On April 30, 2019, Gonzaga Money Mentors hosted the first annual Women Mean Business. During this event, five career-savvy women spoke about their personal experiences in their endeavors on the path to success. Speakers included Ginger Ewing, Rosemary Muriungi and Jennifer Ferch. Among these women was also one of GU’s own professors, Danielle Xu.
Each speaker commented on the importance of being a woman in a male-dominated profession and the obstacles they endured each step of the way. While the speakers described their unique circumstances in which they were challenged not only as individuals, but as women, speakers Muriungi and Xu both emigrated to the United States to pursue higher education and advance their careers.
“I thought it was really inspiring to see all these woman in different areas doing incredible things and following their passions,” said Emma Chichester, a freshman and treasure of Gonzaga Women in Business.
A native from the Spokane area, Executive Director and co-founder of Terrain, an organization that seeks to promote the arts, culture, and economic prosperity within the local community. Despite initially wanting to be a forensic anthropologist, Ewing found a new passion to support artists, or “creatives,” as art is the soul of the community.
“All of the women on the panel definitely had different personalities and different ways of approaching business which I thought was really interesting,” said Nancy Grace Bignell, marketing manager for Gonzaga Women in Business.
While she is now a finance professor, Xu received her undergraduate degree in English when she studied in China. It was not until she was in the work force for a couple years when she realized she wanted to go back to school. Today, Xu is among the few female professors in her department and manages to stay unhindered by her presence as a woman.
“I really think it is important to have events like this because it gives a voice to women in business and empowers them to count on each other,” said Connor Cooley, a junior Computer Science major at GU. “Personally, I also thought that the messages and stories these women shared were applicable to anyone, regardless of gender."
While all women had different perspectives and approaches to success, the message was the same, to be “courageous enough to fight for what you believe in, because as women, if you don’t do that, nobody will do it for you,” said Muriungi.