History of WIB at Iowa
Members of Women in Business strive to answer the question, “What can we do to empower women to improve their lives and inspire them to improve the lives of others?” Throughout its history, WIB has worked toward this mission by providing women at The University of Iowa with significant leadership opportunities, community involvement, and professional development. This organization is dedicated to empowering, inspiring, and improving the lives of others and expanding each individual’s leadership potential.
WIB was founded in 1998 by an undergraduate student, Jennifer Cropper. Having previously spent several years serving in the U.S. Military, Cropper enrolled at The University of Iowa to complete an accounting degree. During that time she voiced the concern that women (undergraduate, graduate, and faculty) in the College of Business faced a complex set of challenges, different from those of their male counterparts.
Through her efforts, the WIB student organization was formed, with Jennifer serving as its first president. Unlike the National Association of Women MBA’s (formerly Graduate Women in Business), there is no national Women in Business organization. The concept, its implication, and its success are all attributable to the innovation and dedication of Iowa students.
During its first year of inception, WIB officers laid the foundation for an active, vital student group that could make a meaningful difference in the lives of its members and women in the local business community.
- WIB began a mentoring program, the first of its kind in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, in which student members were connected with established businesswomen in the local community.
- WIB established a scholarship program dedicated to recognizing and rewarding members with records of exemplary academic performance and leadership.
- In addition, WIB has highly encouraged the professional development of its members that include opportunities to hear from dozens of speakers from the corporate and academic worlds, resume and interview preparation workshops, and professional trips.
- WIB organized the first Women in Business Connection Leadership Conference for BIG10 chapters of WIB and continues to be involved in attending and hosting the conference.
- This organization also works to serve the needs of the broader community by being involved in the Iowa Women’s Foundation, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) of Iowa, and the Tippie Women’s Summit.