The Alfred Lerner College of Business of the University of Delaware hosted its first Women in Business Summit on April 21, 2016.
The event, organized by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, addressed gender equality both in the corporate workforce and in various stages of business education.
The statistics speak for themselves – while women comprise 58 percent of the College student body nationwide, only 36.3 percent are MBA recipients. Of Fortune 500 CEOs, 2.4 percent are women and 7.6 percent are top-earners. At Lerner College, the student population of economics majors is 19.6 percent and 17.9 percent in finance.
Nancy Ferrell, speaker at the summit, said that she had become accustomed to being “the only woman in the room”. Ferrell is a senior vice president and managing director at NorthMarq Capital, and a 1979 graduate of Lerner College. “Women should discuss opportunities for advancement early on… there are more opportunities [than ever] to reach a management level. It’s a good time for women in business”.
The panelists discussed the necessity of developing skills that haven’t necessarily been ingrained for many women, such as the ability to self-promote and to speak directly when defining one’s goals. Quinetta Robinson, 1992 Lerner College graduate, said, “You have to ask for what you want… but that comes with preparation, with knowing what you want. And for women, it often means knowing your value and your worth.”
The summit is the first in a series of two to be held this spring. The next event will take place in New York City on May 4, 2016.
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