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Women on the MBA: What it's really like

  • Date: Mon, Feb 22, 2021

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What is the work/life balance like during an MBA? What about family care? Is funding available?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed at the upcoming webinar, “Women on the MBA: What it's really like,” on Wednesday, 24th February.

The event is moderated by Katrina Enros, Chair of UCD Smurfit School’s Gender Equity in the MBA Group (GEMBA). Established in 2019, the organisation identified that women represented a relatively small percentage of the MBA student body and set out to create a supportive community to discuss the professional issues facing women, welcoming all students to join the conversation about equity in the workplace.

“Although the pandemic slowed some of our plans, we certainly haven’t given up. If anything, it has made the goals of the group even more important,” said Executive MBA student Katrina Enros.

“Women, especially mothers, have been at a greater disadvantage during the pandemic; in the US, working mothers are three times more likely to have lost their jobs than working fathers. Globally, domestic violence has increased, and young women face additional barriers to accessing basic education. Yet research has demonstrated that the skills women bring to the table are critical during a crisis, and regions with female leadership have tended to fare better overall,” concluded Katrina, who also leads on Global and Engagement and Insights for Science Gallery International.

GEMBA was created around four central goals; to create a business world where gender underrepresentation is a thing of the past, to advocate for promoting MBA education among women, to act as a support system for one another and advocate for non-binary inclusion.

Kate Killeen joined the Executive MBA programme with experience as a chartered HR professional, and she holds an MSc in Human Resource Management (HRM). “When I completed the MSc in HRM at UCD Smurfit School, my research focused on the topic of gender diversity. It gave me an opportunity to expand my knowledge in this area, and I was able to bring much of this research forward with me in my career to date.”

“I have since been involved in the rollout of numerous diversity and inclusion programmes and have been actively involved in a number of gender pay gap reporting initiatives and reviews,” said Kate who also has a postgraduate diploma in Employment Law.

The event will open with comments from Professor Gerardine Doyle, Director of UCD Smurfit School and Associate Dean of UCD College of Business, discussing gender equity initiatives at the College and opportunities for incoming students.

Panellists include Kate Killeen (1st year EMBA), Sharon Maguire (2nd year EMBA), Caitlin McBride (full-time MBA)Chhavi Negi (full-time MBA) and Lynda Unogu (2nd year EMBA).

Caitlin McBride is the former executive editor of Ireland’s biggest news website and is a successful author, most recently launching the book ‘The Day That Changed My Life’. The book features interviews with prominent Irish women about the moments that changed the course of their lives. She spent the latter stages of her journalism career researching and writing about women’s interests.

“In my MBA class, I am one of nine female students out of a class of 38. If MBA classes are building future leaders, more women need to be aware of the opportunities the programme can offer in achieving those goals later in their career,” said Caitlin. “Gender equality has always been an important issue, but with the momentum gathered in recent years, there is a willingness and commitment to diversity and inclusion that was never there before.”

“UCD Smurfit School has open-door communication with GEMBA and is actively trying to recruit more female applicants to its MBA programmes. The School offers scholarships for female candidates and is promoting initiatives through events and communications,” continued Caitlin.

Professionals from all industries are invited to attend this event which is designed to offer a true insight into the UCD Smurfit School MBA experience.

The webinar will take place over Zoom on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 7:30 pm. This event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. Register here.

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