What is the WSA?

The WSA, or Women’s Student Association, is a student-led organization at Harvard Business School for anyone who identifies as a woman. We’re the largest student organization on campus.

What do we do?

Our role is to make the women at HBS feel supported, both professionally and personally. Our mission is to connect, empower, and celebrate the next generation of women leaders. We feel it's our responsibility to ensure the women in our campus community have the resources and allies they need to thrive, both as HBS students and as future leaders. We are committed to furthering gender equity at HBS and beyond. We have an incredible list of sponsors who, through their funding and support, help us deliver extensive programming for all members.

In the 2023-2024 school year, our focus for the WSA centered around community. Our 3 focus areas were to foster meaningful connections, to accelerate the career paths of our members, and to grow female representation throughout the broader community. Below we share just a few of our many initiatives from this year that helped us achieve our goals:

Annual Women Business Conference

Every year the WSA hosts a Women in Business Conference open for all to attend (including prospective students and alumnae!). This past February we successfully conducted our 33rd annual conference under the theme “Shaping Success, Together” featuring keynote speakers including Ann Sarnoff (Former Chair & CEO of Warner Bros.), Stephanie Kramer (CHRO, L’Oreal USA), and Victoria A. Budson (Partner & Global Head of DEI at Bain Capital), as well as six panels and our second annual startup pitch competition. Panel speakers included women execs and female founders from a variety of industries including beauty, consulting, tech, fashion, finance, and many more. Our second Female Founders Pitch Competition awarded $15K to the top three winners, amongst five final teams who pitched to 3 female VC judges.

NEW WSA Fall Retreat

This year, we brought back a dearly missed tradition – the WSA fall retreat! We were able to bring ~150 of our members to Newport, RI for a fun and community-filled weekend where we toured The Breakers mansions, walked along the scenic New England cliffs, and bonded over “WSA Family” Olympics in the evening before treating ourselves to facemasks, karaoke, and s’mores. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we were able to subsidize the cost significantly for our members to allow for an inclusive experience. The retreat was so much fun, and we are already looking forward to cementing this tradition in the future!

WSA Finals Review Sessions

Our academic and career teams work tirelessly to make sure that HBS women are supported in their professional endeavors. The WSA has become known for their “final review sessions,” where RC (first-year) women take the stage in Klarman Hall and present the content covered during the term to their peers to help them study for exams. These sessions date back more than 60 years to when HBS first became co-ed, and eight women were accepted into the MBA program for the first time. To highlight these women’s right to be in the program, they conducted a finals review session for their classmates to showcase their mastery of the subject in the first year’s required curriculum. Since then, the WSA final review sessions have become invaluable to everyone!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team

We understand that intersectionality is important. Our DEI team works across the club to make sure we are accounting for all forms of representation, not just gender. This year, we also introduced two new focus areas within the DEI committees: increasing the number of female case protagonists in HBS cases and restarting an Allyship committee to involve male allies in the WSA.

Learn more about the HBS Women's Student Association here.