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How business schools can help women attain leadership roles

August 26, 2017
Three female Simon Business School graduatesAt the University's Simon Business School, the student body is between 35 and 40 percent female. (University Photo / Annette Dragon)

Women’s Equality Day annually marks the adoption of the 19th Amendment  in 1920, which gave women the right to vote. But nearly one hundred years later, “women are far from equally represented in corporate leadership ranks,” writes Rebekah Lewin, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid at the Simon Business School.

In an op-ed for Fox News, Lewin reflects on “the role that business schools should play to help more women reach leadership positions.”

Only 6 percent of Fortune 500 chief executive officers are women and most Americans don’t expect this to change anytime soon. In fact, according to a new study by the Rockefeller Foundation, one in four Americans believe we are more likely to achieve human time travel than gender parity in the C-suite by 2025.

This gender gap persists despite research showing women in leadership positions are good for the bottom line.

But business schools can help women break into leadership roles. “Two actions are key,” according to Lewin: communicating the support services available to women completing an MBA program, and educating prospective female students about the flexible program options available (including part-time and executive programs).

“By speaking to their concerns, we can help more women see the benefits of pursuing a graduate degree in business, and do our part to help achieve gender equality,” she concludes.

Read the Lewin’s op-ed online.

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Category: Voices & Opinion

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