women

UMD’s Smith School Closes MBA Gender Gap in D.C.

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.

Women at Smith: Brenda Freeman, MBA ’92

Hushed Questions

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.

Women at Smith: Stella Liu, MS ’13

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.

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