Empowering Women in Business: Women’s Circle — Lorraine Marchand

Talking Trends
3 min readApr 16, 2024

Navigating the entrepreneurial landscape presents its unique set of challenges, emphasizing the critical role of a strong network. In a thought-provoking panel featuring insights from Renu Vitale and Gretchen Meyer, we delved into the art of crafting and leveraging networks to overcome these obstacles (see video below). The panel highlighted the Women’s Circle at Columbia Business School and its dedication to nurturing a supportive ecosystem, aimed at enhancing women’s leadership throughout various phases of their professional journeys. The Women’s Circle is an inclusive and diverse group — with no special criterion or fees, every woman who graduates from Columbia Business School is automatically a member.

Renu emphasized the value of the CBS network and highlighted how this community stands not just as a testament to academic excellence, but as a vibrant ecosystem of support, mentorship, and opportunity. This network is a catalyst for both personal and professional growth, enabling women to leverage collective wisdom and resources to navigate the complexities of the business world.

Gretchen Meyer, with her expertise in financial consulting, shared her journey and the pivotal role that the CBS community played in her career. She underscored the importance of authentic connections and how the Women’s Circle at CBS is a platform for building these relationships. The Circle, according to Meyer, is more than just a network; it’s a space where women empower each other to achieve greatness, breaking barriers and setting new benchmarks.

Further, Gretchen and Renu both emphasized their personal use of the Women’s Circle network to advance their businesses- from cheerleaders to door openers to reference customers.

Central to the discussion was the “Women Helping Women Small Business Series,” an initiative by the Women’s Circle designed to support women entrepreneurs. This series is a testament to the Circle’s commitment to fostering an environment where women can thrive in their entrepreneurial endeavors. It provides a forum for sharing experiences, challenges, and successes, thereby enabling women to learn from each other and grow their businesses.

The power of the CBS network and the Women’s Circle lies in their ability to unite diverse voices and perspectives. This diversity fuels innovation, creativity, and resilience, qualities essential for success in the ever-evolving business landscape. By participating in these networks, women gain access to a wealth of knowledge, insights, and opportunities that can propel them to new heights.

Connect with Lorraine on LinkedIn.



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