Women in Business : My Story
By ANDREA MANNEY
Did you know that only 14% of Fortune 500 senior executives are women? And less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEO’s are women? These statistics are absurd, and certainly not representative of our generation’s ambitions to lead as women in business. I have dreams to become CEO of a global consumer products company, not unlike Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo. But other than Nooyi, there are very few female leaders in the global consumer products industry.
Throughout my life, I have consistently sought leadership positions in school, at work, and amongst my peers, which has groomed me to be the current President of Kelley Women. I’m passionate about women succeeding in business, and I aim to empower my female classmates to raise their hand, speak up for what they believe in, and chase after their dream jobs. Too often I have witnessed young business women sit back and let teammates take control, or settle for a job position that’s comfortable, but not challenging. There’s no way women can equalize the gender ratio in the C-suite if we continue to settle, so I’m eager to motivate my female classmates to step up and lead now in our MBA program at Kelley School of Business, and also in our future careers. In fact, now is a great time for women to earn their MBA’s and prove how dedicated and talented we are. More and more reputable companies are consciously hiring women MBA’s, and I’m thrilled my female Kelley classmates have accepted offers with firms like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Nestlé, Google, Barclays… The list goes on and on.
As a member of the Forté Foundation, I had the opportunity to attend the MBA Women’s Leadership Conference at UCLA in June 2014, right before I started the MBA program at Kelley. This one-of-a-kind two-day conference brought together MBA women from across the country to meet one another, network with top companies, and attend powerful speaker series’ about courage, leadership, and advancing your career as a woman in business. Not only did I meet bright, motivated women preparing to earn their MBA’s at the conference (the hotel gyms were packed at 7am! Hello type-A ladies), but I left Los Angeles feeling confident and excited to tackle the MBA challenges in the first year, and then go on to land a killer Marketing internship and full-time job. By meeting women who share similar ambitions, and listening to successful female executives and entrepreneurs, I felt supported and motivated to continue my journey and lead in business as a woman.
I’ve always been inspired by my mother, Kathie Manney, who earned her MBA from Ross School of Business in the 1980’s, when only 20% of her class were women. She went on to work for Deloitte and then JP Morgan, and always encourages me to step up and lead. Today, more than one third of MBA programs are women. Can you imagine where we could be in the next decade or two? I can’t wait to find out J
For more information on Kelley Women, visit kelley.iu.edu/kawmba/.
For more information about Forté Foundation, visit fortefoundation.org.