Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in...


Click here to load reader

Transcript of Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in...

Page 1: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

Preparing Women for Careers in Business The Situation in the United States

Introduction     Slowly but surely through the past several decades there has been an ever increasing number of women working their way into the executive suite.  Lest one be inclined to forget the challenges they faced in attaining their career goals, a brief glance at history should serve to set the record straight.

I.  Women Religious as Pioneers     The very first American women in major management positions were members of religious congregations.  I will start this particular presentation on “Women in Business” by giving some brief descriptions of the accomplishments of these creative and courageous pioneers.  I do so because their experiences predated by more than a century the emergence of significant numbers of lay women in the male-dominated management professions.

I. l.  Hospital Administration     During the Civil War between the States many religious sisters served as valiant nurses on the field of battle.  It soon became apparent, however, that these women were “not only the ‘angels of the battlefield’ but also the angels of wards of hospitals where the talent they showed for administration ... caused the lay authorities to ask for direction ahd help in managing their secular hospitals.”  From that period on, Catholic hospitals (the majority of them founded and administered by women religious) had a phenomenal growth in the U.S.

    Even though the laity had significantly outnumbered religious in the healthcare field after the late 1930’s, religious women held the most important positions.  A survey of hospital chief executive officers illustrates the changes which have taken place over time.  In l965, 97 percent of the top positions in Catholic hospitals were held by religious; 77 percent in 1970; 62 percent in 1975; 49 percent in 1980; under 40 percent in 1985;2 and according to the latest statistics from the Catholic Health Association, only 5 to 8 percent at present. It is also important to note that the number of Catholic hospitals has very dramatically decreased (from a total of 803 in 1965 to only 611 today).  And it is significant to point out that while the laity

Page 2: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

have assumed most of the chief executive positions in these Catholic hospitals, members of religious congregations still hold a number of the leadership positions in multi-institutional systems.  This seems to represent a congregational shift from emphasis on institutional administration to positions of system administration and governance.3

I. 2. Higher Education     During the latter part of the 19th century, women religious also became very active in the field of higher education, both founding and staffing a large number of four-year liberal arts colleges which still form a significant part of the American network of Catholic post-secondary education.  Up through the mid-1970’s nearly all of these institutions (which at that time numbered an impressive 120 or so!) were headed by women religious.  In 1975, for example 55 percent of all women college presidents in the U.S. were members of a religious order4 - and an even higher percentage of women chief academic officers, academic deans, and deans of students.  Once I was invited by an organization known as Lutheran Women in Higher Education to give the keynote address at their annual meeting and asked specifically to “trace the career path” by which I had arrived at the position of college president.  At the close of my presentation, one member of the group remarked, “It seems what you’re telling us is that if we hope to become college deans or presidents, we should all become Catholic nuns!”

    This phenomenon did not seem to surprise the Lutheran educators even though a woman religious had once remarked on the impact of “the nuns (surprisingly good business women as their networks of colleges, schools, hospitals and social agencies throughout the United States testify.)”5

    While most of the women’s colleges in the U.S. (secular as well as Catholic) started out as liberal arts institutions, many soon began to add professional programs in what were earlier considered “women’s fields” - education, nursing, social work. It is important to mention also that women’s colleges did encourage women to excel in less “traditional” areas such as the natural sciences.  And later research indicated that women gradutes of women’s colleges tended to outperform women graduates of coeducational institutions in a number of academic fields as well as

Page 3: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

in general leadership positions.6

    It was not until the mid-1970’s that women in significant numbers began to set their sights on careers in management.  Responding to this interest, many women’s colleges either expanded their existing “business” programs (primarily accounting and/or business education) or introduced new majors with a focus on “the managerial woman.”

