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Broad MBA students celebrate Women’s History Month

By William Horton-Anderson
Monday, March 18, 2024

Up until the late 1980s, the United States didn’t fully recognize or have a month devoted to the contributions and advancements that women lead for the country. Today, the Broad College’s Full-Time and STEM MBA program has students, faculty and staff who continue to push the boundaries and help everyone understand how to support, lift and highlight the achievements of their fellow colleagues. This year, two students wanted to share more about what it means to be a woman in the business world and in the MBA program.

Christine Corsi

Christine Corsi headshot

Christine Corsi (MBA Finance and Supply Chain ’25)

Hometown/Country: Utica, MI

Broad News: What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Corsi: Women’s History Month is a time for me to recognize the amazing women who have forged a path in all aspects of life and recognize how their actions have created more opportunities for me and other women. From well-known public figures to individuals who made an impact behind the scenes, I like to spend some extra time reflecting on and being grateful for the accomplishments made by these women.

I was fortunate to grow up with many influential women in my life and continue to meet new women who I learn from on a daily basis. They show me that with passion and effort, there can be a path forward, even with roadblocks. This month is a great reminder for me to reflect on the importance that family members, friends, mentors and other amazing women have had on my life.

It can be easy to go about our days only focusing on the task at hand, but I think that by being grateful for the accomplishments made by those who came before us, we can be more intentional in our actions and recognize how our efforts today can positively impact others in the future.

Broad News: What do you think is the most pressing issue women in business are facing today?

Corsi: The roles that women traditionally held within business were supporting positions. With the shift to women now occupying all types of roles, there can be challenges that become present when trying to make that mental shift.

Women are represented at a higher rate in various leadership roles than they were only a couple of decades ago, and this is great news! However, imposter syndrome is still very present and can hold people back from advocating for themselves within the workplace. A couple of strategies that I took away from a program held by the Forté Foundation is to find a group of supportive people to whom you can open up about some of the feelings you’re experiencing and to take the time to recognize and celebrate your own successes.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive to women? 

Corsi: Something that I think can be challenging but also greatly impact the ability of the business community becoming even more inclusive to women is to leave behind the assumption that gender indicates certain strengths and weaknesses. For instance, while women are traditionally thought of as being more organized, we don’t want to assume that a woman within a team is going to automatically take on the organizational responsibilities.

Everyone has preconceived notions and natural biases, but by actively trying to not let those thoughts get in the way and instead letting people’s actions speak for themselves, I think we can create a more inclusive community.

Catherine Munro

Catherine Munro headshot

Catherine Munro (MBA Finance and Supply Chain ’25)

Broad News: What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Munro: I grew up on six of the seven continents, separated from my parents’ family and culture. We lived in places where wealth had no boundaries and places where household staples were rationed by distribution centers. Both of my parents worked double time to make sure my siblings and I were exposed to everything about where we lived. A part of that was making sure we understood the privilege we had. We were not visitors, but we were not citizens.

Due to this, we had the unique opportunity to integrate into all these beautiful places and leave whenever we wanted to. The choice was ours. The agency of choice is arguably the most powerful thing any one human has. This agency is a privilege that is not granted to women globally, and this agency is what women have fought for. Women’s History Month is a distillation of how women have sought out agency in an attempt to reach equality.

Broad News: What do you think is the most pressing issue women in business are facing today?

Munro: We are in a unique spot in history. For the first time on record, there are five generations in the workforce representing five different paradigms and specific values. While this could be an immense opportunity, the difference in the generational perspectives persists, and women carry the invisible workload that all progress relies on. This work includes activities at home and in the office, from childcare to scheduling and taking notes.

This work that goes unrecognized also goes unrewarded and impedes the career growth of women as a collective. How we judge and evaluate the work of women needs to be adjusted, and the perceived small tasks need to be better distributed across all workers who benefit from the work being done.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive to women?

Munro: The business community in the United States has made strides to make the workplace more inclusive to the needs of women, but there is still work to be done. Women are more likely to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree compared to men. Today, 47% of the total workforce is women. Of that, more than 39% of women work in occupations where women make up at least three-quarters of the workforce. We have self-selected into career paths where we see people like us succeeding. With that, the business community needs to actively promote women into positions where there needs to be more balance at the table, and we as women need to be brave enough to accept the invitation and invite our peers to join.

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