student government. President of UWM’s student government Ryan Sorenson was at the kick off event to show support for these young women.
“Approximately 52 percent of women represent UWM,” Sorenson said. “(Women) are all underrepresented in all levels of government, student, national, state, local.”
LeadHer has already started on a high note. They received a grant to bring AAUW’s ElectHer- Campus Women Win program, to campus. This is the only program in the country that encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office.
“Don’t be in awe of people, be in awe of your own leadership and your own abilities,” Prince said. “Step up to the plate. Take chances. Take calculated risks.”