II.  Changing Cultures     Vincent Duminuco, S.J. in his profound opening talk at the Third Annual World Forum of Jesuit Business Schools  (the forerunner of IAJBS), noted that “experience in recent decades has demonstrated that social change does not consist only in the transformation of economic and political structures,” but that these structures themselves are “rooted in socio-cultural values and attitudes.”7

    The 1970’s constituted a vitally important period for women in both the world of business and the institutions of higher education seeking to prepare them for it.  Due largely to the impetus generated by federal, state, and local legislation and regulations, many aggressive policies were created to promote equity and advancement opportunities for women.  These factors were largely responsible for the new demand for degree programs in the field of business and management.

    Another major result of these cultural changes was the shift of many colleges (especially those under Catholic sponsorship) from single-sex to coeducational status.  This trend started first among formerly male institutions that (at least in public announcements “in order to provide equal opportunity”) opened their doors to women.  This trend initially created a brain drain on their neighboring women’s colleges.  The number of women’s colleges in the U.S. gradually declined from a total of 129 in 1976 to 57 at the present time. 8  This decrease has occurred for a variety of reasons:  some women’s colleges have simply closed; some have merged with other institutions; and some have themselves “gone coed.”  These institutional shifts, however, were not carried out on a level playing field.  Because of strong gender biases in American (and, indeed, world) culture, it was much more “socially acceptable” for women to enter previously all-male colleges or universities than for

Page 4: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

young men to enroll in previously all-female institutions.  Numbers, of course, do not tell the entire story.  As a result of all these cultural shifts, many women’s colleges have emerged from the struggle even stronger and more focused than before.

III.  Women in Management     In view of all the cultural changes taking place between the mid-1970’s and 2006, what has been - and what is - the situation of one aspiring to become “the managerial woman”?

III. 1. The ‘70’s and ‘80’s     When the management professions first started opening up (supposedly) to talented women, a number of colleges and universities (many women’s colleges naturally leading the way) began to incorporate new courses into their curriculum and even to seek corporate support for endowed professorships (such as the 3M Professorship on Women in Management at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN).  Many of these programs included some of the thought-provoking (and often provocative) books then appearing on the bestseller lists.

    Dr. Margaret Hennig and Dr. Anne Jardim, among these best-selling authors, received their doctorates from the Harvard Business School.  These joint founders and directors of the Simmons College Graduate Program in Management, a master’s program designed for women, proceeded to publish a number of their program elements under such chapter headings as “The Way it is:  Men and Women in Management Jobs,” “Patterns of Difference and Their Implications,” “The Middle Management Career Path,” and “Growing Up Male or Female.”9

    Somewhat less scholarly (but decidedly more pointed!) Betty Lehan Harragan focused her attention on Games Mother Never Taught You.  A glance at some of her chapter titles and subheadings gives a good idea about the games she had in mind:  “Working:  A Game Women Never Learned to Play” (“The Name of the Game is Corporate Politics”), “You’re in the Army Now” (“You’re Invading an Alien Country,” “Who Gets into the Officers’ Club?”) “You’re in the Ball Game - Fight, Team, Fight!” (“Mom, Billy Won’t Let Me Play!” “Secrets of Success They Don’t Want You to Know,” “Knute Rockne is Alive and Well in the Executive Suite”), “Jargon in the Business Game” (“Military

Page 5: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

Metaphors” “Sports Vernacular”) “Women Players Upset the Boys,” “The Players, the Penalties, the Objectives” (“Focus on the Chief Executive Officer” (“Line Jobs Are the Action Areas,” “Staff Jobs Support the Fighting Forces,” “Keep an Eye on Other Players All the Time”), “Take Charge - assuming the Habits of Command” (Quarterbacking - Taking control of a Management Position”).10  Some very good insights for the managerial woman of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s!

III. 2.  The Decade of the ‘90’s     What of the decade of the ‘90’s?  With the help of courses, programs and books such as these, did women indeed learn to play the corporate game?  A few simple stories from 1995 newspapers may provide some interesting insights about where women stood in the final years of the 20th century.

