Confidence, connections, corporations: Women in Business

Women in Business at URI connects the community through leadership building programs. Graphic by: Maddie Bataille | Photo Editor

The University of Rhode Island’s Women in Business (WIB) organization aims to create an outlet for women to find confidence and connections, according to president Grace Legere. 

Legere, a third-year marketing major, has been the president of WIB since the fall semester of 2022. According to her, the board this year has all new members.

The board consists of five members — president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and social media and advertising chair. However, they also have five executive assistants who are trained to take over for the board members after graduation. Legere said they have approximately 150 members, mostly consisting of underclassmen. 

The organization mostly works toward scheduling events, according to Legere, some of which include attending the Harvard Women Intercollegiate conference, which they attended in October. Another event they sponsor, which took place on Wednesday, is “A Day For Ali,” a fundraising event that is named in honor of the daughter of Ann-Marie Sacco, associate teaching professor of accounting at URI, and faculty advisor to WIB. 

“Typically what happens is professor Sacco has a list [of speakers],” Legere said. “Some of them are past students, some of them are just people that she’s met over the years that she has really enjoyed talking to and become friends with. So they come in and the presentations are surrounded around making sure your LinkedIn is set up and ready to go.” 

Legere said these kinds of events are held to empower women in the business department because they are part of a minority. 

According to Sacco, when she was getting her Bachelor’s degree, she didn’t have many women to look up to in her field. She said she decided to take over as faculty advisor in 2018 because she was part of a women in business organization when she was in college. 

“I like to bring the outside in and give them an opportunity to talk to people who are accomplished and have something new to tell them and, you know, to network with,” Sacco said. “I love to do that. And we’ve had some wonderful speakers, like in the fall, we had Senator Whitehouse.” 

Sacco said that she likes to bring her personal experiences to the women in the club to prepare them for the professional world. Specifically, she referenced her career working as a businesswoman and dealing with the fiscals in weapon systems. 

Legere said that having perspectives from different people is helpful, especially for students who are unsure of what they want to do post-graduation. 

“I think, overall, it’s just — women in business is such an important club on campus and I think if more and more people knew about it, it could really help people figure out and navigate, you know, what they want to do,” Legere said. 

The next large event being hosted by WIB is their “Ladies Night Out” semi-formal gala. The event will host a panel of women to share their experiences. To learn more, follow @uriwib on Instagram.