Julia Boorstin ’96 educates students about the influence of gender in the workplace


MeJo Liao/Chronicle

School alum Julia Boorstin ’96 speaks to interested students. Boorstin is a Senior Media and Tech Reporter for CNBC and also the author of “When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them.”

Olivia Phillips

CNBC Senior Media and Tech Reporter Julia Boorstin ’96 spoke about how gender impacts professional experiences in an event organized by HW EMPOWER, the Harvard-Westlake Student Alumni Association (HWSAA) and HW Venture Nov. 29. Boorstin also signed copies of her book “When Women Lead.”

HWSAA Co-Chair and Venture leadership team member Daniella Goldrich ’23 said hearing from alumni can be incredibly inspiring, as it shows students that high-level careers are within reach.

“[Boorstin] talked about leveraging [one’s] own strengths, even things that can be perceived as weaknesses, in order to become a better leader,” Goldrich said. “To have [alumni] come back and talk about how Harvard-Westlake impacted them and then [seeing how] they go on to do all these amazing things is what makes these events cool to students.”

HWSAA leader Ofek Levy ‘23 said the event aimed to influence students to forge their own paths, especially within fields such as entrepreneurship.

“[Empower, HWSAA, and Venture] all wanted to show current students what it looks like out in the real world and some of the connections that Harvard-Westlake students have the opportunity of meeting and learning from,” Levy said. “We wanted to show them that they shouldn’t be afraid to make change or work towards a better future, and that we need to support minorities in the workplace.”

Levy said the event had an intimate atmosphere, which created a better experience for attendees.

“It can be hard to really connect with the speaker during all-school events but when it’s created by smaller organizations within the school in this way, it’s much easier for people to feel comfortable,” Levy said. “To have the ability for anyone to ask questions to the speaker and have more individual time with the speaker can be very cool.”

Boorstin said similar speaker events held during her time at the school had a significant impact on her, and that she hoped to have a similar influence on attendees.

“To see this generation of feminists that seemed so much older was very inspiring,” Boorstin said. “It made me think that there was no difference between what I could accomplish and what men could accomplish.I hope that the women I spoke to today felt empowered to not feel as though they had to fit into any archetype of what a leader looks like.”