    An article in The Washington Post, for example, noted that “every female executive knows the feeling:  The men come back from a golf outing talking about the contacts they’ve made with clients and the deals they’ve hatched.  Later, the men gather in the boss’s office to swap golf stories and strategies.  But the suspicion arises among those left at their desks that career moves are also being plotted.”11  Is this, then, one of the games mother never taught you?  The cover story in The Washington Post Magazine on July 23, 1995 described a “Glass Ceiling Breakthrough” in the field of medicine, a doctor’s fight for equal rights.  Early in her medical career, and quite by accident, this talented surgical resident learned that male residents were making $40,000 more than she was. When she finally brought this to the attention of the hospital’s business manager, “he agreed the figures did not look good even if the men had said they wouldn't accept less than $100,000 while she “had been delighted to accept the first offer.”  Later, when she was passed over for a major promotion, one committee member privately told her she was fighting the “old boys’ network.”  She took this complaint to the doctor who oversaw the residents' program.  “You don’t want people to think that you’re an angry woman do you?’ he said “in a very  fatherly tone.”  (Happy ending:  She finally mastered the game - as well as her surgical specialty - and became chief of her surgical unit!)12

III. 3. Women in Management Today     A report issued by the International Labour Organization in 2001 presented a somewhat brighter but

Page 6: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

still cloudy picture.  It indicated that women had made some significant progress during the past decade. In  fact, women around the world have been moving steadily into occupations, professions and managerial jobs previously reserved for men.

    The ILO expressed special concern, however, about the patterns of attitudinal and institutional discrimination that continue to bar women from certain jobs and hinder their career development.  We still see that females occupy few of the positions with the most power.  Real obstacles remain, and these are often rooted in the way work and life are organized. In most societies, including the U.S., women still carry a large responsibility for child-care and family well-being.  This means that the challenges for women in the world of work often revolve around balancing work and family commitments.  Even in 2001, it was noted, women too rarely were able to break through the glass ceiling.

    There has been a steadily growing awareness and mounting evidence that gender equality boosts enterprise productivity, spurs economic growth and improves the welfare of families.  In this 21st century, the best organizations and firms depend on a balanced mix of so-called “masculine” and “feminine” attributes.  An increasing number are adopting measures to attract and retain women so as to benefit from their qualifications and talent in a highly competitive environment.

    This report helps us to understand some of the problems that women faced at the dawn of the Third Millennium in rising through the ranks and shattering the glass ceiling to secure top positions.13

    In 2004, the ILO published an update of certain sections of Wirth’s important work.  This update contains the most recent statistics concerning women in management, which are derived from the ILO’s Yearbook of Labour Statistics (2003) and statistical data from other research institutes.

    This updated version of Wirth’s book does not presume to tackle the subject in as much depth as the original work. It aims to present the new statistical data together with various research results and material gathered from a review of the literature on the Internet, illustrating some of the institutional and

Page 7: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

attitudinal prejudices that continue to hamper women’s progress into management jobs.

    Cultural and social attitudes toward what constitute “male” or “female” jobs still result in a more subtle but significant occupational segregation.  Women are still in the majority in the so-called “feminized” professions such as nursing and teaching but hold a much smaller percentage of the managerial positions in these fields - administrators of healthcare facilities, school principals or superintendents, college or university presidents.  It must be noted, however, that women continue to make important inroads into fields such as law, information and communication technology and computer science, engineering, entrepreneurship and finance; and there is evidence that employers are beginning to promote women more systematically and to introduce family-friendly policies in order to retain them.  Women who set their sites on the executive suite, however, still face special constraints in the workplace, not least of which are isolation, limited access to mentoring, and conflicting expectations based on cultural stereotypes.14

