Gender Equity reps are elected positions designed to keep gender issues at the forefront of discussion and foster community within each section and across the First Year class.

We caught up with the Gender Equity rep from Section A.

Katie Herrmann (Class of 2025)

Herrmann came to Darden from EAB where she worked as a Senior Analyst, Strategic Research.

Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD 

What section are you in? What section traditions are your favorite?

I’m in section A (Go Lions!). One of my favorite traditions we do with our class is pass around a stuffed lion at the end of every school day. For most of the first year, you take nearly every class with the same 60-70 people in your section. The passing of the lion is a way to recognize a student in the class that has had a positive impact – whether it be handling a cold call like a champ, being involved in extracurriculars, or offering a helping hand inside or outside the classroom. Once you receive the lion it becomes your responsibility to keep it safe from other sections who might try to steal it and send photos of your night together! 

What attracted you to serving as gender equity representative and can you describe the scope of your role?

Prior to Darden, I worked in higher education research. I became particularly interested and invested in women’s experiences in education. At the same time, I was fortunate to have many great female mentors and benefitted tremendously from opportunities to share about my own and learn from others’ experiences. I was hopeful that serving as a gender equity representative would encourage me to continue thinking about how to foster positive, more equitable experiences for everyone in our section. 

As a gender equity representative, I am a resource for my classmates. Someone people know they can turn to. Classes do not shy away from addressing what can be difficult or sensitive topics, like gender, and when I know that we have an upcoming case with gender as a more central point I’ll often try to connect with the professor and remind the women in my section that I’m available to debrief and collect feedback. As rep, I work to create fun events for the women in my section to spend time together and deepen our relationships. I also work closely with GWIB (Graduate Women in Business) to share our first-year experiences and help promote their programming. 

Favorite Darden experience and/or class so far? 

As someone with a more non-traditional business background, I was surprised to discover that Accounting has been one of my favorite classes. Section A’s professor is Luann Lynch, who is absolutely amazing. She not only makes accounting accessible no matter your background but harnesses the power of the case method to deepen our learning and understanding.