The month of March is Women’s Month, celebrating successful women around the globe and the progress women have made towards equality. Officially kicked off on March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) is observed around the globe to recognize women’s accomplishments and encourage strong females to continue their hard work.

“Already in 2018, I see changes. About 100 years too late, but I appreciate the courageous women who stepped forward to expose the inequalities, discrimination and injustice women have endured for far too long. Regarding professional opportunities and careers, there are still huge deltas in pay and equity in the workplace. I am appreciative that the awareness of the gender gaps in C-Suites is becoming a talking point. Here’s to keeping the dialogue alive,” said Gina French, Pamplin Chief of Staff and Virginia Tech Alumna.

Gina French was named chief of staff at Pamplin College of Business in 2016. After eight years working at Virginia Tech and 11 years of marketing experience, French has worked hard to earn her current position. “We should embrace, celebrate and empower women every day. That said, the month of March is a formal time for individuals and organizations to more formally recognize and endorse women’s initiatives, stories, challenges and goals. For this I am grateful for the attention this movement deserves,” said French.

“Women's Month is important to me for several reasons. Now, more than ever, women have the chance to have a real seat at the table. Today is a time to celebrate where we've come from and what we've encountered, empowering one another to strive for equality and success in all aspects of our lives,” said Tara Petrucci, Pamplin Alumna and Product Designer at Candyspace Media Ltd.

Tara Petrucci is an advocate for women’s progress in the workforce. She is an active member of the organization Ladies Get Paid, a female-led organization working to help women in business close the wage gap. Petrucci is hopeful for the future of professional women and wants to continue campaigning for equality in her career.

While women have made large strides towards equality in the workplace, there is still a long way to go. Donna Wertalik, Director of Marketing for Pamplin College of Business and PRISM faculty advisor aims to be a strong female role model for her students.

In the future, Donna Wertalik wants women to overcome the differences between men and women in business. “I would love for it to not just be ‘women in business,’ just business. No more ‘female leaders,’ just leaders. Let's remove our stereotypes and just get to work,” Wertalik said. “We have too much potential and have seen too much of the future to stop fighting now.”