AS WOMEN CONTINUE TO ASSUME POSITIONS IN BUSINESS traditionally held by men, and fight for the same pay as their male counterparts, their philanthropic endeavors continue to rise as well. In fact, “…by 2030, women will control an estimated $33.5 trillion in North America, and their charitable giving could reach $569.5 billion annually,” according to Women Moving Millions, a New York-based nonprofit organization.
The reasons why women give are equally as important as what they give to, and for these three Naveen Jindal School of Management alumnae, giving back to the university that helped them on their path to success is not only a source of pride, but the right thing to do to build an educational legacy.
Funding the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Saadia Sheikh, CCIM, BS’09, vice president for E Smith Realty Partners, represents tenants and users of commercial space nationally in all transactions from renewals, expansions, site selection, general consultation and purchases, But she credits the Jindal School with teaching her the many lessons that she continues to use today.
“One lesson that I have applied to my career is focusing on accomplishing my goal,” she said. “I have achieved many milestones in my career by having a clear, concise plan.”
Inspired by her farmer mentor Debi Carter BS’93, who created an endowment at the Jindal School, Sheikh decided to do the same and established the Saadia Sheikh Scholarship/Fellowship for Entrepreneurship. This is the first endowed scholarship/fellowship for undergraduate or graduate students studying entrepreneurship.
“I wanted to give back to the university that gave so much to me and inspire other students to be entrepreneurial, which is a major factor in real estate,” she said.
For Sheikh, success and philanthropy go hand in hand. “I truly believe philanthropy comes from the good intentions and good will to serve others.” she said. “It is important to have the balance of philanthropy in your life with the natural human instinct to win and be successful. We are all only as successful as the community and environment around us.”