Category Archives: Events

IWL Awareness Week: A Recap

By Olivia Barrett ’16

It is safe to say the week of April 11-15 was chock full of excitement and information. We hosted several events, and had the opportunity to attend a few for our first Institute for Women’s Leadership Awareness Week.



On Monday, April 11, we hosted Candy for Cause. The panel and myself set out with bags of candy around campus. Attached to the candy, there were facts about women in business. recipientThis event was appreciated by the student body because they were given both sweet treat and a fact all in one. In total, we handed out 350 pieces of candy – and facts!


On Tuesday, April 12, the IWL sent out a survey to see what our campus community knew or thought they knew about women in business! This survey was created by sophomores Tyler Hussey and Isabella Sansone who are both on the IWL Student Advisory Panel. In total, we had 92 responses to the survey. One question in particular that stumped over 75% of the individuals who participated in the survey was: Since 1990, the percentage of women in the United States who hold computer and mathematical jobs has steadily increased. Majority of the responses selected were the option “true,” but it is actually false. (See below for full list of facts.)

Also on Tuesday, I was given the opportunity to attend the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce Business Forward Females lunch, at which President Engelkemeyer was the guest speaker. This luncheon was an excellent networking opportunity. At my table, I was seated with Professor Luanne Westerling, Andrea Becker, and four other women from various businesses. The first 20 minutes were used strictly for networking at your tables. We were challenged to use one word that came to mind when discussing the word leadership. Although a lot of the words used at the table were interchangeable, I chose the word “engaging.” President Engelkemeyer then gave her speech about how, “success, failures, obstacles, decisions and serendipity determined the long and winding path for a little girl that dreamed about becoming a circus bareback rider but ultimately found herself a college president.” She discussed how passion, planning, perseverance, performance, play, and positive attitude were instrumental in her journey.

bakesale cakettes bakesale2On Wednesday, April 13, we hosted our second annual Equal Pay Day Bake Sale. We had an unbelievable turnout and were able to sell a tremendous amount of baked goods to raise funds to donate to Girls, Inc. At this bake sale, we charged men $1 and women $.75 cents in an attempt to generate both conversation and awareness. The students’ reactions were awesome; women were thrilled while in contrast men were caught off guard. This gave our panel members and volunteers the opportunity to explain the pay gap and the overall goal of the bake sale.

worcester groupworcester-escalatorOn Thursday, April 14, a handful of the panel members including myself were brought to the Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference. This conference was extremely beneficial and had a lot of very powerful speakers. In the morning, the keynote speaker was Mel Robbins and in the afternoon, Deborah Roberts.

On Friday, April 15, we hosted a #LeanInTogether event in the IWL suite. At this event we invited the entire school to join us and come together and support equality in the work place. The first 100 students that came to take pictures were given @IWL_nichols sunglasses.

sunglasses sunglass high five sunglass group 3 mktg sunglass group 2 sunglass group 1

Overall, this was a very successful week and we were able to generate awareness all over campus. Thank you to those who participated and made this week possible.






IWL Awareness Week Survey Responses

1. Women represent 47% of the workforce in the U.S. (

2. 25% of Massachusetts state legislators are women (

3. Women working full-time earned $0.79 for every $1.00 earned by men (2014). (

4. Women own 30% of the privately-held companies in the U.S. (

5. Since 1990, the percentage of women in the United States that hold computer and mathematical jobs has actually decreased. (

6. In the retail and hospitality industries, gender-diverse businesses have 14-19% higher revenue than those with less diversity. (

7. Increasing the levels of female employment could help raise the GDP in the United States by 5%. (

8. Although women are 45% of the S&P 500 workforce, they are only 4% of CEOs. (

9. The gender wage gap in Massachusetts is estimated to cost women $11 billion per year. (

IWL Awareness Week: April 11-15, 2016

By Olivia Barrett ’16

Next week the IWL is sponsoring an “IWL Awareness Week” on the Nichols College campus. The overall goal of this fun and inclusive week is to bring light to the issues surrounding women in business, including the pay gap and benefits of diversity.

