GSB Women’s Circles

GSB Women’s Circles enable alumnae to:

  • CONNECT with each other,
  • REFLECT together on life’s important questions,
  • SUPPORT each other with shared wisdom, and
  • INSPIRE each other to pursue lives with impact.

GSB Women’s Circles are small groups of Stanford GSB alumnae who gather monthly to talk about their lives in the interest of gaining strength, insight, and empathy from each other. Circles are formed once annually in order to allow for the development of trust and understanding of one another. Groups are composed to ensure diversity across many spectrums — generations, industries, relationship status, children, etc. This diversity deepens the relationship of circle members. It also enriches the support members provide one another.

Circles are not designed as networking groups or business consulting opportunities. Conversations at circles are confidential in order to allow authentic sharing.

In addition to monthly circle meetings, all-circle meetups are held once per quarter to which members of all the local circles are invited. These meetups are designed to enhance the individual circle experience, provide a chance to connect across circles, and enable engagement in thought-provoking discussions and activities. Occasionally, all-circle meetups will have speakers.

Who is eligible to join a GSB Women’s Circle?

All self-identified alumnae of Stanford GSB’s MBA, PhD, and MSx (Sloan) programs are invited to participate.

How do I join a GSB Women’s Circle?

Circles are formed annually either in the fall or winter depending on the region. If you are interested in joining, your first step is to attend a regional Open House. At the Open House you will learn the level of commitment and energy expected as a circle member, as well as what these circles really are and how they operate. Attendance at the regional Open House is required if you want to join a circle. To see when your region’s next Open House is scheduled, please visit your region’s Women’s Circles homepage located in the right navigation under “Circle Locations.”

How are GSB Women’s Circles Formed?

Circles membership is limited to alumnae of Stanford GSB’s MBA, PhD, SEP and MSx programs. Membership in each circle is carefully crafted by Stanford GSB staff and Women’s Circles leadership to ensure diversity across many spectrums – generations, industries, relationship status, children, and more. It is this diversity that creates the value of the relationships which develop within any one circle.

Circles are formed once annually in the fall or the winter (depending on the location). Members commit to their circle for one year in order to develop deep trust and understanding of one another.

How are Circles moderated?

Each Women’s Circle is lead by two alumnae co-leaders. Circle co-leader help keep things organized and create an environment of safety and trust in which all women’s voices are heard and to encourage deep and meaningful conversations. They align everyone with the agenda for the next circle meeting, help with logistics, and do any work needed between meetings. Monthly professional support as well as an annual day-long facilitation training is offered to those who volunteer to become circle co-leaders. If you are interested in volunteering to become a circle co-leader, please contact Laura Tack.

What are the meeting logistics?

Circles meet on a monthly basis for 2-3 hours at a time, either at the home or office space of one of the members. Hosting might take place at the same location throughout the year or be rotated among members depending on the resources available. The meeting locations, days of the week, and times of the circle meetings will be determined based on interest level and expressed preferences by those interested in joining a circle.

What do we do in a GSB Women’s Circle?

GSB Women’s Circles offer a great way to dive deeper into topics we all care about - but rarely get to discuss - with women who face similar challenges. A circle is a place to slow down, reflect, let your hair down, get inspired by other women, connect, and support each other.

Every month, co-leaders are given sample agendas and exercises to help facilitate the conversation. Those resources are provided by GSB professional facilitators and customized to meet each circle’s individual needs and desires.

Why are Circle conversations confidential?

Confidentiality builds safety and trust within the circle, allowing authentic relationships to flourish. At the initial meeting of each circle, participants discuss the importance of confidentiality and set ground rules around confidentiality for their own circle.

What is an All-Circle Meetup?

In addition to monthly circle meetings, all-circle meetups are held once per quarter to which members of all the local circles are invited. These meetups are designed to enhance the individual circle experience, provide a chance to connect across circles, and enable engagement in thought-provoking discussions and activities. Occasionally, all-circle meetups will have speakers.