There is a global transformation in today’s culture bringing increased awareness to support women in all facets of their lives. The Oregon Executive MBA Alumni Board is pleased to focus its spring newsletter on women in business.
Board member Kimberlee Jo Buckingham, MBA '98, interviewed four outstanding women graduates—Ellen Schmidt-Devlin, Paula Barran, Katy Brown, and Linda Pearce—to learn about their backgrounds, experiences, and career progression. Each woman has generously offered her top three tips for women to excel in the business world.
Explore the links below for insights from these Oregon Executive MBA alumnae
The Power of the "Sideways" Conversation
A member of the twelfth graduation class of the Oregon Executive MBA with more than 25 years of experience at Fortune 500 companies, Buckingham is well aware of the challenges women can face in the professional sphere. Buckingham believes that women don't always have the chance to receive the informal mentoring and training that many men do.
"These less formal conversations are the ones that I call the 'sideways' talks. These conversations take place in the world of business, but they are similar to the relaxed—but often highly significant—conversations we have with our kids when we're driving in the car or working side by side on a project," said Buckingham.
Unlike meetings or formal performance reviews, these casual discussions often include hints about corporate politics, new opportunities, and career advice.
"I encourage women to seek out accomplished business women to have those sideways conversations," said Buckingham.
Buckingham provided the following overview of the challenges and opportunities facing women in the workplace of today.
Challenges Facing Women in 2018
- The number of male managers who are uncomfortable mentoring women has more than tripled from 5 percent to 16 percent. This means that 1 in 6 male managers may now hesitate to mentor a woman. LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey
- At the first critical step up to manager, women are 18 percent less likely to be promoted than their male peers. McKinsey and LeanIn
- 1 in 3 girls are afraid to lead. ROX, “The Girls Index: New Insights Into the Complex World of Today's Girls,” 2017.
Progress for Women in 2018
- When a woman helps another woman, they both benefit.
- For the first time, workers are as happy to have a female boss as a male boss. Gallup, 2017
- 4+ million people marched for women’s rights all over the world and in all seven continents. Vox, Jan. 31, 2017
Women Students at the Oregon Executive MBA
Over the years, the percentage of women students enrolled in the Oregon Executive MBA has consistently exceeded the percentage of women attending executive MBA programs in the United States and abroad.
This year, women make up 33 percent of the students in the first and second years of the program. This fall, the program may break its own record. If current trends continue, the incoming class will be approximately 50 percent women.