Student Club Profile: Women International

By, Alina Buzgar

Women make up approximately 30% of the student body at Thunderbird, and there are only 14 female CEOs running the country’s largest 500 publicly traded companies. 2.8% isn’t good enough.


In 2014, the head of the IMF, the chancellor of Germany, and the chair of the US Federal Reserve are women. General Motors, IBM and Lockheed Martin are run by women. Sixty percent of the world’s university graduates are women, and women control the majority of consumer goods buying decisions. In the US, women under 30 out-earn their male peers and 40% of American households have women as the main breadwinner. A study by Ernest & Young senior analyst Alison Kay concluded that: “We are seeing lots of new entrants coming in, the likes of Google… if organizations don’t diversify their boardrooms they’re not going to be able to address these challenges. And yet women continue to be underrepresented in most businesses, especially at the senior levels.”


The MBA Women International (MBAWI) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering women MBAs in order to propel more women into leadership positions in corporate America and to enhance the diversity of the nation’s workforce. MBAWI was founded in 1979 under the name GWIB at the Wharton School of Business to deal with the issues women faced in business and is dedicated to the education and promotion of women in business. The restructuring of the corporate world as management dynamics changed rapidly with the arrival of women into the workforce was also of concern to the organization. MBAWI is now focused on providing information, increased opportunities, visibility and communication to graduate women in business


Women International at Thunderbird


Mission statement:

The mission statement of  Women International at Thunderbird is foremost to be the professional and educational information resource for female students as well as for women in corporations, faculty, alumnae and other professional business women in the Phoenix area. Secondly, it is to provide increased opportunities and visibility for members and to provide support for their professional endeavors. Finally, to provide networking opportunities for members and professionals committed to the development of women’s role in business.



The flagship event of the club is the mentoring program in which students are matched up with professional women who match their field of interest. They subsequently foster a close mentorship relationship throughout the student’s time at Thunderbird. This highly successful program was started over 3 years ago and is now managed through partnership with Thunderbird for Good.


In addition, the club organizes weekly “bring your own lunch” meetings where different business, professional development and gender issues are discussed. The meetings promote communication among the female students in an attempt to close the cultural distance and increase their professional standing. Diverse speakers share valuable information with the participants and address a variety of subjects over an informal lunch.


The club also organizes a welcome event at the beginning of each trimester to provide a private atmosphere where students can interact and get to know each other in an informal setting. Elections  are conducted every trimester. The executive board consists of a faculty advisor, the club president, vice president, treasurer, a mentor program chair, and a marketing chair.


Courtesy: Dahida Vega
Courtesy: Dahida Vega


The club won best club of the year in the fall of 2013 for their continuous support to women’s professional development. In the spring of 2014 the club provided the first self-defense seminar for females before everyone departed for their summer internships and jobs. Women International managed to grow and enhance the now traditional programs like bring your lunch and integrated many professional aspects of Thunderbirds’ enriching faculty.



Dahida Vega, Women International President shares plans for the future: “We hope the club will continue to play an integral role for Thunderbirds’ integration into ASU. The WI mentoring program will thrive under the ownership of Thunderbird for Good and will function in a similar manner at ASU. The underlying idea is for Women International to continue to offer a private and safe space for female students to discuss and express their ideas, and concerns.”


Building a gender-balanced organization takes skill, determination, and courage.


To connect with the Women International at Thunderbird please contact

To find out more about the WI click here.

To find out more about MBAWI click here.

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