What is the WSA?

The WSA, or Women’s Student Association, is a student-led organization at HBS for anyone who identifies as a woman. We’re the largest student organization on campus and are one of the few clubs that don’t request dues from members.

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. Some of the highlights of our club include:

Annual Dynamic Women in Business Conference

Every year the WSA hosts a Women in Business conference. It’s open for all to attend, and traditionally was held in person, on the HBS campus, although for the past few years the conference has been virtual because of the pandemic. Most recently we had an incredible lineup of speakers and panelists who met to discuss the topic “How to Build a Successful Life.” We recognize that success can be defined in many different ways, and wanted to hear from successful female leaders about how they created their own professional and personal life that fulfilled their definition. HBS alumnae Vicky Tsai (MBA 2006), Susie Mulder (MBA 1996) and Michelle Zatlyn (MBA 2009) joined us. We also had Seema Hingorani, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Founder of Girls who Invest, Nadja Swarovski, and Penny Pennington, Managing Partner of Edward Jones. We gave participants the opportunity to watch a series of panels, from Overcoming Imposter Syndrome to Female Founders to Life in the C-Suite.

Academics Teams and Careers Team

Our academics and careers 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, at HBS, and present the content covered during the term to their peers to help them study for exams. The WSA final review sessions have become invaluable to everyone! We also have WSA-only career fairs, workshops on negotiating your offer letter, and more.

Social Events

Of course, a large part of the HBS experience is meeting new people and making lifelong friends. Whether it’s exercise classes or happy hours, the WSA regularly hosts events to bring our community of women together.

SHAPE (Sexual Harassment / Assault Prevention and Education) Team

The newly formed SHAPE team works with SAS and the SA to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault on our campus. One of SHAPE's key initiatives this year has been developing a new online training module.

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. The team also works with other student organizations, such as PRIDE and AASU.

Who are we?

My name is Ziana Kotadia (MBA 2022) and I’m a co-president of the WSA. I am originally from Birmingham in the United Kingdom, but moved to London when I was 18 to study (at the London School of Economics) and work (first in Consumer Goods, and then Consulting). I was brought up surrounded by strong women, including my mum and two sisters. Through their experiences, as well as my own, I’ve seen the professional and personal struggles that women, and particularly women of color, face. I am really passionate about helping advance gender equity, while also considering how gender interacts with other forms of identity. Being a part of the WSA has given me an incredible opportunity to contribute to the community of women on campus, in a meaningful way, and make new friends.

My name is Yarden Halperin (MS/MBA 2022) and I’m a co-president of the WSA, along with Ziana. I was born and raised in Israel, and moved to Boston in September 2020 with my husband Or, and our dog, Mini. I have B.Sc. in Computer Science and before HBS I was a software developer team lead in a tech company. Growing up, I often found myself being the only female in the room, whether in the major Physics class in high school or as a technical leader on management meetings in the office. Recalling my own experiences in the workplace, I try to empower the women around me. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I led a branch of SheCodes, an organization that helps women to learn how to code. Before coming to HBS, getting involved in the WSA was a high priority. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help empower the amazing women at HBS while leading the WSA this year.