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"Her-story" event part of Women's History Month
at NIU College of Business
Sometimes when Julie Vander Weele gets together with Jill and Janet Krueger, it’s just a group of sorority sisters talking and laughing. Other times, it is a power lunch for three successful executives.
When they gathered this spring, it was an opportunity to share stories about both of those parts of their lives and to mentor a group of 16 women studying in the College of Business at Northern Illinois University.
The event, dubbed “Her Story,” was organized by Dean Denise Schoenbachler in honor of Women’s History Month. However, such events are not limited to the month of March at the college. “One of our goals is to become the business school of choice for young women in the Chicago area who want to pursue a career in business, so we do a lot of events aimed at helping women students learn to excel in what is still very much a man’s world,” says Schoenbachler.
To back up that assertion, she points to recent statistics showing that at U.S. Fortune 500 companies, women account for only 2.4 percent of chief executives and 1 out of 20 top management positions.
In light of that, Schoenbachler wanted women students to meet alumnae who have bucked those odds. Vander Weele and the Kruegers (who are also biological sisters) were happy to provide the type of mentoring that they wish they had had as students. The three shared stories of juggling family responsibilities with work, overcoming setbacks and how the road to success is filled with unexpected turns.