WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 25, 2014) — Business schools nationwide have struggled to close the gender enrollment gap, but the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business has found success with new programming options and personalized attention for part-time MBA students in Washington, D.C. Overall, about 45 percent of the 160 students who started evening or weekend programs this month in the nation’s capital are women — far above the industry average of 30 to 35 percent.
New scholarships, alliances and program innovations will expand opportunities for women at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, which already offers a range of initiatives designed to empower aspiring female managers.
A Seat at the Table
Three Keys to Transformational Leadership
At work Donna Blackman, EMBA ’10, manages a team of 60 finance professionals. At home she manages two children.
Navigating the dual roles requires skill, but Blackman does not claim to have a secret recipe for work-life balance. “You cannot have it all,” she said. “Not all the time.”
A Conversation for Entire Organizations
Switching careers requires careful planning. The challenges multiply when a person tries to jump from the nonprofit sector to business. Becky Eisen, MBA ’12, faced both scenarios when she came to the Smith School.
Insights from a Shared Cup of Coffee
Brenda Freeman, MBA ’92, arrived at Pepsi as a young professional with marriage and children still in her future. Like many businesswomen, she wondered how these personal decisions would affect her career.
One woman who seemed to have the answers was Pepsi’s chief operating officer, a mother of three. “How did she do it?” Freeman asked herself.
Chinese expatriate Stella Liu, MS ’13, had the full support of her parents when she arrived in the United States to study business at the Smith School. “My parents seldom hinder my decisions,” she said. “There was no one standing in my way.” That is not always the case in Asian cultures, where obligations to the family, community and country can take priority over individual preferences. “Some kids have their future planned or guided by their parents,” said Liu, a financial analyst at GroupM in New York.
Retired KPMG partner Terry Iannaconi, MBA ’78, did not start her career looking for a fight. As a new college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, she just wanted a job in 1965.
A New Norm
Rising Generation of Women Shifts the Conversation
Fulbright Scholar Stephanie Graf ’14 never saw herself as a barrier breaker when she came to the Smith School as an undergraduate student. She has an analytical mind and aptitude for business, so she enrolled as a double major in finance and marketing.
Unlocking the Potential at the Intersection of Diversity, Risk and Innovation
Sherika Shaw Ekpo, MBA ’09, made her time count at Smith. She was the first in her class to secure an internship offer and the first to secure a job offer, and she did this while working 20 hours a week on campus. She also brought together students from the full-time, part-time and executive programs as president of the Smith Association of Women MBAs. By the time she graduated, she had competing job offers to consider.