Women leaders on campus reflect on their roles

Margaret Dougherty, Managing Editor

Every March is set aside to celebrate the contributions of women in American history and appreciate just how much progress has been made in advancing women’s rights. However, focus is also put on the work that still needs to be done. One area in which women remain disproportionately represented is workplace leadership. According to a 2020 study by McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, women hold only 28% of senior management roles in America. Women leadership is vital for a company’s success, bringing different perspectives and skillsets that are effective in the modern age.  

At Iona, many women have active leadership roles in clubs and activities. 

Senior Lynnie Chong channels her passion for science into her role as President of the Chemical SocietyShe knows just how male-dominated the STEM field can be, but believes that having more women in leadership is a step in the right direction. 

“Throughout history, there has been a lack of women, especially women of color, in STEM,” Chong said. “I believe having women leaders for clubs like the Chemical Society is important because it allows other young women who want to pursue degrees and careers in science to see another woman who is achieving her goals. There is something so motivating about seeing a fellow woman in STEM succeeding!” 

Chong celebrates Women’s History Month by celebrating the incredible contributions of women in STEM, including Marie M. Daly, the first African American woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry, and Tu Youyou, the first woman from China to receive a Nobel Prize. Chong also honors the influential women in her own life. 

“During Women’s History Month, I often think about both of my grandmothers who did not have the opportunities that I have today,” Chong said. 

In her role as President of the Finance Club, junior Gabriella Cocucci recognizes the importance of having diversified viewpoints in the finance industry. She draws inspiration from the celebration of fellow women leaders in March. 

This month serves as another motivating factor to me,” Cocucci said. “It shows that through hard work and dedication anything can truly be achieved.” 

The President of the Marketing Club, senior Alana Zayas, also appreciates Women’s History Month and looks forward to even more women achieving their full potential. 

“I think having a woman leader reiterates that when we put our minds to it, we can do it,” Zayas said. “I enjoy working with both my male and female colleagues on our executive board and look forward to hearing more accomplished women lead the Marketing Club.” 

In the male-dominated field of international affairs, senior Nicholle Parsons is grateful for her role as President of Model UN, where she can help other women excel in their roles on the team. She notes that female representation is vital to encouraging even more women to get involved. 

“When I was a freshman, there were three women on the Model UN team,” Parsons said. Today, four out of five e-board positions are filled by women and we have more than doubled the number of female team members. That’s what representation does.” 

Motivated by their leadership positions at Iona, this next generation of female leaders is prepared to create a more inclusive workforce in the real world.