Women in Business Conference 2015

Welcome to our live coverage of the inaugural Women in Business Conference!

Women make up almost 52% of all professional jobs in the United States, yet only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners, and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Although women have made significant progress in the business world, we are nowhere near having a true balance between men and women. Business Today’s Women in Business Conference aims to provide female students from all backgrounds with the cost-free opportunity to attend a mentorship-focused conference that helps to develop an understanding of what challenges women face in the business world and how to overcome them. We hope that our female attendees will come away not just with more wisdom, but also with a new network of both female executives and other business-interested peers, and a realistic set of goals and ways in which to achieve them. Finally, we hope everyone walks away with plenty of passion and courage to navigate and help fellow women traverse the world of business.

What follows is a list of what to expect throughout the day. We will be updating this page with articles, interviews, and media throughout the course of the day so be sure to check back periodically!


9:00 am -- 10:00 am      Opening Remarks by Barbara Byrne, Vice Chairman, Barclays

10:00 am -- 11:00 am     Executive Seminar

11:00 am -- 12:00 pm    Keynote I, Anna Sedgley, CFO, Dow Jones

12:45 pm -- 2:00 pm      Entrepreneur Speaker Series

2:00 pm -- 2:30 pm     Career and Life Vision Workshop, Pulin Sanghvi, Executive Director of Princeton Career Services

2:30 pm -- 3:30 pm       Mentorship Workshop

3:30 pm -- 4:30 pm       Panel with Jeri Dunn, Former CIO, Nestle, Baçardi and Tyson Foods, and Rachel Gogel, Creative Director, T Brand Studio

4:30 pm -- 5:00 pm       Fireside Chat, Dhivya Suryadevara, Vice President, Finance and Treasurer, CEO and CIO, GM Asset Management

5:30 pm -- 6:15 pm        Keynote II, Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, General Electric


Hello again, everyone. I know this has been an incredibly long and packed day so I’ll try and keep it short so that you guys can catch your trains home!

We heard from Barbara Byrne of Barclays who had wonderful things to say about emphasizing confidence, hard work, personal relationships, and compassion as keys to success. We heard from Anna Sedgley of Dow Jones who advised us never to show our doubt in ourselves, to always keep climbing the mountain, and pursue the things we love. We heard some great takes on entrepreneurship from the speaker series and advice on how to jump into the start up world. Pulin Sanghvi then spoke on how to use our college experience as a laboratory to test what we love and think about, in a very structured way, how to set goals for the future. He encouraged us to dig more deeply, and presented some of his Career & Life Vision material. Our breakout mentorship sessions helped focus these lessons in a more personal, practical manner. We heard from the panel about career mobility and how to think about choosing a first job. Dhivya Suryadevara of General Motors spoke about her experiences as a woman in the auto industry and how women can make choices to really “have it all.” And finally, Beth Comstock of General Electric spoke about the role of marketing in business and how she has overcome challenges to get where she is today. I hope you all had a chance not just to learn about business but reflect on yourselves.

Now I would like to thank the people who made all of this happen.

First, thank you to all of our amazing speakers for taking time away from your busy weekend to engage with this amazing group of students. Thank you also to our incredible sponsors, without whom this conference would not have been possible.

To the Women in Business staff, thank you for your dedication and hard work. I really enjoyed getting to know you all and am looking forward to seeing you all take the reigns on BT in the future!

To the Corporate Contacts Team, who traveled all across the U.S. to help recruit speakers, thank you for dedicating your summer to Business Today and for securing most of the amazing speakers that we just heard from.

Thank you to my fellow officers for your continuous support. Together we have made history in Business Today by putting together something brand new. We have created an incredibly unique event that will hopefully extend long into the future.

To my assistant directors, Divya, Marion, Christina, Ayesha, and Hannah, I truly appreciate your commitment to BT over the past months. This event would not have been possible without your incredible dedication, poise, and ideas. You guys have taken everything in stride when a lot of our work was brainstorming what we wanted this event to look like in the first place.

And Ed. Oh Ed. When I found out I was directing this conference, Vaasvi told me I needed to find the most reliable, most intelligent, most enjoyable, most any positive adjective you can think of type of person to be my Chief of Staff. You were the only person I could ever have imagined to be by my side through all of these decisions, to carry out and execute every step of the way like you have. You have made this as painless as possible and I cannot thank you enough.

And then of course, the reason I am even here speaking to you all right now. Vaasvi, I don’t even know where to begin. Thank you for keeping me sane, helping me manage the balance between my schoolwork and organizing this conference, and for giving me this opportunity in the first place. By bringing me into BT, you have turned my Princeton experience into something I never could’ve imagined and you have been the best mentor and friend in every sense of the word. For tirelessly advocating for this conference to even happen in the first place, for advising me every step of the way, and for unfailingly offering support and kindness, I look up to you so much. There is no one in Business Today who does not look up to you as the most impressive, competent, and most importantly, fun person we could ever imagine working with or hanging out with. You have taken BT to levels no one could ever have imagined and we are so grateful to you.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you. Thank you for joining us here. Thank you for contributing to the conversation, for asking questions, and for having great attitudes during this long and tiring day. I hope you all had a great experience and we hope to see most of you at next year’s conference. On a logistical note, please bring all your receipts to the registration table so you can get reimbursed for your travel. With that, please keep in touch with BT and enjoy your dinner! Thank you.

-- Antigone Valen