Tag: Olin Women in Business

Olin placed in the top four globally and top three in the United States in a new Financial Times ranking of the best full-time MBA programs for women, released Sunday night. The WashU MBA program is ranked just behind programs at Stanford and UC Berkeley and just ahead of Harvard’s.

New faculty in 2017. First row, Karam Kang, Xing Huang,
Ashley Hardein; second row, Hannah Perfecto, Zhenyu Liao;
third row, Sydney Scott, Rachel Ruttan.

The release of the ranking was timed for its proximity to this week’s International Women’s Day on Thursday, which Olin will mark by hosting nearly 700 attendees for its special program, “The ‘She’ Suite: Celebrate International Women’s Day with Women in the C-Suite and in Leading Roles.”

“This new ranking gives tremendous affirmation to our efforts to expand women’s voices in Olin’s MBA program,” said Dean Mark Taylor. “It also challenges us to continue the momentum. It’s about fairness, but it’s also about diversity. Diversity drives innovation and appreciating diversity is a core value for Olin.”

Using data gathered from previous rankings, the Financial Times also examined its numbers through several female-centric lenses. For example, Olin ranked first in the US for female percentage increase in salary post MBA and first globally for parity across genders in the starting salary of newly minted MBA graduates. Olin also compared favorably in the percentage of female enrollment, with nearly 40 percent women in the incoming class in 2017—the sixth highest percentage among the top US schools.

“Diversity drives success in business as well as the classroom,” said Olin MBA Shelley Lavender, Boeing senior vice president and head of Boeing’s strike, surveillance and mobility business. “The work Olin is doing to attract women and men from around the globe is ensuring its graduates experience the powerful, profound, and positive impact that diverse teams bring to all aspects of our life.” Lavender also heads Olin’s MBA advisory board.

The news was welcomed by Perri Goldberg, MBA ’18, president of the student-run Olin Women in Business organization, which was named Chapter of the Year at the National Association of Women MBAs Conference in October 2016.

“I am so proud of our school—the admissions effort to attract more female students, our welcoming, collaborative, and inclusive community, the supportive, yet challenging faculty,” said Goldberg. She said the organization has made a priority of collaborating with Olin in creating a welcoming, inclusive environment for both women and men.

“I am confident that this top ranking will attract other strong females and males into the program,” she added, “and I cannot wait to see what our community and OWIB will do in the future.”

Dean Taylor also noted that while the results are encouraging, there are still areas of opportunity. For example, with around a quarter of its faculty female, Olin is about average among the top US schools but is striving to improve: in its most recent round of faculty hiring last year, six of the seven new faculty members were women.

Perri Goldberg, MBA ’18, president of Olin Women in Business, wrote this post on behalf of the organization.

Members of the OWIB auction 2018 planning committee.

Members of the OWIB auction 2018 planning committee: Paulina Owens,
Neelam Vyas, Perri Goldberg, Amanda Wald, and Emily Hereford.

Drinks were flowing, food was indulged in, Mardi Gras masks and beads were worn, bids were placed on a wide range of silent items, and paddles were waved in hopes of winning live auction items at the Olin Women in Business Auction.

The February 9 event continued an annual tradition, one of the organization’s biggest events of the school year. Through silent and live auctions, the event raises scholarship money for an incoming female Olin graduate student. Students are excited each year for this event and look forward to the items donated by many St. Louis businesses.

We fortunately received more than 60 individual donations from business around St. Louis, including restaurant gift cards, fitness memberships, entertainment tickets, handbags, SQL lessons, handcrafted art, museum memberships, overflowing pet and wine baskets, and much more.

“It was an honor to partner with classmates, faculty, and local businesses to host such a fun and festive event,” said Emily Hereford, MBA ’18. “I truly enjoyed carrying on the great legacy of OWIB.”

Tremendous community support

While the silent items are always a hit, the biggest sellers of the event are the live items donated by our beloved Olin faculty, staff, and the greater St. Louis community. This year, the live auction items included lunches and dinners with some of our favorite professors and staff at Olin, including a home-cooked meal by Dean Mark Taylor, lunch with HBM Holdings CEO Mike DeCola, a vacation home in Manhattan Beach, CA, a boxing party at SWEAT, a full box suite at the Chaifetz Center for the Lorde Concert, and many more tremendous items.

This event is a wonderful way for the Olin community to come together and have fun, while raising money for a good cause.

It is also the perfect event to reconnect with Olin alumni. This year, we had a good handful of alumni come to the event. I attribute this to our auctioneer, Curtis James, PMBA 40. Curtis, a third-generation auctioneer working in Las Vegas at the Venetian Casino Resort in Finance, attended the auction last year as a student and knew how great the event was.

When OWIB approached him about hosting the live auction, Curtis did not hesitate. We couldn’t have had a better addition to the event. I hope Curtis’s appearance as the auctioneer becomes an annual tradition as he showcased his true auctioneering skills.