III. 4.  Cultural Differences Again     And so we come back to the same old problems - cultural differences.  Both visible and invisible rules have been constructed around the “male” norm, which women sometimes find difficult to accommodate: male and female colleagues and customers do not automatically see women as equal with men; women tend to have to work much harder than men to prove themselves; and sometimes they have to adapt to “male” working styles and attitudes more than required by the intrinsic nature of the task to be accomplished. Furthermore, women still tend to be excluded from the informal networks dominated by men at the workplace, which are vital to career development.  The problem is compounded by employers’ assumption that women, unlike men, are not able to devote their full time and energy to their professional work because of their family responsibilities.  Consequently, in many cases women are not given as many opportunities as men to do the more demanding responsible jobs, which would advance their careers.15

    American women today have the opportunity and experience to be highly successful in a world that previously excluded them.  As we have seen, within the

Page 8: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

past thirty years women have started to compete for the prize jobs in American businesses.   Yet during this same period, firms have increased their demands on professionals.  Some women, willing and able to devote long hours to their careers, have thrived in traditionally male jobs.  At the same time, many women feel that mothers should devote a great deal of time and energy to their children.  Many women today are torn between these seemingly irreconcilable commitments to work and family.

    Mary Blair-Loy, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Washington State University, has studied success stories of liberal feminism:  women who have reached senior positions in a male-dominated world.  Using in-depth interviews and life-history questionnaires, she analyzed the ways these women struggle to reconcile work dedication with their commitment to family.  Although these struggles may seem like very personal battles, it appears that they are rooted in powerful assumptions about what makes life worthwhile. cultural definitions of the conceivable, the moral, and the desirable help sculpt the capitalist firm and the nuclear family, shape personalities, and create work-family conflict.     Executive positions require an immense commitment of time, energy and emotion.  Such careers are organized by a cultural model that Blair-Loy calls the “schema of work devotion.”  This cultural schema defines the career as a calling or vocation that deserves single-minded allegiance and give meaning and purpose to life.  Employers assume that high-level workers will be dedicated to their jobs and will not spend significant amounts of time on other obligations.

    Women pursuing demanding, elite careers, however, collide head-on with the “family devotion schema,” a cultural model that defines marriage and motherhood as a woman’s primary vocation.  Work-dedicated women who evade or delegate family responsibilities  violate the family devotion schema.  And so, work-family conflict is born.16

    The schemas of work devotion and family devotion are very powerful but not deterministic.  How to deal with them?  A new challenge for our Jesuit business schools!

IV.  Jesuit Perspectives     In March of 1988, John W. Padberg, S.J. presented a

Page 9: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

very enlightening address at St. Louis University on “The Jesuits and Women,” beginning with the first pastoral work of Ignatius Loyola himself.  Since this is an unpublished work (a copy of which I found in the library of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities), I will refer only to the citation relating to my own congregation:  “Perhaps the distinction of being the first uncloistered apostolic congregation goes to the Sisters of St. Joseph, founded at LePuy in France in the seventeenth century by a Jesuit, Jean-Pierre Médaille.”17  The whole address, of course, is of great interest and importance, so for further information I refer you to The Institute of Jesuit Sources at St. Louis University.

    At the 34th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits “ask God for the grace of conversion.”  Clearly eager to be true to the role and responsibility of Jesuits, they hastened to admit that they had been “part of a civil and ecclesial tradition that has offended against women.”18 IV. 1.  Jesuit Universities in the U.S.     Here I must intervene to say that the self-assessment contained in the aforementioned report seems unduly harsh.  I would be remiss if I did not pause at this point to pay tribute to my two Jesuit mentors at Boston College, great open-minded men with 21st-century attitudes back in the 1950’s -- Charles Donovan, S.J., founding Dean of the B.C. School of Education where I was a Graduate Assistant, and Paul FitzGerald, S.J., Dean of the Graduate School where I served as Assistant Registrar.  Both of these great educatpor-priests “mentored” (long before that word came into popular use) and encouraged me to pursue ever more responsible positions in higher education administration over a period of thirty years.  “A deanship?  Wonderful!”  “Academic VP?  Great!” “College president?  Go for it!”  “The first non-ordained president of the then 85-year-old National Catholic Educational Association?  It’s about time!”  Without their encouragement and support, I might not have had the courage to venture into the then unfamiliar arenas of academic search processes.