On Monday April 11, 2016, the IWL will be putting on an event known as “Candy for a Cause.” The idea of this event is to get people’s brains going in the right direction for “Awareness Week.” We will give students, staff, and faculty candy with facts and quotes about women in business attached! Be on the lookout!

On Tuesday April 12, 2016, there will be a survey sent out generated by advisory panel members Tyler Hussey ’18 and Isabella Sansone ’18. This survey will incorporate questions about women in business, the pay gap, and diversity in general and will be sent out campus wide. It will be anonymous, and will assess our overall awareness.

IMG_3708On Wednesday April 13, 2016, we will have our annual Equal Pay Day Bake Sale! Last year this event was an overwhelming success! Come and get some delicious baked goods to support equal pay for men and women. The proceeds will be donated to Girls, Inc. of Worcester.

On Friday April 15, 2016, we will close off the “Awareness Week” with the use of #LeanInTogether. From 11AM-2PM, the IWL will be leanintogetheropen for students to come in and hold up one of our #LeanInTogether signs. The first 100 students to come and participate in this event will receive a free pair of sunglasses.

All in all this will be a very exciting and beneficial week on the Hill. We hope to see you participate in a few or all of the events the week has to offer.

Sharing the College Experience

By Olivia Barrett ‘16

new-granteeOn Wednesday March 9, 2016, the Institute for Women’s Leadership and Bartlett High School teamed up for the College Connection Program for the second time this school year, made possible in part by a grant from the American Association of University Women.

The purpose of the program is to connect Nichols student mentors with female Bartlett high school students. In the fall, the mentor-student teams worked on visioning their futures, goal setting, and assertive communication. The focus this time around was thIMG_4673e college experience. Bartlett students learned about all that college has to offer, heard the experiences of the Nichols student mentors, got a glimpse inside life as a college student, and learned how to search for and best present themselves to prospective colleges. In addition, inspirational guest speaker Katlyn Grasso capped off the day.

Throughout the day, students and mentors generated a large word cloud on chalk decals that hung on the wall. As words came to the students’ minds, they would grab a chalk marker and head up to the decals. The final product was awesome, and the girls were really able IMG_4651to connect with it.

Students were provided a binder with multiple resources to aide them with the college search and application process. There were information sheets on college fairs, essays, financial aid and admissions, and more. The Nichols College mentors also served as an extremely valuable resource to the Bartlett students throughout the day, sharing their personal experiences.

The students were shown a virtual tour of campus, and had the opportunity to see various parts of campus including a residence hall, a classroom, the dining hall, and the new academic building. In IMG_4660addition, the Nichols mentors shared a “Peek at my Week,” a summary of their personal schedule, offering students a glimpse into the life of a college student and all of their weekly classes and activities. The mentors then helped the Bartlett students consider what kind of college they would be interested in, and develop questions they could ask of college representatives.

IMG_4661After lunch in the dining hall, the students put their learning and preparation into practice by participating in a mock college fair. At the fair, ten departments on campus were represented, such as Academics, Athletics, Resident Life, and more. The students were given a challenge: ask a question at every table, and win a prize! The fair was beneficial for multiple reasons, but mainly because it encouraged students to step outside of their comfort zones while gaining valuable insight and information about college. When students acquired all ten signatures from the different tables they were given an Institute for Women’s Leadership water bottle.

As a culmination of the day, the students were treated to a presentation by Katlyn Grasso, a recent college graduate, CEO of her own company GenHERation and a Seventeen magazine “Power Girl.” Katlyn did a remarkable job of captivating both the high school and collegiate level audience. She was truly inspiring and encouraged many in the audience to follow their dreams and make a difference.

Overall, this was a great day. All parties involved had a wonderful experience, and we hope to continue our partnership with Bartlett next year with a new group of juniors!