March 7, 2024
Dear GW Business Community,

As we enter into March, there are meaningful commemorations to take some time to reflect upon so as to consider their resonance with our diverse community. Please take a moment to find out more about them in this March update.
Women’s History Month
We are celebrating Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day on March 8. This is a moment to take pride in the advancement and representation of women, including in our academic community as the No. 1 ranked business school for full-time women M.B.A. enrollment worldwide in the Financial Times.

Women’s History Month was initially commemorated locally in Sonoma County, CA as Women’s History Week, during the same week as International Women’s Day. It later became a month and since 1987 has been recognized nationally.

  • As a reminder, on Friday, March 29, the GW-BRIDGE (Building Research Interdisciplinarily to Advance Gender Equity) initiative will host a talk called “Menopausal Women as Leaders? Intersectionality of Symptoms and Stereotypes,” by Professor Alicia Grandey of the Department of Psychology at Penn State University from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. in Duquès Hall, Room 255.

  • I invite you to attend one of the upcoming Women’s History Month events being held by the GW School of Engineering & Applied Science, which will showcase women engineers and their contributions to the field.
Recently, the former president of Liberia and the first democratically-elected woman head of state of an African country, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited GW to be the speaker for the inaugural Bridges Institute Africa Lecture Series, held by the Elliott School of International Affairs. Sirleaf is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy and promotion of peace and women’s rights. She spoke about the state of global affairs, leadership, and gave advice to young women who attended.

A number of women-focused leadership and educational initiatives can be seen throughout the university. GW Business has the ELEVATE program, whose fourth cohort is exclusively for women entrepreneurs. The School also contributes to preparing women for corporate leadership through the Boardroom Ready Program for Executive Women. Finally, our school has a very active women student body. GW Women in Business (GWWIB) is working towards an excellent program for the 15th Spring Annual Conference on April 6, 2024. Our school’s rankings and enrollment highlights provide a terrific reflection of these examples: in addition to being number one worldwide for womens’ full-time M.B.A. enrollment, we have achieved gender parity in all graduate and undergraduate enrollment.

South Asian Heritage Month
This month also commemorates South Asian heritage. South Asian Heritage Month is a time for reflection, celebration, and inspiration, underscoring the significance of South Asian cultural heritage in our community and society at large. The essence of South Asian heritage permeates various aspects of our lives, from cuisine and music to literature, science, arts, and business. This month encourages us to immerse ourselves in this profound heritage, engage in substantive conversations, and deepen our understanding of the diverse cultures within the South Asian communities.

A student-led South Asian Heritage Celebration is underway at GW. The theme of the celebration is storytelling. South Asia comprises a populous region of the world, and the students who are planning the celebration will discuss how diverse the traditions, cultures and religions are within the diaspora. 
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
An additional observance is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, highlighting the importance of inclusion for those with developmental disabilities. Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month allows us to understand the challenges faced by people with developmental disabilities while celebrating their achievements, contributions, and the vibrant diversity they bring to our communities. Every individual, regardless of ability, has the right to lead a fulfilling life. Let’s reflect upon the importance of community support, accessibility, and equal opportunities in enabling individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential. Let’s consider this as a call of action to recognize the abilities of all individuals and to work together towards a more inclusive society where differences are not just accepted but embraced.
Transgender Day of Visibility
We will finish the month with a very important day. March 31 marks International Transgender Day of Visibility, which recognizes transgender and non-binary individuals and raises awareness about their lives. Please take a moment this day and reflect on understanding gender identity, and make an active effort on using correct pronouns. Let’s consider how we can all be better allies.

Our Diversity and Allyship Week workshop with the Trevor Project helped us explore facets of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and the importance of using the right pronouns. When we take the time to understand these important concepts, and use the correct pronouns for others, we create an environment where everyone feels valued and accepted.
Please RSVP if you would like to join our spring book club in May. We will read and discuss Transgender Inclusion: All the Things You Want to Ask Your Transgender Coworker but Shouldn't by A. C. Fowlkes.
Best wishes,
Signature of Şenay Ağca, chief diversity officer
Şenay Ağca, Ph.D.
Professor of Finance
Chief Diversity Officer
Chair, Dean’s Diversity Council
George Washington University School of Business
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