María de Lourdes Dieck Assad, former dean emeritus and professor of economics at EGADE Business School at Tecnológico de Monterrey and now vice president for Hemispheric and Global Affairs at the University of Miami, and Michael Wiemer, senior vice president and chief officer of the Americas at AACSB, discuss how business schools can do a better job of encouraging and supporting women in the pursuit of leadership opportunities.
Michael Wiemer: [00:18] I'm thinking about the business schools and how business schools can do a better job of encouraging and supporting women in the pursuit of leadership opportunities. It's something that obviously we need to do a much better job at. What can business schools do better, to focus on more to support women in pursuing leadership roles?
María de Lourdes Dieck Assad [00:38] I think that we have to pay attention to certain special needs that women have, so that we give them the same opportunities as business students as we give men, in other words equal opportunity.
[00:55] In my school we built some entering tests. Once the students were admitted, we built tests to see how the students were doing in their personal skills. These personal skills had to do with entrepreneurship how entrepreneurial they were, how they could communicate, how they felt about leading themselves, how they could be a good negotiator.
[01:26] I set a series of characteristics that we think that leaders should have. We do this test, we get a diagnostic, and then we see where the students are lacking or where they need more support.
[01:41] We have to, as we are doing activities in the school, be able to give women the opportunities to be the leaders of clubs, to be the leaders of their generation, to be the speakers. So many times, honestly, we see that it's mostly men that are chosen for these roles.
[02:03] It is a lot of sensibility on the school's part on finding the opportunity to help women that we know we see they have this potential. Maybe they are shy, maybe they don't want to step out, step up. How can we really build this network where they will feel that they can really be themselves and be the best of them?
[02:34] It is with some workshops, with some personal coaching, group coaching, and with giving them open opportunities, but very strongly I'm pushing them to take opportunities and small things, because those small things, when they graduate can become very big.
Filmed April 2017 on site at AACSB's International Conference and Meeting (ICAM) in Houston, Texas, USA.