Women’s Ambassador Day: Meeting the next generation of Sloan leaders

On Friday, December 9, the Admissions office and Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) hosted more than 80 prospective female candidates on the MIT Sloan campus.  The day included sessions with Director of Admissions Dawna Levenson and Director of the MBA program Maura Herson, a mock class with Professor Katherine Kellogg on sustainability, and meet-and-greets with more than 40 current MIT Sloan students.

Director of Admissions Dawna Levenson’s first selfie. Maybe we should get her a selfie stick for the holidays?

The day was a testament to the strong and growing community of women here at MIT Sloan. When Director of Admissions Dawna Levenson was a student at MIT Sloan in the 1980s, her class was only 20% female.  In contrast, the MBA class graduating in 2017 is 41.4% female.  However, at MIT Sloan we don’t just talk about the numbers – we use them to make a difference. Here are just a few ways women are driving change in our community:

  • Unconscious bias awareness: Breaking the Mold is an initiative aimed at combating bias (conscious and unconscious) in our classrooms, workplaces, and societies.  This year’s event will be a hackathon on February 25, 2017, where teams will build technological solutions for challenges such as discrimination in hiring and retention, the gender pay gap, and resource inequities across socioeconomic sectors. 
  • Curriculum representation: According to a recent study, only 11% of case studies at top business schools have a female protagonist.  To help address this here at Sloan, the Student Senate, the elected and representative body of student government at Sloan, is working with the faculty to increase female representation in case studies.  Specifically, the program has committed to reach 40% female protagonists and at least one underrepresented minority protagonist for each of the core curriculum courses by fall 2017.
  • Entrepreneurship: This year, SWIM created a VP of Entrepreneurship position to further support the female entrepreneurial community.  In particular, this role acts as a liaison with General Catalyst, a Cambridge-based Venture Capital firm and SWIM partner, to bring together female entrepreneurs across Sloan and the wider MIT and Cambridge community.  The partnership has already hosted a pitch competition where various female-led MIT teams pitched their business ideas to the firm.

It was inspiring to meet so many impressive prospective candidates at Women’s Ambassador Day who have the potential to build upon these initiatives and create new ones.  If you weren’t able to make the Women’s Ambassador Day event this fall, we will be hosting another one in Spring 2017; please check the Admissions website for updates. We look forward to welcoming you to Sloan!

Evening reception for Women's Ambassador Day

Evening reception for Women’s Ambassador Day

Faye Cheng and Kara Kelley

Faye Cheng and Kara Kelley are first-year MBA students at MIT Sloan and VPs of Admissions for Sloan Women in Management (SWIM). They can be reached at swimadmissions@mit.edu

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