Women and the MBA
Unique challenges facing women explored at QSB event
November 14, 2006
Held at Verity, a women’s club in downtown Toronto, attendees gathered with QSB faculty, staff and alumni to hear from a panel of women who have successfully completed their MBAs on how they balanced their personal and professional obligations.
Why an event exclusively for women? According to a recent survey of Canadian business leaders, the majority of women in senior positions believe many barriers stand in the way of women who want to pursue an MBA. The obstacles most often cited are family responsibilities (36 percent), lack of financial resources (18 percent) and lack of female role models (6 percent).
“A large part of future career success is having the confidence to go for it,” said QSB professor Elspeth Murray, who also moderated the event. "Getting an MBA absolutely helps to build that confidence."
In addition to discussing the issues raised in the survey, the seven QSB alumni panelists candidly shared their thoughts on managing balance, paying for an MBA and reaping the career benefits of an MBA. School staff were on hand to help attendees better understand the different types of MBA programs and determine which would best fit their lifestyles.
Like many business schools across Canada, Queen’s is actively recruiting female students to its MBA programs. While women make up 50 percent of undergraduate Commerce programs, that number drops dramatically to about 20 percent at the graduate level.
“Canada cannot compete in a global marketplace if half of the nation’s potential talent pool feels discouraged from pursuing the crucial business training that comes with an MBA,” said Shannon Goodspeed, Director of Queen’s MBA.
The diverse group of panelists included: full-time MBA alumni Ann Gomez, Clear Concept, and Mary Ann Turcke, Bell Canada; Tamara Kushnir, General Motors of Canada, graduate of the Accelerated MBA program; and Catherine Bell, Conroy Ross Partners Ltd., Jill Chitra, MDS Nordion, Julie Walsh, The WorkShop Gallery Inc., and Sandra Henderson, BMO Harris Private Banking, all graduates of the Executive MBA.