New sorority program aims to empower women on campus

“Sisters for Success” is the first female empowerment group designed for sorority members at the University.

Sarah Connor

A new group for greek sisters at the University of Minnesota is hoping to empower women and prepare them to become leaders in the workforce.

The University’s Panhellenic Council kicked off its new Sisters for Success program earlier this month, bringing in about 150 sorority sisters to its first event. The woman-centered program includes specific initiatives for each year of school, aiming to equip greek women for life after college with career preparation resources that also prepare them how to succeed as women.

Sisters for Success, an optional program, places a large focus on women’s empowerment, Panhellenic Council President Talia Saville said. It also aims to inspire its participants to take on opportunities within their careers and in the community, she said.

“We are making sure [our members] understand that, although there are differences between being a woman and a man in college and in the world … that they feel empowered as women and not [feel] that they’re anything less than men, because they’re not,” she said.

Saville said the program is presented through guest speakers, interactive group activities and an upcoming mentorship program.

She said the council created the program as a way to ensure that greek women benefit from their experience at the University as much as possible, adding that past programming was too broad to affect members.

Matt Levine, program director for the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said “Sisters for Success” aims to improve the greek experience for women at the University by tailoring the programming to fit members’ needs by year.

“We’ve really looked at it from a four-year model,” Levine said. “… The big focus has been, ‘How are these women going to make our community stronger?’ and ‘How are we making these women stronger as well?’”

Along with providing resources to help members feel confident in themselves as collegiate women, the program places an additional focus on guiding sisters into successful careers after graduation.

Freshman and sophomore members will receive résumé and internship guidance, while juniors and seniors will get help finding professionals to network with, Saville said.

“At the end of the day, we’re in college to get a career, so we’re making sure they know the best ways to apply for internships, and we’re giving resume tips and interview practice,” Saville said, adding that the program utilizes the University’s career resources.

The PHC hopes the program, though in a fledgling state, will provide its women with the resources they need to leave college feeling prepared for the workforce and ready to compete with male counterparts in their fields, Saville said.

Levine said he sees the program positively impacting women in the greek community. He said one goal of the program is to help women feel “empowered, ready to go, ready to tackle any challenge, ready to stand up for themselves and ready to lead by example in the workforce.”