Women’s Center, OSI Prepare For Upcoming Spring 2016 ‘Own It’ Summit

Save the date: April 9, 2016—Boston College’s second Women’s Summit: Own It event, and a day promoting the celebration, inspiration, and empowerment of women within the BC community.

According to its website, Own It is a “series of game-changing summits, events, and opportunities to inspire young women.” The program, which began at Georgetown University in April of 2014, brings female leaders together with college-age women.

Alexis Teixeira, CSOM ’17, Caela McCann, MCA&S ’15, and Lily Peng, MCA&S ’17, joined forces to bring Own It to BC as a continuation of the annual Boston College Women’s Summit, which was founded and initially run by the Undergraduate Government of Boston College in 2014.

Last year, BC was the second university to host a Summit, replacing the UGBC event. This year, there are 12 scheduled Summits to be held both domestically and internationally.

Last year’s event sold out within a mere six hours. The turnout totaled approximately 300 attendees, including speakers, guests, alumni, faculty members, and students, and this year, the Own It team hopes to accommodate upwards of 400 people.

Tickets last year were $5, and all proceeds were donated to the Global Good Fund, in honor of its co-founder and CEO, Carrie Rich—one of last year’s two keynote speakers.

This year’s ticket prices will again be low, and all of the money raised will be given to a selected charity. The event will be held in Robsham, Conte, the Heights Room, and various other locations across campus.

While this year’s applications for participation in the Own It team have recently closed, they will be available again next fall, and sign up sheets will be posted in mid-spring for those wishing to volunteer at the event.

“[The 2015 Summit] had the greatest collaboration on campus between 20 organizations, so all of them spread the word,” Teixeira said. “It was accessible, diverse, and exciting,” attributing the event’s success largely to these three aspects.

The University decided to institutionalize the event after seeing its popularity in Washington, D.C. in 2014, and then in Chestnut Hill in 2015. Own It is now under the Women’s Center and the Office of Student Involvement, which Teixeira considers beneficial to the Summit’s overall organization, acclaim, and success. “[This] will definitely help us not only with our credibility, but also with reaching the most amount of students possible,” she said.

According to Teixeira, this year’s Summit will closely mirror last years in that it will have the same tenants. “Owning your successes, owning your opinions, and owning your differences,” said Teixeira. “We’re trying to tap into every student’s interest, whether you’re in nursing, or in the School of Education, or you’re interested in becoming a veterinarian. We’re trying to hit everything with the 40 speakers that are coming.”

For its second ever Summit, however, the Own It team is working to make the event appeal to an even wider variety of people.

This year’s speakers and panels will be less focused on industry, like the 2015 Summit, and more vocation-based. “Rather than having a business panel, we’ll have a strength panel, or an innovation panel,” Teixeira said. Although the 2016 schedule is still in the works, Teixeira said that it should be fairly similar to what students experienced last year. That event featured two keynote speakers, two breakout sessions, and panels, all with BC alumni and outside speakers.

The Own It team is currently in the process of inviting speakers for keynotes, panels, and several breakout sessions. “[We are] looking for diverse backgrounds, diverse experiences, and a representation of women who are owning their jobs and owning their positions,” Teixeira said.

She also revealed the background information regarding one breakout session speaker at the 2016 Summit: a woman who is currently an executive leader at State Street, but had previously served in the military. Her breakout session is titled, “From Military Boots to Corporate Suits.”

“We want to bring out the best in these women and allow them to have intimate conversations with students and share things they’re passionate about,” Teixeira said. The women who speak do so for no pay. “If we can have one person in the audience leave with something they they want to do afterwards, that’s all we can really ask for,” Teixeira said.

Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor