A dynamic duo from Lodi is proving to be trailblazers at University of the Pacific. Business students Maria Rios and Wajiha Tahir have organized a network on campus called the Pacific Society for Women in Business.
Rios, the president and founder of the organization, is a senior majoring in business with a concentration in human resource management. After taking a management and organizational behavior class with Professor Jeffrey Miles, Rios was motivated to create a club on campus for female students in the Eberhardt School of Business.
“Professor Miles encouraged me to start looking into schools like Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, and Sac state to get ideas on how to pursue and develop this organization,” Rios said.
She began doing research on the club last September, was recruiting members to sit on the executive board a month later and had a functioning club a few weeks ago.
“When I initially started work on this club the first person I reached out to was Wajiha, and her immediate response was ‘let’s do this,’ and since then she has been my right-hand woman in getting things up an running,” Rios said.
Tahir, a junior majoring in human resource management and marketing, jumped at the opportunity to work with Rios and serve on the board as the vice president of social and web development. She created the group's website and built their social media presence.
Rios, with the help of board members, crafted a mission statement that embodies the group’s purpose.
“We created a mission that included three pillars of success: empowerment, equality and enrichment,” Rios said.
The group is creating an organization on campus that spotlights women and helps them attain recognition for their academic achievements and helps them network with companies.
“We would love to be a source of recruitment for companies looking to hire brilliant, accomplished women,” Rios said.
The group has been reaching out to local companies and banks to garner more support and funding. They have sought out local organizations to partner with that share the ideas expressed in their mission statement.
“We hope that this becomes a large organization on campus that builds connections for women and bridges the employment gap that women face,” Rios said.
Tahir efforts to make the organization more visible on social media are paying off. She’s also reached out to past female alumni members and connected with Miljean Young, a global strategy and operations senior analyst at YouTube. Tahir and the executive board recently received a tour of the YouTube campus in San Bruno.
“It was amazing because we were able to tour the campus and hear how Miljean started out in the tech world at the start of the recession and worked at lots of startups before getting a job at YouTube. Hearing her talk about the struggle and journey was very inspiring,” Tahir said.
The club hopes to expand its network and host speaker panels as well as mixers and luncheons for alumni and students enrolled at the university.
The group is hosting its first speaker panel, featuring Young, on Friday, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. In the Regents Room on the University of the Pacific campus located at 3601 Pacific Ave. in Stockton. The event is free and open to the public.