What is OWN IT?

OWN IT WashU is a women's leadership summit designed to encourage WashU women and women in the St. Louis community to be their best selves and to encourage each other to do the same. It is our goal to bring to campus successful, driven, and inspiring women from all walks of life. By bringing together these like-minded women, we believe all attendees will leave with both knowledge and leadership skills to amplify their personal and professional success. Our first annual summit was held in 2015, and our second annual summit was held on November 12th, 2016. Last year, sixteen inspiring panelists spoke on their trials and successes in the fields of Business, Impact, Create, and STEM. The day also included engaging and interactive breakout sessions, office hours with speakers, a round table luncheon to connect with peers and professionals, an Empowerment Exchange marketplace with women-led initiatives and businesses within the St. Louis community, and countless opportunities to connect, engage, and grow, both personally and professionally. We welcomed over 250 attendees last year, and can't wait to see how we can grow our outreach in years to come.


What does OWN IT mean to us? Hear what a few of our fearless leaders have to say:


OWN IT started to address the leadership gap. Women have filled the education gap. In fact, they are graduating college at higher rates than men. However, there is still a dearth of women sitting on corporate boards, in science and technology, in C-level positions, representing us in government, and in general leadership roles. We all know you cannot be what you cannot see. OWN IT seeks to provide young women with an opportunity to not just see, but learn from and connect with women who are living out leadership in a variety of fields and positions. Similarly, OWN IT seeks to provide well-established women with an outlet to give back and share what they have learned with future leaders.

OWN IT was started by Helen Brosnan and Kendall Ciesemier, then sophomore and junior in college, respectively, during their time at Georgetown University in 2014. The inaugural OWN IT Summit was held in April 2014. Visit their website to learn more.

OWN IT WashU is a Partner Summit, an expansion of this incredibly successful movement started by Helen and Kendall. Ellen Kaushansky and Claudia Vaughan worked closely with these two to establish the first OWN IT WashU Summit in 2015. Abby Kay and Emily Schienvar continued and expanded our initiative in 2016. In 2017 our Summit was directed by Ariel Kravitz and Ariadne Bazigos. This year, the 2018 summit is lead by Regina Sterge.