A female perspective of the MBA

March 21, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nationwide, the number of women in business schools and corporate boardrooms has lagged behind the number for their male counterparts.

In an effort to increase opportunities for women, Penn State will host its first webinar focusing on how its online MBA can help women advance their careers.

Registration is open for the Women in the Penn State Online MBA webinar, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 27. The webinar will be hosted by Penn State World Campus and the internationally recognized Smeal College of Business, which leads the online MBA.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2016-17, male graduates of master’s degree programs in business, management and marketing outnumbered women who graduated with those degrees by about 12,000. And in corporate boardrooms across the world, women held just 15 percent of seats, according to a 2017 report from Deloitte.

“The female perspective is one that should be equally represented alongside the male perspective and equally valued monetarily,” said Stacey Dorang Peeler, managing director of the Penn State Online MBA. “The MBA can help level the playing field.”

Dorang Peeler said women comprise about 30 percent of the 475 students in the online MBA, and she hopes the webinar will spur the interest of women everywhere.

The webinar will include a panel of three women in the online MBA program. They will discuss their experiences in the program and address topics specific to women, such as what the business school environment is like for women, how to balance course work with a busy household and demanding job, and how women will be perceived in a field that is male-dominated.

“Women are often concerned about how a rigorous program will fit in with the many responsibilities that are already on their plates,” said Janet Duck, faculty director of the online MBA. “We’ll talk about how the Penn State Online MBA program can be flexible to accommodate these challenges.”

One of the student panelists, Kristy Hine, is a wife, mother of three, and the chief financial officer at a community hospital in central Pennsylvania. Her background is in finance, and through the MBA she hopes to expand her business knowledge.

“This program is helping me get more comfortable in areas outside of my finance core, which has allowed me to collaborate on a deeper level with my colleagues who lead other facets of our organization,” Hine said.

More than 7,000 miles away from Hine is Gale Hauck, who works as a deputy site manager in Abu Dhabi for the United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear power plant. Hauck said an online MBA was the only option for her because of her demanding work schedule.

She enrolled in the fall of 2017 and has been taking one course a semester.

“An online program gives me the flexibility I need to pursue my education while also pursuing my career goals,” she said.

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about the upcoming webinar.

Last Updated March 21, 2019