    And what of B.C. today?  Women faculty members abound, and some are even department chairs, deans, and vice presidents.  Women are named to the Board of Trustees and later continue (as I do) as Trustee Associates.

Page 10: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

    More than a decade ago Boston College initiated a Women’s Studies Program offering a wide variety of courses, lecture series, and professional seminars. The program staff also founded the National Association of Women in Catholic Higher Education (NAWCHE).  In June 2006, this association sponsored its eighth national conference, “Making Connections VIII,” held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  Of particular interest for this IAJBS Conference is the NAVCHE gathering of 1997, when the association created a network of Faculty Representatives at Jesuit colleges and universities nationwide encouraging all members to begin the necessary conversation between the Jesuit community, students and faculty at their home institutions.

    In 2002, the Council for Women of Boston College was founded with the mission to increase the involvement and influence of alumnae in all aspects of life at the University.  Council members constitute a virtual “Who’s Who” of Women in Management!

    And then there is the University of Scranton, where I served as the first woman administrator some twenty years ago when I was appointed Dean of Hanley College, the undergraduate school for nontraditional students. How did the Jesuit and other members of the academic community accept this new female presence on the Council of Deans?  Again, I am happy to report, extremely well.  By the close of my two-year tenure (when I left to assume the presidency of NCEA), I was the “senior dean”!  The School of Management at Scranton also offered a special course on Women in Management in recognition of the new opportunities opening in the business world.     Finally, let me cite the example of the University of Detroit-Mercy.  In 1990, The (Jesuit) University of Detroit and the (Sisters of) Mercy College of Detroit decided to combine their resources and operations in a consolidated institution with the same ongoing mission and commitments.  This consolidation has been widely recognized as an effective, creative response to the challenges of today.  Most remarkable about this merger was the groundbreaking decision that the consolidated university should be headed not by a Jesuit but by a woman president!

V.     Where to Next in the Worldwide Network of IAJBS?

Page 11: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

    The document from the 34th Congregation invites all Jesuits “as individuals and through their institutions, to align themselves in solidarity with women.”  A number of examples were suggested: “explicit teaching of the equality of women and men in Jesuit ministries” ... ”support for liberation movements for women” ... ”genuine involvement of women in decision making.” ... 19

    To these I would add a few more suggestions. Consider, for example, that the present structure in most business organizations can make it difficult for women to pursue a career in top management.  As we have seen, business organizations are designed for men, and very few business practices are friendly toward women. Given two candidates with equal qualifications an employer is often more likely to offer a man more career enhancing opportunities than would be offered to a woman because unfortunately the assumption is still that the man will stay with the company longer and that the woman should therefore be put on “the mommy track.”  Jesuit universities enjoy enormous prestige in society, and their boards of trustees include many CEO’s with great power and influence in the world of business.  If members of the Society were to set as a goal the use of this power and influence to change corporate structures, I think that we would soon see a number of companies adopting more family-friendly policies and practices.

    Surprisingly, even today very few women and even fewer men realize that the playing field in business, especially in corporate circles, is not level and that women who succeed in breaking through the glass ceiling often claim that they have to work harder to prove themselves than do their male colleagues. Jesuit universities, then, should still include in their management programs courses such as Men and Women in the Corporate World and / or Women and Men in Conversation - and ensure that both male and female students are exposed to these consciousness-raising sessions addressing gender issues.  (For further ideas, see the final section of the ILO power point presentation!)20

    And finally, Jesuit universities should examine their own policies and practices related to hiring, salaries, promotion and tenure to determine how fair they are at the present time and to consider what changes could be introduced to help level the playing

Page 12: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

field for women academics.  Some women’s colleges, for example, have initiated a policy allowing women who wish to teach only part-time while their children are very young to move toward both tenure and promotion at a prorated tempo, e.g., half-time teachers could take twice the “normal” time to qualify for tenure and / or for promotion in rank.  To be fair to all - and to emphasize the importance of both fathers and mothers in the family - could Jesuit universities offer such options to both women and men?

