Babson Joins White House And The Business Community To Expand Opportunities For Women In Business

Babson commits to a set of best practices aimed at helping women succeed throughout school and in their careers

Aug 14, 2015, 13:41 ET from Babson College

WELLESLEY, Mass., Aug. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Babson has joined over 45 business schools in committing to a set of best practices (pdf) that offer concrete strategies for business schools to help women succeed throughout school and in their careers. The partnership was announced on August 5th, convening at the White House, which focuses on opportunities for the business community and business schools to work together in encouraging success for women in business.

Hosted by the Council on Women and Girls and the Council of Economic Advisers, the collaboration brought together leaders from the business and business school communities for a conversation on recruiting, training, and retaining the full range of today's most qualified women in business. Together, the group aims to help companies incorporate the talent and diversity of American workers, and to cement the importance of implementing family-friendly policies.

The goal is to build a business school experience that prepares students for the workforce of tomorrow. The best practices focus on four areas of work:

  • Ensuring access to business schools and business careers
  • Building a business school experience that prepares students for the workforce of tomorrow
  • Ensuring career services that go beyond the needs of traditional students
  • Exemplifying how organizations should be run

The Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) will monitor and assess the progress of the signatory schools toward these best practices.

"Babson is dedicated to educating entrepreneurial leaders who create economic and social value everywhere," said Babson Dean of Faculty and Professor Carolyn Hotchkiss. "We have been working on these best practice focus areas for many years, and bring our research into action for change by working with our students and the wider business community to create workplaces that bring out the best in both women and men."

Fact Sheet released by the White House stated, "Today, in more than six out of 10 households with children, all parents work. In 1970, it was only four in 10…Businesses must address the needs of working families in order to remain competitive…increase workplace flexibility…and attract and retain the most talented workers...It is imperative that future business leaders, both men and women, be well-prepared to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21 st-century workplace."

During the convening, Professor Hotchkiss was enthused to share Babson's story of continually putting research into action; of the College's Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab and their upcoming Babson Breakaway Challenge; of getting people of all ages, including youth, interested in business and entrepreneurship; of Babson's support for small businesses and their owners through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and 10,000 Women programs; and more.

In addition, the Council of Economic Advisers also released a new Issue Brief (pdf) to inform those in attendance of the unique barriers facing women in business, and the need for business schools and the business community to work together to encourage their success.

Issue Brief Highlights

  • In 2014, only 5 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies were female, and in 2013 only 17 percent of board seats in the Fortune 500 were held by women 
  • Undergraduate women are currently about 30 percent less likely than male undergraduates to major in business
  • A recent study by a global organization to accredit business schools found that enrollment in North American MBA programs is sharply skewed towards men, with women representing only 38 percent of students
  • While men and women in MBA programs have fairly similar earnings at graduation, after 5 years, men earn approximately 30 percent more than women, and after 10 or more years, this gap stretches to 60 percent
  • An increased role for women in business is good news for our economy, in part because research has shown that greater diversity in the workforce increases productivity, improves decision making, and heightens performance

"I'm extremely proud, not only for our commitment at the White House to help empower women in business, but also for our continued involvement in initiatives focused on their success," said Babson College President Kerry Healey. "We have an incredible team of faculty helping to lead the charge on bridging the gender gap –through groundbreaking research such as the Diana Project and its focus on women entrepreneurs, and within our renowned centers like the Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL). Together, we're thrilled to share that our incoming Class of 2019, for the first time in Babson history, consists of more women than men, and that it is just one of many successes we hope to see as we stand by our commitment."

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked College for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.

Contact: Michael Chmura, 781-239-4549, mchmura@babson.edu

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