A few months ago, I was sitting in a meeting brainstorming ideas about ways to promote Women’s Week. The challenge: the event was starting the day everyone would be returning to campus after spring break.
We needed something that would be simple and fun. A symbol that would encourage engagement, and maybe even a little silliness. Whatever it was, our marketing prop had to be flashy enough to get people talking, and get them wondering what Women’s Week was and when it was happening.
During that meeting, the idea of pink sunglasses was brought up. I admit, I was inspired by a friend. On a whim, she bought a dozen hot pink RayBan Wayfarer knock-offs for my bachelorette weekend trip and they were a hit. But pink sunglasses for the CBS community raised many questions. Would anyone, particularly non-CWiB members, want to wear them? Did they make sense in the context of Women’s Week? Does anyone want to wear sunglasses in the middle of winter?
When we started to think of Women’s Week with the filter of the slogan “Celebrating Bright Futures” the sunglasses started to make more sense. So we went with it. In early February, hundreds of pink sunglasses arrived at my front door, ready to be distributed to the students, faculty, and administration of CBS.
After we started to distribute the glasses, the photos of people wearing them began popping up all over my Facebook, Twitter, and Instragram feeds. Dean Hubbard has posed in them. Leaders of Cluster Q snapped a pic. A group of friends in Watson wore them. They have been taken to Nicaragua and China, Argentina, Rome, Israel, and Cuba. The success of our plan and the outpouring of support for our message has been overwhelming. For this, I feel grateful to everyone at CBS who doesn’t mind putting on a pair of obnoxiously bright sunglasses and posing for a silly photo. It takes more than a little courage to put yourself out there in that way.
These photos also make me proud to be a member of this community. The sunglasses are not just any prop—they are a symbol of Women’s Week, which aims to show our community all the great things that the women of CBS are doing and have accomplished. Wearing the glasses and posting these photos shines a little bit of light on all the great things we’re doing today, no matter how small: hanging out with our friends, going to class, leading clubs, traveling, or even having high tea.
Women’s Week is also about celebrating diversity, something I think the sunglasses have helped to highlight. Though everyone at CBS is undeniably smart and talented, we are a diverse mix of cultures, interests and goals. We each come from unique, singular backgrounds and experiences and when we leave we will each take our own unique path. So it’s important to remember, while we’re in this big, insulated bubble that is business school, we are all unique and different yet sharing in the experience of being a CBS student. I like to think that all the photos I’ve seen with people wearing the glasses are the same; each special and unique but with a common theme.