Club Profile: Women’s Leadership Institute

Held by the Women’s Leadership Institute, The Women in Leadership Conference Dinner (pictured above) took place on March 6 in the College Union Ballroom. WLI aims to give women valuable leadership and workforce skills in a safe environment (Udeshi Seneviratne/photo editor).

Powerful. Motivational. Inspiring. These are three words to describe the Women’s Leadership Institute on the Geneseo campus.  The Women’s Leadership Institute is an organization specifically designed to help women gain opportunism and succeed both in the workforce and on the campus.  

“WLI initially started to give women on campus a space to come together and, initially, just learn more about leadership, because the person who founded WLI saw that there was a need for a program like this,” WLI president junior Chalia Orellana Herrera said.

To be a part of the organization, one must apply in the beginning of the fall semester. Questions from the applications are used by the e-board to get a sense of the personalities coming into the club and to know what kinds of activities to hold.  

This organization is not only a way for women to further their leadership skills, but can also act as a safe space as well, as the club hosts weekly meetings for the women to talk to each other about different things that relate to being a woman, and that might affect the participants of the club.

“We also give women space to come together on a weekly basis,” Herrera said. “On Fridays we do have something called woman-to-woman where we’ll talk about anything that relates to women, or we’ll just have a really relaxed day where we’ll do some arts and crafts.”  

WLI also hosts a networking event in the spring semester that allows members to test out and show off their skills that they have gained throughout the year. 

“During the spring semester, we have one of our biggest events, which is the Women in Leadership Conference Dinner,” Herrera said. “Just seeing all of our participants taking what they’ve learned from the program and putting it all into that event and just seeing them network with other people that they may not know is rewarding.”

Communication major freshman Molly Mattison is a member of WLI and can already see the benefits members have access to.

“I think [WLI] is super important because it teaches women how to be successful and powerful in the workforce,” Mattison said. “We have a voice and [we learn] how to use it effectively. Through WLI I’ve met wonderful women my age that I can relate to and lean on. I’ve also learned powerful skills, such as resume building, networking, how to dress professionally and public speaking.”