GME: Today & Tomorrow Spring 2020

O n this year’s International Women’s Day, I vividly recall the life-changing advice I once received about the delicate balance between career ambition and family. Could I have a child and still climb the corporate ladder? What if I became pregnant during the interview process? My former manager at IBM encouraged me to flip the script: What if I first got the promotion and then became pregnant? Would my career advancement come to a grinding halt? No. I would keep forging ahead. In my 14 years there, IBM consistently justified its usual place at the top of rankings of the best companies for women executives. I was surrounded by strong female role models across the company and worked with men who routinely supported women at all levels of their careers. Regrettably, that is not the case throughout the workforce, where only 5.2 percent of S&P 500 CEOs are women. As Chief Enrollment Officer at the University at Buffalo School of Management, I can say that the business school community is doing its part to effect change. As leaders, we aspire to see the day when rising women’s enrollment in MBA classrooms serves a precursor to greater female leadership in corporate boardrooms.

A Proactive Approach Will Advance Gender Equity

By Erin K. O’Brien, assistant dean and chief enrollment officer for the University at Buffalo School of Management and a member of Liaison’s BusinessCAS Advisory Board

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GME: TODAY & TOMORROW | SPRING 2020

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