Celebrating Our Women Leaders During Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month, a time to commemorate the impact women have had on history, while continuing the push for women’s equality around the world.
At the Tepper School, we want to continuously empower women through all stages of their education, lives, and careers. Our school leadership, faculty members, students, and alumnae are breaking barriers, making history, and paving paths that inspire others every day. This month, and year-long, we celebrate their achievements.
Throughout the month, we also will be sharing stories and spotlights from our community as we celebrate. If you would like to be featured or have an event to share, email us.
Be sure to follow the official Tepper School social media channels, below, for event updates and more.
Championing Our Women Leaders
Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean, Richard P. Simmons Professor of Finance
Dean Bajeux joined the Tepper School in October 2020. Since then, and under her leadership, the Tepper School launched its first Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Strategic Plan, introduced several new student programs, and repositioned its brand as The Intelligent Future℠, where decisions are data informed and human driven. Committed to interdisciplinary education and collaborative research, Bajeux is expanding specialized master’s programs, developing a Center for Intelligent Business, and increasing funding for students and faculty. She seeks to broaden the impact of research through thought leadership.
Anita Williams Woolley, Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory
Anita Williams Woolley recently delivered an address at the Economic Times’ Global Business Summit 2023 in New Delhi, India. During her presentation titled “People, Processes, and Businesses: The Intelligent Future of Organizations,” Woolley spoke of the exponential growth of information and connectivity driving organizational change. Human intelligence and the use of technology, such as artificial intelligence, are equally important for the progress of the global economy.
Rosalind Chow, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory
Rosalind Chow recently penned “Don’t Just Sponsor Women and People of Color — Defend Them,” an op-ed featured in the Harvard Business Review.
“Defending is the most relationally costly form of sponsorship. Yet, it is also precisely the form of sponsorship that female and minority protégés are more likely to need due to biases in how we evaluate talent. When we combine that with the idea that female and minority leaders are – via 'trickle down diversity' – expected to sponsor rising female and minority talent, organizations functionally impose a tax on female and minority leaders' social capital," she said.
Meredith Meyer Grelli (MBA 2010), Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur in Residence
Meredith Meyer Grelli may be well known as a faculty member at the Tepper School, but she also is an alumna and small business owner: with her husband, she co-founded award-winning Wigle Whiskey Distillery and Threadbare Cider & Mead. Their small businesses have captured national and industry awards for several consecutive years, a testament she says to their team’s dedication but also to their constant pushing of boundaries.
“Small businesses and family businesses comprise 65-80% of the global economy, and your small purchases might seem like little decisions, but they add up to an enormous and impressive piece of our economy. You have the power to have a big impact in our neighborhoods, so I say, ‘thank you’ to everyone who thinks of small businesses," she said.
Rukayat Muse-Ariyoh, MBA Class of 2023
Rukayat Muse-Ariyoh was a heavily-involved student leader throughout her MBA journey. She served as the Admissions Officer of the Graduate Business Association, as Vice President of Corporate and Alumni Relations for the Black Business Association, is a member of the Tepper Consulting Club, and is a member of Tepper’s Culinary Club. After graduation, she will join McKinsey & Company as an Associate Consultant. Read her advice for prospective students and tips for how to build a more inclusive community at the Tepper School.
Asha Banks (MBA 2020), Alumna and Entrepreneur
Asha Banks (MBA 2020) established CheerNotes in 2020 during her second year of MBA studies at the Tepper School. She had already stepped away from a seven-year career as a chemical engineer and was ready to act on her lifelong desire to own a business.
“Just start by creating something. It’s a very intimate learning experience running a small business. All your struggles are amplified, including imposter syndrome and limiting beliefs, and you have to deal with it all. If you have an inkling or desire that keeps coming to your mind, it’s better to pursue it than wish you had years later," she said.
Angela Bodnar (MBA 2016), Alumna and Entrepreneur
Specializing in distinctive home decor and modern artisan designs using traditional heritage techniques, Bodnar is committed to quality, which shows in her small business. Seeking more flexibility in her career in order to raise a family, Bodnar launched Anacua House using the skills she learned while earning her MBA at the Tepper School.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of capitalism. When you think of capitalism, of course you wind up with conglomerates like Walmart and Amazon, but every large business started out as a small one. It’s certainly a way to get things that are more unique than you would find elsewhere,” she said.
Jacqueline Colorado (MBA 2007), Alumna Leader in Consulting and Strategy
Jacqueline Colorado (MBA 2007) is Director at Slalom, a global consulting firm focused on strategy, technology, and business transformation. As a female leader in the strategy and technology sector, as well as a mom, Colorado focuses on a people-first approach, both at work and in her personal life. She strives to be a role model in her career and also for her daughter.
"Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable in situations where things don’t go your way, or you’re called into filling a role where you feel you’re not 100% qualified. Women may feel especially uncomfortable going into certain positions, but that’s where you learn the most. As women, we don’t give ourselves as much credit: You were put there for a reason, because of your uniqueness," she said.
Women's History Month Upcoming Events
Wednesday, March 8: International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day, first honored in 1911, is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It also serves as a call to action to continue the fight for women’s equality and call for positive change in advancing women. 2023’s theme is #EmbraceEquity.
Wednesday, March 8: Advancing Women in Tech Week Featured Event
Are you meant for product management? What skills does it take to become a product leader? What support and resources can you take advantage of during your journey? In this panel discussion, three women share their stories about taking the leap into product management and offer advice and insight for fellow aspiring product managers and those interested in learning more about the field. Carnegie Mellon's Master of Science in Product Management program is partnering with Advancing Women in Tech as a learning sponsor to present the panel. The virtual Women in Tech Panel is at 10 a.m. and registration is free for the Carnegie Mellon community.
Thursday, March 16: University Libraries Archives Presents Activism at CMU Open House
Carnegie Mellon University Libraries Community Collections Processing Archivist Crystal Johnson will lead this presentation on the history of activism and advocacy at Carnegie Mellon from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Archives Reading Room on the second floor of Hunt Library. Learn more about the school’s history and find out how you can get involved.
Wednesday, March 22: Family Business Leadership Speaker Series Presents Emily Sheetz
The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship’s Family Business Leadership Speaker Series aims to develop programming that brings together Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh communities with particular attention to underserved, women, immigrant and minority business leaders. In the next event of the series, Emily Sheetz, the Vice President of Strategy and IT for Sheetz, Inc. will present at 12:30 p.m. at the Swartz Center in the Tepper Quad.
The Tepper Together website also has a list of resources — including books to read, movies to watch, and websites to visit — to better understand the importance of women’s history.
Show your support for Women's History Month with downloadable graphics for use on social media and share your own story with the hashtag #teppertogether.
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