Society Showcase: Leeds Women in Leadership
March marks all things Women!
This month we celebrate all the outstanding women who have been (and still are!) shaping the world around us with International Women's day and Women's history month.
This year, the theme of Women's History Month is celebrating women who tell their stories. In honour of this, we spoke to Abbey from ‘Leeds Women in Leadership Society’ about their annual Empower Conference, and the inspirational women who made it happen.
Hype: Hey WILS Leeds! Can you tell me a little about yourself and the society you're a part of?
WILS Leeds: My name is Abbey, I'm a second-year student currently studying Business management marketing at the University of Leeds. I'm the social media manager for the women in leadership society.
Hype: This International Women's Day your society held your annual Empower Conference, how did it turn out?
WILS Leeds: We have our flagship event every year, we actually found out the other day that it's the largest student-led conference in the whole of the UK so we’re very excited about that!
It's really there to celebrate the success of inspirational women and to try and increase inclusivity in the workplace. We picked women from various industries because we found at times when you think of women in leadership, people just assume it's just in business but we’re trying to explore other aspects of that, including law. And, I think there were a few from IT, we had Hosanna Hali (@thetechcornr), an Azure specialist at Microsoft. We also had one of our own students come back in, Lydia Violeta (@lydiavioleta_). She has her own Youtube channel sharing student life. We wanted to show women can be successful in many industries.
Hype: In honour of celebrating all of the fantastic women around us this month, can you tell us about a woman who has inspired you, or influenced you in a way?
WILS Leeds: Can I say the people on the committee? They're very inspiring. They work really hard, especially our conference director, Ruth. She worked so hard to deliver the whole thing and then it came together, so it's really nice to see all of her efforts paid off. Shout out to the committee, I think they’re inspirational.
Hype: What is your favourite part of being in the Women in Leadership society and what will you take away from it when you leave?
WILS Leeds: I’d say the community aspect of it, it's definitely one big community. It's very supportive with lots of like-minded young women. It's nice meeting other people who are very similar and it's quite inspiring to watch everyone succeed as well.
Hype: Last year your society won Bright Network’s Best Women's Society, how did it feel for your society's efforts to be recognised?
WILS Leeds: It was amazing, to be honest! I think we entered it the year before, but we didn't get through to the shortlist. This year we made it then we actually won the award it was like WOW. But we were really excited as there was actually another society from Leeds that won an award and we met them as well. It was nice meeting all of the other societies that won. It was quite inspirational seeing the women who were there give us the award.
Hype: Has the group got anything else planned over the next few weeks for women's history month?
WILS Leeds: I know we’re having a charity fundraiser but I'm not sure of the details yet, but I'm sure there will be more events to come soon!
Hype: How can Leeds’ students interested in leadership, get involved?
WILS Leeds: Our membership is free all year round so if anyone wants to get a membership, you can still get it. I think we're opening up committee roles really soon, so if anyone wants to be a part of next year's committee, roles will be released.