OWIB’s vice president of major events, Emily Hereford, and first-year officer Paulina Owens spearheaded this year’s event. Neelam Vyas, GBSA president, provided the vision, creativity, and decorative concepts to execute the Mardi Gras theme. As president of Olin Women in Business, I was worried that I was going to need to plan this huge event by myself. The auction was on my mind since the day I was elected into the position.

I knew I needed to put someone in charge who could remain organized, calm, and would get our student body involved to execute this major event-which includes multiple moving pieces. With that being said, I could not have worked with better people. Emily, Paulina, and I created a very strong planning committee and volunteer committee for the night of and flawlessly executed this event. Without these individuals, the event would not have been as successful as it was. We all had fun planning the auction and even more fun during the actual event.

Amazing results

“Planning the auction was a wonderful way for me to connect with local businesses and expand the Olin brand while also raising money for a noble cause,” said Paulina Owens, MBA ’19.

OWIB’s first auction several years ago raised about $10,000. This year, we were able to raise about $17,000 solely from the auction. Combined with contributions from donors—thanks to marketing and communication surrounding the auction through Olin’s Alumni and Development department—this year’s event raised more than $43,000 for the Olin Women in Business Scholarship.

I personally want to thank Emily and Paulina for their dedication to the auction (and planning an awesome event), OWIB, and the Olin community. I also want to thank the Weston Career Center; Accenture, Emerson, and Edward Jones for their monetary contributions; all of the local St. Louis businesses for their silent and live auction donations; and all of the professors, faculty and staff for their live auction donations. You are what keeps this event going each year and we cannot thank you enough for your contributions.

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Note: Women’s Weekend is Nov. 10-11, 2017. Find information here.

This time last year I was flying to St. Louis for Women’s Weekend! I felt so lucky to have gone to WashU for undergrad about 5 years ago that when I heard about Women’s Weekend, I jumped at the chance to visit campus again.

It sounds cliché, but campus was just as I remembered it: gorgeous fall foliage, students playing ultimate frisbee on Mudd Field… But where I remembered a colossal, cement building from the 70’s (formerly Elliot Hall), now stood Bauer Hall, the new home of the Olin Business School.

No, really—see the atrium in person!

The new building took my breath away. (You should definitely come see it in person!) My eyes immediately rose to the glass ceiling above me, covering the atrium. Flash forward one year and that atrium is my favorite place to study under the skylight or grab coffee with friends between classes. (Thank goodness for the Starbucks on the third floor!) In my first three months as an Olin MBA candidate, Bauer Hall already feels like home.

The Olin Women In Business (OWIB) club got us off to a running start with my first MBA classes. I remember walking through my first case in a practice session at Women’s Weekend. It was quickly followed by a highly sought-after seminar on negotiation taught by Prof. Hillary Anger Elfenbein.

We also heard from amazing Olin alumnae like Dr. Mary Jo Gorman, EMBA ‘96, and Zoe Hillenmeyer, MBA ‘13. Dr. Gorman is a serial entrepreneur who founded Prosper STL, a start up accelerator for women in the St. Louis innovation ecosystem. She’s just one of the many incredible WUSTL alums who visit campus regularly. Zoe Hillenmeyer won the Forte Foundation’s Edie Hunt Award and has since gone on to IBM. At Women’s Weekend, her energy and devotion for Olin was contagious and convinced me that I could make my MBA experience exactly what I wanted it to be at Olin.

Zoe Hillenmeyer, MBA ‘13, presents to attendees at last year’s MBA Women’s Weekend.

With my first semester flying by, I know that is true. I’ve found campus to be welcoming and open to new initiatives, suggestions, and feedback. One recent example is our new OWIB initiative to involve allies on campus. Our aim is to deepen conversations on gender equity and inclusion on campus, and provide more structured ways for allies to get involved. Even before applying, I knew this was a priority for me—and from Day 1, the Olin community has found ways to support and facilitate this goal.

I can’t wait to meet women just like me a year ago at this year’s Women’s Weekend! I’m excited to tell you more about what we’re working on in OWIB and to show you more of my favorite aspects of the Olin experience!

Guest Blogger: Julie Kellman, MBA 2019

2016 OWIB Auction

The Annual Auction hosted by Olin Women in Business (OWIB) held Feb. 5 raised a record-breaking $16,000 that will fund a new scholarship for women MBA candidates. Enjoy a gallery of party pics in this post from Ellen He, OWIB President and Allison Campbell, OWIB VP of Admissions.


Zoe Hillenmeyer at Women

Olin Women in Business was thrilled to join the admissions team in hosting a Women’s Weekend in January. The two-day program invited prospective MBA women to visit Olin and learn about the MBA program, student life, and St. Louis opportunities.  (more…)