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Women in Business

As the number of women in science and engineering continue to grow, a recent Catalyst report highlight some interesting statistics about women in business in the United States.

Women make up 46.6% of the U.S. labor force and 51.4% in management, professional and related occupations. Yet, in positions of leadership, only 14.1% of Fortune 500 executive officers are women, 16.1% of Fortune 500 board seats are held by women, women account for only 7.5% of Fortune 500 top earners and 3.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. This percentage represents only 17 women who currently hold CEO positions at companies that rank on the most recently published Fortune 500 list.

Interestingly, two independent reports (completed by Catalyst and McKinsey) amongst other research show that having more women in leadership is correlated with stronger financial returns.

So why the gender inequity? As the admissions director for a premier MBA program, I struggle with the answers to this question often in addition to wondering what role does a business school program have in developing women business leaders to bridge this gap.

It is inarguable that there is much work to be done, but the Carlson School of Management is committed to providing women in business with lifelong learning opportunities and resources to enrich their professional careers and help them to thrive in leadership roles. The Annual Women's Leadership Conference taking place tomorrow on Friday, April 27 at the Carlson School of Management is one of such initiatives designed to support the forward focus of women in business.

This conference is a one-day event featuring a mixture of keynote addresses by noteworthy women, and themed workshops and panel discussions. It is a forum for leadership and professional development designed to inspire and extend one's leadership effectiveness today and career aspirations for tomorrow.

Tomorrow's Women's Leadership Conference will feature Ann Bancroft, Explorer & CEO of Ann Bancroft Foundation and Sally J. Smith, President & CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc.

I'm excited to be a part of the Women's Leadership Conference tomorrow along with the other current and future commitments the Carlson School has made towards advancing women in business.

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