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Recently in Thought Leadership

Dispatches from the Women's Networking Circuit: Temporal Flexibility

Spela Trefalt and Emily Heaphy spoke about "temporal flexibility" or how working people can have some control over their time, so they can manage the many demands at work and at home. Both presenters are wives, mothers, and full-time academics, so they live this every day.

They talked with a group of consultants about work/life balance, and discovered that what they really want is the ability to adjust their schedules to accommodate their needs and interests outside of work. That could look like compressed work weeks, shifted work hours, or even ad hoc accommodations. Part time work wouldn't be considered temporal flexibility.

Thought Leadership | Women's Leadership

Dispatches from the Women's Networking Circuit: The Hidden Power of Context

situations matter.jpgSam Sommers from Tufts University spoke this week at the HR Leadership Forum on The Hidden Power of Context (in your work and your world). This program particularly resonates with me because at Simmons we pay a lot of attention to understanding and responding to context.

Sommers' thesis is that if we can learn to do a better job of fully appreciating our context and acknowledging how our environment shapes our thoughts and actions, we can be more effective. Here's his argument:

Thought Leadership

Dispatches from the Women's Networking Circuit: Women Moving Millions

Jacki Zehner, the Chief Engagement Officer & President of Women Moving Millions, gave an inspiring talk at the Boston Club earlier this year. She believes that at that heart of gender inequality is a dominant belief in a "properly working meritocracy" but that the reality is that the current system heavily favors those who fit a particular mold. She talked about the slow pace of change to date, and why she thinks that today we are on the brink of major change:

Thought Leadership | Women's Leadership

Closing the wage gap in Boston

Opion Piece in The Boston Globe By Victoria A. Budson, Dean Cathy Minehan and Alison A. Quirk

Boston has taken a major step toward Mayor Tom Menino's vision for the city to become the best in the United States for working women by closing the wage gap: Business leaders gathered earlier this week to sign 100% Talent: The Boston Women's Compact.

Thought Leadership

SOM Dean Cathy Minehan Quoted in The Boston Globe on the Mayor's Women's Workforce Council

Simmons School of Management Dean Cathy Minehan was quoted in The Boston Globe on Mayor Menino's Women's Workforce Council's efforts to make Boston the number 1 city for working women by eliminating the gender wage gap. The Mayor plans to announce this initiative on October 31, when he rolls out a compact signed by 38 employers.

Why Janet Yellen is the right choice for Fed chair

President Obama's nomination last week of Janet Yellen to be chairman of the Federal Reserve System should be welcomed by our nation.

As a former colleague for a decade on the Federal Open Market Committee, I can say that Yellen brings enormous strengths to the role. She is deeply knowledgeable about both economic theory and how it plays out in the real world. She is firmly committed to the goals of the Federal Reserve -- price stability, economic growth, and, importantly these days, financial stability. She is more than tough enough to stay the course in pursuing those goals. She is also a terrific listener and consensus builder and is adept at that new required skill of Fed chairmen, communication.

Thought Leadership

Two Voices, Forty Years, Same Problem

As the founding and current Deans of the School of Management at Simmons College, we have both been asked many times why the only MBA program designed for women in the US (and we suspect, the world) was at all important.  Don't women have to work with men in organizations? Doesn't it make sense for men and women to learn management skills together?

Our faculty, our students, our alumnae, and some enlightened corporations understand what makes the SOM programs so important, but it is usually more difficult to translate that understanding to people who believe that women's success at work is just a matter of working harder.

Thought Leadership | Women's Leadership

Dean Cathy Minehan Discusses the Economy on This Week in Business


Dean Cathy Minehan, former president of the Federal Bank of Boston, shares her perspective on the economy and discusses her role in the city of Boston's work on eliminating pay disparities between women and men on This Week in Business. Who will be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank? Is it going to be a woman? Watch the video to hear Minehan's prediction.

Are you doing invisible work?

Leadership Conference Attendees

Recently, the Women's Initiative Forum hosted a fascinating discussion with Dr. Joyce Fletcher on the subject of Invisible Work. Her article Invisible Work: The Disappearing of Relational Practice at Work can be downloaded here.

Dr. Fletcher started the discussion by stating that relational skills are needed in today's workplace, and women are well positioned to operate in that way in the global economy. Unfortunately there is a disconnect - there is acceptance that those skills are needed, but in practice they often aren't seen as work, and are therefore invisible.

Her research showed that:

Thought Leadership | Women's Leadership

End of Summer Reading List

Decisive Bookcover

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Recommended by Elisa van Dam, Director of Executive Education. "As a big fan of the Heath brothers and books on decision making, this was right up my alley. And the authors don't disappoint - they provide a very practical approach to making better decisions in their highly readable and memorable style. » View on GoodReads

Lean In Book CoverLean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. Recommended by Nancy Leeser, Director Corporate Relations & Business Development, SimmonsLEADS. "There has been so much written about Sheryl's Sandberg's book Lean In that I found myself forming opinions about her and her book before even reading it. After hearing her speak and then reading the book, it is clear that most of what has been written doesn't really represent what she is trying to convey. While I wish that in 2013 a book like this did not need to be written, that fact is that it does and that both women and men need to read it." » View on GoodReads

Read more reviews and discussions of"Lean In" in our "Lean In" Round Up.

Lean In Book Cover


My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor. Recommended by Linda Schuller Wolf, Simmons College Librarian. "One of my recent favorite memoirs, a story of a very courageous and tenacious woman." » View on GoodReads



Thought Leadership | Women's Leadership

Business View: 40 years of progress for women - yet more needs to be done

By Dean Cathy Minehan, Featured in the Boston Business Journal

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Simmons College School of Management -- the first MBA program in the world focused on creating women business leaders. In celebration, one of the founding deans, Anne Jardim, spoke at the Simmons College commencement May 10. One might think that an MBA focused on women is an idea whose time has come and gone. But as we continue to see in all sectors of our economy and society, we have a lot of work to do.

