In celebration of Women's History Month, we want to highlight the remarkable history and evolution of the Women's Student Association (WSA) at Harvard Business School. Established in the early 1970s, the WSA emerged as a pioneering force, advocating for the needs and recognition of the then small community of women at HBS. This initiative was born out of a necessity to support women navigating the challenges of a predominantly male-dominated business world, marking a significant step towards fostering gender inclusivity and equity at HBS.

Since its inception, the WSA has been instrumental in advocating for key administrative changes that have profoundly impacted the academic and social environment for women at HBS. One notable achievement includes the introduction of scribes in classrooms, a strategic move aimed at minimizing professor bias and ensuring a fair and equitable assessment of women's contributions. This initiative reflected the WSA's commitment to creating a learning environment where all students, irrespective of gender, could thrive and succeed on equal footing. Other achievements include advocating for an increase of female protagonists in HBS cases, and for the addition of women’s bathrooms on every floor of classroom buildings.

Furthermore, the WSA has consistently introduced innovative initiatives to strengthen the support network for women at HBS. The female founder pitch competition started at the 2023 annual Women in Business Conference stands out as a groundbreaking platform that empowers aspiring women entrepreneurs to present their business ideas, fostering a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, the revival of the annual fall retreat in 2024 offers a valuable opportunity for personal and professional development, enabling women to connect, share experiences, and strategize for future success.

As we reflect on the evolution of the WSA, it becomes evident that its impact extends far beyond the HBS campus. The association's enduring legacy is a testament to the power of collective action and the importance of advocating for gender equity in the business world. Looking forward, the WSA continues to inspire and empower, signaling a bright future for women at HBS and beyond. Through its continued efforts, the WSA not only honors the achievements of past generations but also paves the way for future leaders, reinforcing the belief that diversity and inclusion are paramount to creating a more equitable and successful business landscape.

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