Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

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Women in Business: Inspiration for the Future

The+Women+in+Business+Panel+was+recently+held+in+Somsens+engagement+center+where+women+leaders+came+to+share+their+perspectives+and+thoughts+about+owning+a+business+as+a+woman+in+todays+society.
Lilia Barrett
The Women in Business Panel was recently held in Somsen’s engagement center where women leaders came to share their perspectives and thoughts about owning a business as a woman in today’s society.

The Women in Business Panel was recently held in Somsen’s engagement center where women leaders came to share their perspectives and thoughts about owning a business as a woman in today’s society.

Six business-owning women spoke at the panel, including Amy Jo Marks (Blooming Grounds, BG Express and Muddled Thyme), Anna Ledebuhr (Coulee Boutique), Ashley Hoff-Czaplewski (Hoff Funeral Homes), Brook Merkwan (Island City Brewing Company), and Cherie Burke (Keller Williams Premier Realty). The College of Business Advisor, Liz Schwanke, describes the importance of this panel.

“I wanted to make sure the female voice wasn’t lost in a predominantly male space,” Schwanke said.

Schwanke continues to talk about what will go on during the hour-long panel, bringing up the women who made the time to come and chat.

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“I have asked each woman to come prepared by sharing their experiences as being a woman leader in business,” Schwanke explains.

The panel answered many questions asked by the audience, questioning what qualities women, or specifically themselves, can bring to the table and help in their chosen industry. Some of the women explained that the ability to multitask in the workplace as a woman is an incredibly important quality, as it drives efficiency.

One of the business-owning women on the panel offered her wisdom on what qualities are important.

“Confidence in yourself is necessary in order to run a business. Not having the fear to ask hard questions, and being okay with failing,” the woman explained.

The panel was held on March 13th to celebrate the anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage parade in Washington DC in 1913. During this parade, over 8000 women gathered to demand a constitutional amendment guaranteeing their right to vote.

Mya Vonruden is a student at Winona State looking to pursue a career in business who attended the panel. Vonruden shared her experience of attending the event as well as being a woman in the College of Business.

“The women on the panel proved that it is possible to be successful as a woman in business. Their confidence in themselves made me feel more sure about pursuing this type of career,” Vonruden said.

At one point in the event, guests were asked what their favorite thing about being a woman is. In response, a panel member offered a thoughtful answer.

“I like the fact that, since women are historically underestimated, that when you do something incredible, men are often taken aback,” the woman described.

She went on to explain that confidence plays a huge role in completing tasks as a businesswoman, and that, “faking it until you make it” often helps to be able to get the job done. Liz Schwanke welcomes those who are debating on choosing a career in the College of Business at Winona State, saying students should stop by Somsen 318 to talk and learn more about the seven majors and twelve minors offered.

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About the Contributor
Lilia Barrett, News Reporter
Lilia Barrett is a Photographer and News Reporter for The Winonan and started in Spring 2024. Barrett is a first year at Winona State University majoring in Nursing and minoring in Child Advocacy Studies. In addition to working for the Winonan, Barrett is also involved in various clubs throughout campus and enjoys volunteering at nearby food shelves in Winona.  Outside of school, Barrett is a Water Safety Instructor (WSI) where she teaches children, ages 1-14, how to swim. Her favorite hobby is to go on walks with friends around cities, parks, lakes, et cetera. Barrett enjoys road trips with family, her favorite being a trip to Colorado Springs a few summers ago. 

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