Friday, October 9, 2009

Women in Business Conferences – Worth Your Time

It’s the time of year when Forté schools start hosting their Women in Business Conferences. Only 5 years ago a handful of MBA programs offered these opportunities. Now about 75% of Forté schools offer events for women with great success. They are wonderful opportunities to meet other prospective women, talk with current women students and alumnae and get a feel for whether the school is a match with your goals and interests. Forté encourages you to attend a couple of these conferences this year – you will not regret it. You can see a comprehensive schedule on the Forté website: And another great way to find out more is to visit the individual schools’ events webpages and blogs. See below for an example of a blog posting about the Tuck Women in Business Conference on November 13-14 (

No-iron pants and women in business?
This post is dedicated to my cohorts, who spent many hours this summer preparing for the annual Women in Business Conference...I can't wait for this event!

Living in New England is an eye opening experience for an Ohio native. There are things that are part of life that were never explained, including no-iron khaki pants, water bottles, backpacks with clips, etc. until I arrived at Tuck. Among the many uses for these items is that they constitute what a good business student needs, to travel to school in the elements AND still look impeccable for interviews and roundtables, once they arrive on campus.

Being a long-time product designer, I love the innovation people develop when there is a tough problem to solve! If people can create ubiquitous solutions for making the business attire more effective, I contend someone can come up with solutions for women, like myself, who often wear multiple hats: student, job-seeker, friend, employee, and eventually (again) business woman? I believe that “balancing” it all remains one of the many challenges of business school classes consistently exceeding 33% women in MBA classes, when women represent half of the population.

I know balance can be achieved because when I was in my corporate role, I was a part of the exciting transformation at my company as the ranks of women leaders approached 50%. The key to our success was women connecting with other women, supporting one another and identifying solutions that enabled women to meet their career AND life objectives. Maintaining a critical mass and gathering often were also important because together we had the power to enrich the broader culture with our values and key life lessons, thereby making the entire company better.

So I will be honest in saying, I wouldn’t be at Tuck if it wasn’t consistent with this part of my career. As a single mother and someone who is unwilling to compromise balance in my life (for too long!), I needed to be in an environment with an active dialogue among women. Throughout my first year at Tuck, I was impressed with the programming of the Women in Business Club at Tuck and the commitment of this group to make a difference for women undertaking the challenge of business leadership.

If you are considering Tuck or business school, I strongly encourage you to attend Tuck Women in Business Annual Conference with the theme of “Developing Relationships that Matter”. This is a great way to spend a weekend, meet women business leaders and gain real solutions for developing a plan that works for you! The conference will take place November 13-14 at Tuck. You can find more details and registration information at tuck.dartmouth,edu/wibc.

Be a part of creating something even more breakthrough than no-iron pants – take a risk and make an investment in creating you!
Posted by Aisha B. T'10

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