Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 1 month and 5 days ago
“No big! Only 12,000 people here,” kidded Academy Award winner Viola Davis as she took the stage for the morning keynote of the 2017 Massachusetts Conference for Women. MIT Sloan Executive Education, alongside other MIT schools and programs, was in attendance at this 13th year of the largest women's conference in the country.
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 4 months and 27 days ago
Earlier this month, a memo written by (former) Google employee James Damore went viral. The controversial, ten-page letter suggested the company has fewer female engineers because men are better suited for the job. Damore argued that Google’s initiatives to increase diversity is actually a discriminatory policy, and that a liberal bias throughout management makes it difficult to discuss the issue internally. The debates kicked up by this event continue to rage on.
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 8 months and 19 days ago
Guest post by Isabelle Bettez, President and CEO of 8D Technologies, Inc. Bettez was a participant in MIT Sloan's Entrepreneurship Development Program in 2008. Her company, which she co-founded with her brother Jean-Sebastien Bettez, develops hardware and software that has formed the backbone of some of the most popular bike sharing systems worldwide. The Montreal-based company has received numerous awards for its solution; most recently the company was awarded the 2017 Mercuriades award for web and mobile technology development.
As a busy executive of a startup technology company, it's "easy" to say there's simply not enough time to invest in professional development programs that take me out of the office, away from my team, and away from customer engagements. But as an alumna of the renowned Marketing and International Management programs at Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commercials (HEC) in Montreal, I understand the value of continuing to learn about new strategies and techniques that can help grow our company. That's why I decided to continue my learning through MIT Sloan’s Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP).
I was intrigued by the opportunity to learn from peers, particularly individuals who had achieved the level of success I envisioned for myself and the team at 8D. The week in Boston, which drew entrepreneurs and leaders from around the world, was an unbelievable experience. One aspect of the program was building a project with a very diversified group of people from different cultures; that was both a surprising and enriching experience. Since then, we have deployed 8D's solutions on four continents, and the takeaways from that week were extremely useful in getting to where we are today.
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 9 months and 23 days ago
Any college campus can be an intimidating place. Feelings of isolation are not uncommon for undergraduate and even graduate students. For black women on campus, that sense of disengagement is often heightened. MIT wanted to address this issue while supporting the continued success of its black women students. This was the impetus behind the collaborative initiative, My Sister’s Keeper, launched last year with the goal of building community for black women at MIT.
"We wanted something unique," says Helen Elaine Lee, Director of the MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) and Founder of the initiative. "We hope to provide emotional and psychological support, foster kinship and community, strengthen academic performance, and cultivate engagement in social, political, and cultural matters beyond the classroom."
"I remember what it was like to be a college student in a new environment," says Karinthia Louis, a program manager for MIT Sloan Executive Education who also serves on the planning committee for My Sister's Keeper. "You're away from home, you automatically feel out of place. It's easy to stay in your bubble. My Sister's Keeper can change that by offering a variety of memorable experiences to bring black women on campus together."
The group's inaugural gathering last fall drew more than 160 people to the R&D Commons on campus. Attendees were surveyed about what they most wanted from the organization, and the responses revealed that black women students want someone they can turn to for mentoring and advice.
The organization has created "sister circles" to provide this connection--small groups of five or six students, staff, and faculty united by common interests. The circles are encouraged to meet regularly and share experiences. Each circle deliberately teams undergraduates with at least two older women. "Our goal is to build bonds and mentoring relationships. But we also want it to be mutual, so that we can learn from each other," say Louis.
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