Women in the Workplace:
A group of Smeal MBAs spent a couple of hours discussing the context of “Women in the Workplace”. Despite the female context of the session, a few brave male students contributed greatly to the session as well as Smeal MBA faculty and staff. Co-sponsored by the WMBA and Minority MBA clubs, the session was facilitated by Peggy Lorah from Penn State’s Student Affairs Department. A selection of Valentine’s Day desserts helped to bring in the crowd.
Peggy really left the floor open to discussion regarding a few topics that are seldom broached in everyday business conversation. Participants reflected on whether they had a preference for a male or female boss and, if they had a preference, what made them more inclined to work under one sex over the other. Conversation soon turned to the fine line that female managers sometimes face – how to balance competence with compassion. Peggy explained how female bosses are typically viewed as having to forego relationships with coworkers in order to maintain an expected level of respect and allegiance. However, a few of the participants were able to share management experiences where they were able to develop comfortable relationships with subordinates and still be respected for their competence as a leader. The discussion approached several other topics regarding “Women in the Workplace”, specifically the sometimes dilemma of work/life balance and how to be recognized for the work ethic that you have regardless of sex. By the end of the session, all participants seemed to have learned something more about the framework of women in the working world.
- Jenny Moerschbacher
Prior to coming to Smeal, Jenny was an Operations Manager in Phoenix, Arizona for a large private label food company. Jenny earned a B.A. in Engineering Policy from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Her areas of concentration include Strategic Leadership, Supply Chain Management, and Product & Market Development.