I decided to take a new role at Bentley University as the Founding Director of the Center for Women in Business. Why? As I have traveled the country over the past three years speaking on leadership with a variety of corporations, I kept hearing the same concerns… It is 2011. Why aren’t we doing better in the area of women retention and promotion?
The Center for Women & Business, Bentley University Bentley University launched the National Center for Women and Business in May 2011 and appointed Betsy Myers as Founding Director. Survey data was also released that underscores the need to expand corporate opportunities for women and men. (Video Runs: 6:38)|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHhUGulyMJU
Several CEO’s mentioned to me along the trail that they are truly perplexed at the low numbers that show a mere 15% of women in middle management and senior management roles. What do we need to do? Which companies are doing it right? What can we do to change this?
What intrigues me is that I have been having this conversation for over 20 years in my career and it seems that we have made little progress. The good news there is a growing number of top male leaders today who actually acknowledge this shortcoming and are committed to changing the dynamic.
At the same time, what is equally interesting is that the workforce is changing. Last year, 70% of the new entrants were women and people of color. Companies that are forward thinking know that they must make changes to remain competitive in the years ahead.
Gloria Larson, the president of Bentley University is deeply committed to moving this issue from conversation to action and raised $5 million dollars to lead the way toward a solution. Pricewaterhouse Coopers was our founding corporate partner and gave this initiative $1 million dollars.
As Steve Del Vecchio, a senior partner in the Boston office and the lead partner on this initiative explains, “This is a critical business imperative to our firm, not just a nice thing to do.”
Over the next few years, Bentley University and our center is committed to being the place for corporate America to come to for best practices. We plan to examine what really works and provide a road map for those committed organizations to increase their success rate with regards to the support, retention and promotion of women in the workforce.
Learn more about the Center for Women in Business.