Empowering future female political leaders

New organization comes to Quinnipiac, striving to bridge the gender gap in politics

Jessica Simms, Managing Editor

Empowering all people to pursue their dreams in politics is the mission of Leading Women of Tomorrow, one of Quinnipiac University’s new student organizations.

Leading Women of Tomorrow is a student-run, bipartisan, national organization that was founded by a girl, Medha Reddy, who wanted to see a change in politics. Its goal is to bridge the gender gap that is present amongst elected officials and public servants.

“It’s an initiative that encourages young girls, also men as well, anyone who really wants to pursue a career in public office or make a change in society,” said Ambar Pagan, director of political affairs and a junior political science major. “So we encourage that initiative and we make sure that we give everyone the resources and opportunities that they need in order to make that happen.”

The national organization of Leading Women of Tomorrow reached out to Quinnipiac, expressing interest in establishing a chapter at the university.

Scott McLean, professor of political science, emailed Quinnipiac students, explaining the organization to see if they’d be interested in joining and applying for a leadership position.

Design by Michael Clement

Many of these women had personal reasons for why they wanted to join the organization.

“I have always had a passion for empowering young women to work toward careers in public service being a politically active woman myself,” said Mary Gerdenich, director of public relations and a senior political science and criminal justice major.”I believe women have often seen careers in the government and politics as unattainable due to the challenges and scrutiny that comes along with it, but I aim to be a part of changing that.”

As a new organization on campus, Leading Women of Tomorrow is utilizing its Instagram account, @lwtquinnipiac, to connect with the Quinnipiac community, as well as encouraging prospective members to reach out via email at [email protected].

“(Students) can get involved if they go to our Instagram page — it’s very active,” said Ohidiani Imevbore, vice president and a junior political science major. “We try and do a post a day, so if they just send a direct message to the Instagram page, they’ll definitely get a response within 24 hours.”

By launching a new organization on campus amid the pandemic and not having a budget as of yet, Leading Women of Tomorrow is “fighting a couple of uphill battles,” according to Gabriella Colello, president and a junior political science and law in society double major. However, the organization has some events planned for the fall semester and beyond.

Design by Michael Clement

“We already have planned a virtual speaker series and we’re incorporating Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, she should be scheduled to come in this semester and speak at some point, along with a lot of other elected officials or public representatives,” Colello said.

DeLauro represents Connecticut’s third congressional district, which stretches from New Haven to Waterbury. Hamden is a part of this district, making it relevant for DeLauro to be a part of the speaker series.

Along with the speaker series, Colello said Leading Women of Tomorrow is planning to do some community outreach in the spring semester and create  an online platform to share students’ voices with the community.

“Our main goal is to act as a liaison between our members and opportunities for them to grow and be involved in this professional lens,” Colello said. “So look out for a speaker series this semester and professional development type workshops soon with resumes, cover letters. As well as community outreach and overall just trying to connect with the community on growth, mentorship. A lot of things are coming.”

By joining the Quinnipiac community, the executive board of Leading Women of Tomorrow is hoping to empower others and create an inclusive environment.

“When we empower women, I think we create an inclusive environment within ourselves for them to grow,” Pagan said. “If we can bring in these resources, bring in these events to our campus and promote female empowerment, promote gender equality on campus, then we’re going to create a change that’s not only going to benefit women, but it’s going to benefit everyone on campus because then everyone is going to have an equal voice, equal say and I think that’s what’s needed especially now in 2020.”