Dialog and Design, Creating a Gender Enlightened Business Ecosystem
Jennifer Bailey is an Assistant Professor in the Technology, Operations and Information Management Division, Faculty Director for the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), and Faculty Advisor for the Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design (TED) concentration.
At Babson, we are very proud to be ranked the Number #1 graduate school in entrepreneurship education by U.S. News & World Report, and delighted to be named by the Princeton Review as Number #8 for providing the Greatest Opportunity for Women.
Every business student loves a good case study. Well the results are in – the gender business case is closed! Gender Diversity in organizations has been shown to lead to (i) better decision making, (ii) higher innovation levels, (iii) greater levels of corporate social responsibility, and (iv) increased profit margins. So at Babson, we encourage our students to explore their roles as future entrepreneurs and leaders in creating a Gender Enlightened Business Ecosystem.
Recently our Babson MBAs participated in a day of Dialog and Design discussing the current challenges and opportunities for creating and maintaining Gender-Diverse organizations.
Throughout the day the students were able to learn the terminology and language used to discuss issues related to gender and gender diversity, and discuss key statistics highlighting important gender equity gaps. Conversations explored the ways in which gender identities and norms have been socially and culturally constructed, and how these norms have come to influence gendered norms around the leadership and management styles which are perceived as most successful. Students were also challenged to think beyond the gender binary, and had the opportunity to hear from speakers about initiatives such as the LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Later in the day, students examined how their individual unconscious biases around gender could impact decision-making throughout the organization and throughout the value chain, and they were able to hear from the Chief Diversity Officer for Coca Cola, about how organizations such as these are tackling this issue.
At the end of the day, the students engaged in a Design Challenge where they put their entrepreneurial and innovative skills to work to imagine and prototype strategies for creating the Gender-Inclusive organizations of the future.
At Babson we are developing Entrepreneurs of All Kinds who create social and economic value simultaneously, by leading organizations in a new and creative ways. What’s gender got to do with that? Everything.