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Columbia College Women celebrates relaunch

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On April 20, more than 125 alumnae and female students gathered at Casa Italiana to celebrate the re-launch of Columbia College Women. The event gave alumnae a chance to connect with students as well as with one another and the College while learning about CCW’s new initiatives. 

Columbia College Women launchPhoto: Scott Rudd The evening featured one of the first women graduates of the College, University Trustee Claire Shipman CC’86, SIPA’94 in a conversation with CNN’s Poppy Harlow CC’05. After introductions from Dean James J. Valentini, CCW President Sherri Pancer Wolf CC’90 and CCW Vice President Suzanne Waltman CC’87, Shipman and Harlow spoke about Shipman’s bestselling book The Confidence Code, as well as their experiences at the College.

The conversation centered on the origins of the confidence gap between women and men that are rooted in both genetics and cultural norms, as well as building confidence among women by encouraging them to take action rather than overthinking, fearing risk or always striving for perfection.

 “What we learned is that you really have to be willing to take some risks and fail and learn from that failure — to grow as a human being and also to build your confidence,” said Shipman. “[Women] can be excelling academically in high school and in college, and then why does that screech to a halt? It’s because it’s a completely different set of rules in the real world. You have to be willing to fail, and take risks, and not be perfect and just get things done and move on. And there’s a real contrast between what we are learning in school as a way of behavior, and what really works in business.”

Shipman gave a nod to her College experience, saying, “Columbia forced me to stretch, and stretching by stepping out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to build confidence.” 

CCW focuses on providing enriching experiences that support alumnae throughout their lives, in both personal and professional endeavors, and creating an engaged and dynamic community that strengthens the voices and leadership of women at Columbia University through programming, outreach and development. Check out photos of the event on the CCAA Facebook page, and learn more about Columbia College Women.

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