Yahoo! made a well-received choice in longtime Google executive Marissa Mayer as CEO, but the task awaiting her is monumental and will require patience, says venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. "Apple demonstrates that it's possible to turn a tech company around. Apple also proves how hard it is because it is one of a very small number of examples. ... It's three to five years to do the job. So one of the things she needs [is] for the board to support her for that period of time," he says.
The announcement that newly selected Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is pregnant has refocused attention on the balancing act between career and family faced by American professionals, writes Lauren Stiller Rikleen, president of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership. "Mayer has a fantastic opportunity to create a culture which embraces flexible workplace policies that empower working parents to be the best they can be as employees and as parents," she writes. As the discussion continues, it's important to remember that parental demands don't disappear after children are out of diapers, she writes.
Marissa Mayer's selection as the next CEO of Yahoo! is good news, but more needs to be done to achieve gender parity in the technology industry, write Jack Hidary and Cindy Padnos. More women need to be brought into venture-capital firms and technology companies need to cast a wider net when looking for talent, they write. "Bringing more women into the entrepreneurial sector will bring a more diverse range of ideas and innovative offerings to our economy," they write.
Business schools that are members of the Forté Foundation are working to identify women who are qualified to serve on company boards in an effort to reduce the gender disparity at the highest levels of business leadership. The effort, which is designed to identify 165 or more women, comes on the heels of a similar push in Europe.
Women in undergraduate and MBA programs estimate that their starting salaries will be lower than that of their male peers, according to a survey by Universum. Women who are working on MBAs reported anticipated starting salaries that were almost $11,000 lower than their male counterparts. "We've showed the figures to the Forté Foundation," said Universum's Camille Kelly. "This survey acts as tangible support for the fact that women really do need a little more help in salary negotiations from the start."
The majority of women are the primary earners in their households, according to a study by Prudential Financial. Fifty-three percent of the women in the study reported being primary breadwinners. "This new data shows that consistent with demographic trends and reflecting the impact of the financial crisis, the majority of women today are financially responsible for generating their own and their families' income," said Prudential Financial's Susan Blount.
Asian businesswomen face a tougher time climbing the career ladder than do their Western counterparts, according to a McKinsey report. That could change as companies and investors take stock of evidence that Asian companies with more high-level women tend to post better financial results, the report argues. "By having more women at the senior level, companies are helping to improve organizational health as well as financial performance," says co-author Wang Jin.
Interest in business-school education among Chinese women is rising even as the number of American women taking the GMAT has decreased in recent years, writes Rahul Choudaha. A number of factors could be fueling the demand for MBAs among women in China, including a growth in career opportunities and different cultural norms about paying for education, he writes.
Nothing makes a newly minted MBA stand out from the pack more than experience working in emerging markets, says SAP executive Amit Sinha. "Our clients are global, so the problems they need us to solve are global. We can't help them if we don't understand the worldwide context ourselves," Sinha says.
MBA students may face steeper bills as they try to pay for their educations due to recent changes to federal loan programs. Students will no longer be able to use the subsidized Stafford loan program, which will increase the cost to repay these loans. Also, students will have to deal with higher origination fees for Stafford and Federal Plus loans.
Global companies succeed in the same way, whether private or public: With "tenacity, determination, care, hard work and a little bit of luck!" Sonepar Chairwoman and CEO Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquette says. She discusses why women can and should be more prominent in the electrical distribution industry, the advantages of being a private company and the importance of company values.
Women have made strides, but they are still underrepresented in entrepreneurship and business leadership, writes Alicia Robb of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. However, there are a number of resources designed to help women overcome this challenge, writes Robb, who recently attended the We Own It Summit in New York. For example, The Pipeline Fellowship is helping women become angel investors, and investment firm Golden Seeds is focused on empowering women entrepreneurs.
Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done.
Amelia Earhart, American aviator
About Forté Foundation
Forté Foundation is a consortium of leading multinational corporations,
top business schools in the U.S. and abroad, and the Graduate Management
Admission Council (GMAC). Forté has become a powerful change agent directing
women towards leadership roles in business and enabling corporations to more effectively
reach and retain top female talent. It is the only organization that provides a national
infrastructure for women at all stages of the career continuum to access the information,
scholarship support and networking connections they need to succeed in business careers.
Learn more at