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Business Leaders Explore Solutions for Retaining and Advancing Women in the Workplace at Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business Inaugural Forum
(Top row, l-r: Niloufar Molavi, PwC; Gloria Larson, Bentley; Stephen Del Vecchio, PwC; Betsy Myers, Bentley; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, HBS; Bottom row, l-r: Pat Flynn, Bentley; Bill Bacic, Deloitte; Micheline Germanos, Microsoft; Tom Peters, author)
Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business (CWB) today brought together global business leaders to discuss strategies and solutions for advancing women to positions of leadership. The Center’s inaugural forum titled “Moving from Conversation to Action”, highlighted programs and initiatives implemented by businesses to advance women in the workforce.
Research has shown that companies with women in leadership positions see greater economic gains; however, the problem of retaining and advancing women remains a challenge for employers.
“Companies are actively seeking ways to help women succeed and reach the top of the corporate ladder because they recognize that business growth depends on a diverse workforce,” said Betsy Myers, founding director of the Bentley Center for Women and Business. “The purpose of this forum is to move from conversation about the roadblocks women face in their career advancement paths to implementing real, actionable solutions for corporations and employees.”
The Bentley Center for Women and Business inaugural forum showcased businesses and individuals who have exemplified a commitment to retaining and advancing women to positions of leadership. The forum also focused on how attendees –corporate representatives, community members and students - can implement proven strategies for supporting and promoting women at every stage of their career.
“The Center was conceived as a force for change. Bentley’s intellectual resources and long tradition of innovation offer a solid foundation to host a Center for Women and Business. Our goal is to do a deep dive on business -- that means addressing gender disparity from the start of any good business career, the undergraduate classroom, and continuing to address disparities all the way up to the corner suite and in the corporate board room,” said Gloria Cordes Larson, president of Bentley University. “The Center is focused on working with company executives. We’re about women and men finding the best pathways to shared leadership in 2012 and well beyond.”
PwC's U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner, Bob Moritz delivered the keynote address at the forum. PwC is a founding corporate sponsor of the Center, was recently named No. 1 on DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, and has been recognized as one of Working Mother magazine’s Top 10 Best Companies for working mothers every year since 2001.
"Supporting women in business isn't something that's just nice to do, it's a critical business need," said Moritz. "We need to better understand the challenges women face so we can be more effective in taking action to advance women to positions of leadership."
To trigger meaningful action, Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business invited well-known business and workplace diversity leaders to examine best practices and share their insights at the forum. These leaders included:
- William Bacic, New England managing partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP
- Micheline Germanos, senior director, Microsoft Corporation
- Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor at Harvard Business School and strategy and leadership expert
- Tom Peters, renowned business leadership author and speaker
- Paul Sagan, president and CEO, Akamai Technologies, Inc.
- Laura Sen, president and CEO, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.
The Center for Women & Business at Bentley University is the source of practical, effective solutions to the challenges posed by a multi-cultural, multigenerational workplace in which women comprise an increasingly large segment. We offer our business partners a combination of innovative research and real world insight that fosters the development of an inclusive work environment in which women are supported, retained and advanced. We are educating and preparing current and future business leaders, both men and women, to succeed in a world in which diversity and inclusion are business imperatives. For more information on the event, visit: http://bit.ly/cwbaction
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.