Thought Leadership

Study Shows Women Breadwinners Are 'Proud' But Keep Financial Role in Household Private

Simmons Study Also Finds Female Breadwinners and Partners Often Don't Discuss Women's Lead Financial Role; Women Breadwinners Still Retain Majority of Home and Childcare Responsibilities

Despite the booming number of women serving as household breadwinners, a new study of mid-to-senior level businesswomen found that although these women are "proud" of this role, most keep it hidden from family, friends, and employers.

The study also showed that women often take on this role over time without an explicit discussion with their partners, and still contribute to a majority of home and childcare duties.

Research Findings | Thought Leadership

Simmons Professor Mary Shapiro Featured in Boston Globe

Simmons School of Management Professor Mary Shapiro was featured in the Boston Globe on December 9th. The article " Narrowing the gender gap in male-dominated industries" discusses a recent study conducted by Simmons College that finds that Girl Scouts are more self-confident and have broader career aspirations -- less limited by gender stereotypes -- than girls who are not involved in similar organizations. The report, done in conjunction with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, shows that organizations that serve girls boost their confidence and should be part of a larger effort to improve women's participation in top roles in society.

Visit the Boston Globe for the full article.

Thought Leadership

Simmons Professor Paula Gutlove Featured in Huffington Post

SOM Professor Paula Gutlove was featured in the Huffington Post on November 8th. Her blog post titled Flirting With Negotiation--Redefining 'Feminine Charm' which discusses the study done at U.C. Berkeley to quantify and measure what the researchers call "feminine charm," which they say is a mixture of friendliness and flirting.

Visit the Huffington Post for the full article.

Thought Leadership

Reading List

Here's a sampling of what we're reading right now. Please let us know what books are on your night stand, so we can add them to a future list!

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink. Recommended by Elisa van Dam, Director of Executive Education. "I am fascinated by how people are (or aren't) motivated to accomplish things both at work and at home. This book provides a thought-provoking look at why traditional "carrot and stick" motivation doesn't work for most situations, and how to create settings that allow people to tap into their intrinsic motivators.

Thought Leadership

Special Event at Simmons: Gender Diversity in U.S. Company Boardrooms

2020_event_logo.jpgSpecial Event at Simmons: Gender Diversity in U.S. Company Boardrooms

12/12/12 Boston: Promoting Gender Diversity - and the Bottom Line
Be part of the national conversation. Join us for lunch and a panel discussion at Simmons College!

Lunch and Panel Discussion
Gender Diversity in U.S. Company Boardrooms
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, Simmons College

Thought Leadership

Dean Cathy Minehan Moderates "Women and Financial Literacy: Evidence Across Countries"

The Council for Economic Education (CEE) hosted "Women and Financial Literacy: Evidence Across Countries" at Simmons School of Management on October 11. The event featured speaker Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar in Economics and Accountancy, The George Washington University School of Business Director, Financial Literacy Center CEE Board Member and was moderated by Cathy E. Minehan, Dean of the School of Management, Simmons College, Former President & CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, CEE Board Member.

Thought Leadership

Dean Cathy Minehan Interviewed in WSJ on Why a Women's Business School May Be Best Training Ground

Simmons School of Management Dean Cathy Minehan was featured in the Wall Street Journal on why women's colleges are the best training ground for success in a male-dominated business world.

Thought Leadership

Boston Business Journal Features Op-ed by Simmons SOM Dean and YWCA President

The op-ed below by Simmons School of Management Dean Cathy Minehan and YWCA Boston Sylvia Ferrell-Jones appeared in the Boston Business Journal, June 22, 2012.

Thought Leadership

Remarks by SOM Dean Cathy E. Minehan to Brown Brothers Harriman Women Leaders Program

School of Management Dean Cathy Minehan presented at the Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) Women Leaders Program on May 23rd, 2012. Below is the full transcript of her speech.

Thought Leadership

Businesswomen are Lukewarm on the Effectiveness of Women's Networks

Bucking the notion that the establishment of a women's network at work is a key strategy to advancing women in organizations, a new survey finds that many businesswomen have a lukewarm opinion about the ability of these groups to promote their careers.

In a study conducted at the 2011 Simmons College Leadership Conference with a lead conference sponsor HP, women said they believe the efficacy of a women's network at work is only as strong as a company's investment in the group and the depth of its connection with the overall organizational strategy. Specifically, the study found that women believe these networks were of particular value when they provided skill-building opportunities (training, mentoring, coaching) and visibility (exposure to senior management.)

Thought Leadership

Simmons Professor Teresa Nelson, Ph.D. to Participate in White House Summit on Women's Entrepreneurship

Professor Teresa Nelson of Simmons College, Elizabeth J. McCandless Chair in Entrepreneurship and director of the School's Entrepreneurship Program, will speak as part of a panel moderated by U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, at the White House Summit on Women's Entrepreneurship Feb. 3.

Developed by the White House Office for Women and Girls, under the leadership of Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the President, the panel will address "Getting Capital to Start Your Business." The day brings together representatives from government, the for-profit, and the non-profit sector in a discussion of methods and strategies to increase women's participation in entrepreneurship. Other speakers include Dina Powell of Goldman Sachs; U.S. Small Business Administration head Karen Mills; Donna James of the National Women's Business Council; Susan Sobbot, CEO American Express Open; Lisa Caputo of CitiGroup; Claire Kramer of Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Penny Abeywardena of the Clinton Global Initiative; and Debra Spar, president of Barnard College.

Thought Leadership

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