Panel of successful women hold lively discussions

Event integrates all Girls United chapters


Maria Perez-Barriga

Multiple Girls United chapters meet on Zoom together March 7 to hold a panel with guests who came in to talk with students about their jobs. There were a total of seven panelists, ranging from a radio host to a surgeon.

Maria Perez Barriga

Different Girls United chapters from Hopkins, Wayzata, Minnetonka and Armstrong came together to help prepare a panelist event, according to junior Ella Roether. 

“This past year at St. Louis Park I started a club called Girls United. I’m co-president of it and we do a bunch of different programs and events about empowering and inspiring the next generation of girls,” Roether said. “We planned a panelist event where the girls from our club could come and hear about the careers of six different groups.”

Senior Ruth Erist said that the meeting held March 7 felt more lively than previous meetings with only Park students. 

“Compared to the last Girls United meeting in February with other panelists, it was just our school so it’s a smaller community and (fewer) people were comfortable with their cameras on and didn’t engage as much with the speakers,” Erist said. “But there was a lot of engagement (this meeting) and a lot of cameras were on which was also pretty cool. It was a very cool environment.” 

Senior Bella Steward said she enjoyed getting to know new people and listening to different views participants had for discussions. 

“I liked having people that I haven’t met yet because they have a lot of different perspectives and different questions. (Hopkins) started Girls United before us, so I liked hearing their perspectives and their questions since they have been doing this for longer,” Steward said. 

Roether said she was glad controversial circuit judge, Neomi Rao, was able to attend the panel along with all the other women who were guest speakers.

“I think it was really awesome to have her there along with all the other panelists because I think a lot of times we shy away from people who have different views then us,” Roether said. “It feels really impactful and special to me that we were able to bring such a diverse group of people together.”

Steward said during the Zoom meeting with the panelists she felt an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere talking to the speakers and students.

“It was pretty comfortable when you asked a question. You didn’t feel dumb and the panelist were really nice and took you seriously. They are really kind, especially the businesswoman,” Steward said.

According to Roether, in the future she plans to continue holding Zoom meetings about professional women, not only locally but expand globally as well.

“It’s definitely something we are talking about. Now that we have done it once, we sorted out the kinks. I think it can be awesome to continue doing these,” Roether said. “There are so many amazing women not only in the Twin Cities in Minnesota but all over the country that we can hopefully get to speak, whether it’s in a panel or whether it is just one guest speaker.”