Women of MBS
Foundation Professor - Management
(Diversity and Change)
Melbourne Business School
I’m delighted to introduce to you just a few of the outstanding women who are part of the Melbourne Business School (MBS) community. Leaders in their fields, their stories are a tribute to personal achievement and they all share a bond through their connections to the School.
MBS can be proud of its development and support of women in senior leadership roles across business, government, community organisations and public life in Australia and overseas.
Over the life of the School, there have been huge changes in educational and professional opportunities for women. When I joined MBS in 1988, there were no women in senior academic posts and small numbers in its degree programs. Though these conditions mirrored wider university, corporate and social environments, there was a compelling case for change.
Arguing for change, however, was a daunting experience for me as a junior faculty member, and more so for a small number of female students in our course syndicates. Evidence that we needed to attract greater numbers of bright female students (few business schools worldwide were doing so) led me to research and write an article, ‘Sex and the MBA’, looking at the barriers to women’s full participation in management education.
My research passion quickly became an institutional one and I found there was already an MBS tradition of advocates keen to improve opportunities for women – faculty members such as the late Jocelyn Howlett, early graduates such as Victorian Supreme Court Justice Rosemary Balmford and more recently, Cathy Walter (one of the inspirational women profiled in this publication).
Despite the challenging nature of my research with its focus on the power and politics of gender and leadership, MBS has provided a highly supportive platform for my work. It’s rewarding to have witnessed the School’s growth in diversity and significant progress in creating an environment where women can thrive.
Over the years, MBS has introduced a part-time MBA, Executive MBA and other degrees that, along with numerous executive development programs at our Mt Eliza Centre for Executive Education, help to meet the diverse needs of women. Today the School offers flexible study options for parents with childcare responsibilities and its Career Services are highly attuned to the career objectives and interests of women, particularly in networking and ongoing professional development.
Women today are active leaders within the School’s faculty, alumni community and in classrooms across its many programs – contributing to the vitality and innovation that mark a dynamic learning institution.
Download a copy of our Women of MBS brochure.