6 June 2017: Yale-NUS student group aims to establish professional networks for young women

By Wen Kin Lim | Images by Aleithia Low

While other students were completing their final week of classes, Betty Pu (Class of 2020) was on a 17-hour flight to California, USA for an entrepreneurship conference at Stanford University. Selected as one of 35 international college students for the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES) Summit, Betty spent a week learning problem solving and innovation skills from Silicon Valley experts through Stanford-led workshops.

In 2016, Betty also attended the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business Convention that brought together young women from around the world, with a passion for business, to establish a global support network.

Drawing on her experience and exposure to other female leaders in business and entrepreneurship from these conferences, Betty is working with Chandler Beyer (Class of 2020) to establish a new student group at Yale-NUS. Named ‘Women in Business’, the group is dedicated to helping women develop the skills and networks needed to succeed in the corporate world.

The group has gotten off to a good start with the organisation of a ‘Women in Finance’ conference held at Yale-NUS in January 2017. Attended by 60 students from all over Singapore, the event brought together female industry leaders from established corporate firms like Macquarie, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Morgan Stanley. They shared their experiences on climbing the corporate ladder as women.

Attendees, who ranged from Junior College to Master of Business Administration students, had the opportunity to take part in discussions with the speakers in breakout sessions as well. Betty said, “I was lucky to have attended finance events during high school back in Toronto, Canada. These events gave me a deeper understanding of the industry and I wanted to bring this experience to tertiary students in Singapore.”

Women are still often an unrepresented minority in the higher levels of the corporate world. Betty hopes that a Women in Business chapter in Yale-NUS will help to develop important networks and mentoring for young women. The group has already established connections with the Singapore 100 Women in Finance chapter and LadyBoss Asia, which are networks for female working professionals in specific niches.

“In simple terms, we want to set up a network where women can reach out to support others in industries where women are underrepresented. These include their peer groups and those who are younger.” Betty said.

The group hopes to organise events that are more diverse for the Women in Business chapter, such as panels for women working in technology and entrepreneurship fields. Other initiatives include mentorship with female industry professionals, small dialogues with female Yale-NUS students or alumni who have had success in various business fields and training for networking skills. Betty believes that the Women in Business chapter has great potential for empowering young women to achieve success in the corporate world in Singapore.

“Our chapter wants to form a connection between older female students and alumni of Yale-NUS, who have had great success, with younger female students. The aim is to provide them with inspiration, mentoring and honest and candid opinions about their journey.” she said.