Professor Launches Platform to Empower Women in the Workforce
Angeli Gianchandani, M.A., was inspired by her own experiences in the workplace to create Mobility Girl, a community that fosters mentorship opportunities and enables women – including many of her students at the University – to develop as leaders.
October 22, 2021
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Throughout her career as a global brand strategist, Angeli Gianchandani, M.A., has worked with some of the world’s leading brands in the fashion and automotive industries. She says working under the direction of both male and female CEOs has shaped her own skills and business acumen.
A practitioner in residence in the University’s Department of Accounting, Finance, and Marketing, Prof. Gianchandani believes women are an “untapped resource” in today’s economy and valuable assets in the workplace. Her experience and observations about the importance of women’s leadership inspired her to design a lecture series titled “The Female Advantage,” as well as Mobility Girl, a platform designed to build a pipeline to invest in women.
“Women are half the economy,” explains Prof. Gianchandani. “When we participate in the workforce, it has a ripple effect on business for greater productivity and a flourishing economy. It also impacts our career mobility, long-term earnings, and advancement.”
‘A program that helps, guides, and empowers women to reach their full potential’
Mobility Girl aims to empower women and inspire their creativity and innovation through guidance, mentorship, and coaching, helping them to become industry leaders. It supports the economic advancement of women through community and endeavors to create opportunities and conversations that will lead to greater mobility for women – both personally and professionally.
Prof. Gianchandani believes mentorship plays a key role in the workplace and in Mobility Girl’s mission, and she says it can benefit both mentors and mentees.
“For women to be more empowered in the workplace, having a structured mentorship is critical,” said Prof. Gianchandani, who has worked with brands such as BMW, GM, DKNY, and Ralph Lauren. “It enables women to learn from each other. Mentors can help pull a mentee into a role and lift them to the next stage. The goal for Mobility Girl is to help women continue to develop their skills, network, and build relationships that will support their growth and open new doors.”
Mobility Girl provides mentorship to women who are in college with the goal of preparing them to embrace career opportunities, navigate challenges, and take on leadership roles. Prof. Gianchandani has included several of her students in her work with Mobility Girl.
‘Mentorship is a critical component to career success’
The program serves women – and men – of all ages. Scott Spector ’22 EMBA has been an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon in Connecticut for more than 30 years, and he has served as a mentor in his field. He says Prof. Gianchandani enabled him to see things through a fresh lens, and that she has helped him to better run his practice, Spector Eye Care.
“Mentorship encourages and enables individuals to develop beyond their unguided potential,” he said. “Prof. Gianchandani helped me focus on setting goals and developing new skills. She is a strong mentor in the business space and a great example for her students.”
Prof. Gianchandani says Mobility Girl’s work is especially critical amid the impact of the pandemic, which has disproportionally affected women in the workplace who were forced to leave jobs to focus on caregiving. She hopes enabling women to become transformational leaders and problem solvers will enable them to succeed despite the uncertainty.
“Prior to the pandemic, women had made progress in the workplace, although we continue to face a gender gap,” she said. “The pandemic is turning back the clock, however. Women will face a career gap, pulling them back down the ladder. With so many people, men and women, out of work it will be difficult for women to get back on track. Mentorship is a critical component to career success. Now more than ever we need mentoring to give women access to opportunities.”