    I am confident that through this International Association of Jesuit Business Schools our institutions will become even stronger forces in shaping a new world order, one that is characterized by Christian justice, hope, and love.


l.  Farren, Suzy.  A Call to Care  The Women Who Built Catholic Healthcare in America.  St. Louis: Catholic Health Association of the U.S., 1996.

2.  Stepsis, Ursula and Liptak, Dolores (Eds.). Pioneer Healers:  The History of Women Religious in America.  New York:  Crossroad Publishing Company, 1989, p. 242.

3.  Catholic Health Association, 2004.

4.  Touchton, Judy G. and Davis, Lynne.  Fact Book on Women in Higher Education.  Washington:  American Council on Education, 1991, p. 102.

5.  Meyers, Bertrande.  Sisters for the 21st Century. New York:  Sheed & Ward, 1965, p. 36.

6.  Tidball, M. Elizabeth.  “Women’s Colleges: Exceptional Conditions,  Not Exceptional Talent, Produce High Achievers.”  Educating the Majority: Women Challenge the Tradition.  Ed. by Carol Pearson, Donna Shavlik and Judy Touchton.  New York: Macmillan, 1989.

7.  Duminuco, Vincent, S.J.  “The 34th General Congregation:  Implications for Professional Education in Business in a Jesuit Context.”  Paper presented at the Third Annual Forum of Deans of Jesuit Business Schools, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, July 30, 1995.

Page 13: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

8.  Women’s College Coalition, 2006.

9.  Hennig, Margaret and Jardim, Anne.  The Managerial Woman.  New York:  Doubleday, 1977

10.  Harragan, Betty Lehan.  Games Mother Never Taught You.  New York:  Warner Books, 1977.

11.  Reckler, Nancy.  “Female Executives Crack the Glass Ceiling.”  The Washington Post Magazine,  July 20, 1995, pp. H1 and H5.

12.  Walsh, Elsa.  “Glass Ceiling Breakthrough,”  The Washington Post Magazine, July 23, 1995, 11-15 ff.

13.  Wirth, Linda.  Breaking through the Glass Ceiling:  Women in Management.  Geneva:  International Labour Office, 2001.

14. ________________.  Breaking through the Glass Ceiling:  Update 2004. Geneva:  ILO, 2004.

15.  Ibid.

16.  Blair-Loy, Mary.  Competing Devotions. Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press. 2003, pp. 1-2.

17. Padberg, John W., S.J..  The Jesuits and Women, unpublished speech delivered at St. Louis University during Women’s History Month in 1988.

18.  Report of the 34th General Congregation 3.4.9.

19.  Ibid. 3.4.13.

20.  International Labour Organization.  Power Point Presentation:  “Breaking the Glass Ceiling,”  2001.

Catherine McNamee, CSJ ---- biographical highlights

M.Ed., M.A., Boston College, 1955, 1958 Doctor en Filosofia y Letras, Universidad de Madrid, 1967 President, Trinity College (VT) 1976-1979 President, The College of St. Catherine (MN) 1979-1984 President, National Catholic Educational Association (U.S.) 1986-1996 Board of Trustees, Boston College, 1990-1996 Trustee Associate, Boston College, 1996-

Page 14: Preparing Women for Careers in Business 12th IAJBS.… · Web viewPreparing Women for Careers in Business

Board of Directors, International Organization of Catholic Educ., 1986-1996 Board of Directors, International Federation of Catholic Universities, 1980-1986 Board of Directors, Inter-American Confederation of Catholic Educ., 1986-1996 Executive Commitee, IAJBS, 1995-2000 Profesora de Etica, Universidad Catolica del Maule, Talca, Chile, 2000-2005 Distinguished Visiting Professor, The College of St. Catherine (MN) 2006-

__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around


Jeu de caractères 

Service Webmail  - Universi