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Global Symposium Student Fellows offer preview of São Paulo workshop to high-school girls in New York City

Barnard welcomed more than 30 high-school girls from around New York City and the tri-state area for the 2013 Young Women’s Leadership Workshop on February 20. This program was designed and facilitated by the Global Symposium Student Fellows—six Barnard students selected to attend the college’s upcoming global symposium, “Women Changing Brazil,” which is taking place in São Paulo, Brazil on March 18. On March 20, the Fellows will lead the same workshop for high-school girls from around São Paulo.

During the workshop, the high-school students participated in a role-playing simulation that explored gender discrimination in the workplace. They were assigned roles as company directors, hiring managers, and job candidates, and acted out mock interview sessions and hiring decisions. Guided by the Fellows, this experience led to a discussion about women’s leadership, and about the high-school students’ own experiences as leaders in their schools and communities.

“The best part of the workshop was watching the girls discuss what women's leadership meant to them,” said Annelise Finney ’13, one of the Global Symposium Student Fellows. “It was clear that this was something they were passionate about and it was fun to share that passion with them and work together to think about what challenges women face today and how we can solve them.”

“I was really excited to see how engaged the students were during the simulation,” said Mariany Polanco ’13, another student Fellow. “They had so much to share and expressed such insightful thoughts. I am looking forward to seeing how the girls in Brazil respond.”

“This was a great opportunity for our students to see their curriculum in action and prepare for the experience of leading the same workshop in São Paulo next month,” said Prof. Kathryn Kolbert, the Constance Hess Williams '66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, who has worked closely with the Fellows as they’ve developed the simulation activity and overall workshop program. “And holding the workshop here on campus is also a very nice example of how Barnard’s international initiatives can simultaneously help us reach out and build connections with young women here at home.”