The White House has called on business schools to expand initiatives for women pursuing business degrees and prepare them for the the 21st century workplace. Dean Gupta and Mark Brostoff, associate dean and director of Olin’s Weston Career Center, are attending a convening at the White House hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Council of Economic Advisers on Aug. 5, 2015.
The White House Council on Women & Girls & the Council of Economic Advisors Convening on the Working Families Economic Agenda
More than 40 business schools met with industry leaders to discuss recruiting, training, and retaining leaders for the 21st-century workplace and the importance of implementing policies that work for families. The meeting considered a proposed set of Best Practices for Business Schools to Lead in Expanding Opportunities for Women in Business and Adapt to the Changing Workforce. The document was drafted after a meeting in April 2014 of senior administration officials and business school deans.
Olin Business School announced its commitment to the four key areas set out in the Best Practices for Business Schools to expand opportunities for women:
- Ensuring access to business schools and business careers for women
- Building a business school experience that prepares women for the workforce of tomorrow
- Ensuring career services that go beyond the needs of traditional students
- Exemplifying how organizations should be run as equitable workplaces
“ Olin Business School is committed to providing an educational and cultural experience for our women students in undergraduate and graduate programs that prepares them to be leaders in the workforce of tomorrow,” said Dean Mahendra Gupta.
At the White House meeting, The dean submitted a specific list of initiatives and opportunities at Olin designed for undergraduate, graduate, and professional women as they prepare for and further their careers in the changing workforce.
1. ACCESS TO BUSINESS SCHOOL AND BUSINESS CAREERS
- Enrollment of women has increased to 40% in the Olin MBA Program (Class of 2017). Historically, this is the highest enrollment of women in the Olin graduate program, up 11% from last year. The percentage of women admitted to the undergraduate program has increased from 38% to 45% for the incoming class this fall.
- Olin is a long serving member of the Forte Foundation and we currently have a staff representative on the Forte School Advisory Board. Forte Foundation is a non-profit consortium of leading companies and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women. We fulfill this mission by:
- Olin is a founding member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an organization that works to diversify the ranks of corporate America – and the student bodies of its 15 member schools – by providing full-tuition scholarships to candidates who are committed to this mission.
New Saturday Part-Time Professional MBA (PMBA) Curriculum established to meet the growing needs of the diverse workforce in St. Louis, specifically targeting women in care giving positions who want to pursue a graduate business management degree.
2. BUILD A BUSINESS SCHOOL EXPERIENCE THAT PREPARES STUDENTS FOR THE WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW
- Diversity and Inclusion training opportunities are being increased campus wide. The MBA program is expanding training beyond orientation to a required semester- long course.The University’s new Center for Diversity & Inclusion is providing additional programs year-round for students, faculty, staff, and the community to engage in on-going conversations about race and ethnicity. Through these programs, we aim to cultivate and foster a supportive campus climate for students of all backgrounds, cultures and identities
- Olin Women in Business Association (OWIB). We partner with OWIB graduate student association in carrying out plans to attain their four primary goals:
Help to recruit strong and talented women to future classes of the Olin MBA program;
Help to set a program of personal and professional development for women MBA students while at Olin;
Help to identify and set an environment of inclusiveness and sensitivity that pervades the entire Olin community;
Strive to insure gender balance and representation in academics, guest speakers,extracurricular activities, etc.
- Olin Women’s Mentor Program pairs local women executives with sophomores to help build hard and soft skills and networking activities.
OWN IT Women’s Empowerment Conference will be hosted at Olin Business School this fall. OWN IT bridges the gap between female leaders of the 21st century and the millennials who admire them…creating game-changing moments to inspire young women.
3. ENSURE CAREER SERVICES THAT GO BEYOND THE NEEDS OF TRADITIONAL STUDENTS
- Weston Career Center Diversity Recruitment Initiative ensures that women and underrepresented minorities have equal access to recruiters during major on-campus recruitment activities, providing guidance to recruiters seeking workplace diversity and offering part-time graduate students and working professionals a dedicated career advising team who can assist students and alumni in the transition to non-traditional employment and alternative workplace arrangements.
- Women’s Leadership Forum and Certificate Program sponsored by Olin Business School Executive Education Program sharpens the skills of mid-career women leaders who are preparing to succeed in higher executive level positions, including C-suite, that require enterprise-wide management. Topics include how to make decisions confidently, exert power and influence wisely, negotiate strategically, and manage change effectively.
4. EXEMPLIFY HOW ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD BE RUN
- The Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Olin Business School is charged with focusing on issues related to gender and ethnic diversity in faculty and staff recruitment; facilitating mentorships for women and underrepresented minorities; and providing support for students, faculty and staff with care giving responsibilities.
- Diverse faculty recruitment. Since 2007, a 113% increase in faculty members with diverse backgrounds and a 143% increase in female faculty members at Olin Business School.
Image: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk from Marine One on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House following a trip to California, June 16, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)