Celebration of women in business lecture
Ali Fernand – Features Editor
Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz came to speak to students about the power of women in leadership roles. In honor of Women’s History Month, the university has decided to celebrate the work of women in business.
“When you have diverse leaders at the table you make the best decisions for our families and communities,” Bysiewicz said.
This event was held as a part of the Bing Carbone Women in Leadership Lecture Series. The University felt the need to affirm its stance on equity for women. Speakers offered encouraging words to those women who hope to be in leadership one day.
“In honor of Women’s history month, we though why not bring the most influential woman leader in the state of Connecticut,” Assistant Director of the Women in Leadership Academy Lisa Marotta said.
The Women in Leadership Academy is a program here at the university to help encourage women in finding networking opportunities. They help women find success in their prospective fields. To encourage future women leaders, they thought Bysiewicz would be a perfect person to speak.
President Joe Bertolino also spoke at the event, mentioning his involvement with equity programs for women. With the construction of the new business building, he spoke on the successes that business students at the university already had.
“We have engaged in a significant number of conversations not only about equity but about income and salary,” Bertolino said.
President Joe is involved in efforts to expand opportunities for women at universities. He even holds leadership positions on boards who push the effort to see more women succeed.
“I have the privilege of sitting on the American association of university women’s board of directors,” President Joe said.
Women continue to be the minority in leadership positions in businesses. Though there has been work for women to find equity in these fields, men continue to dominate the business industry.
“If you look at how many women are in managerial positions in companies, you will find that it’s only 35% women,” Bysiewicz said.
Women owned businesses are something that Bysiewicz feels passionately about. She stressed that women in government need to work hand in hand with women in business. This is to reach the goal of seeing more women in leadership positions in both fields.
Bysiewicz also mentioned the disparity in wages between men and women. This being a problem for women trying to move up, especially women of color.
“Women continue to make 82 cents on the dollar, if you’re a black woman you make 59 cents on the dollar, or if you’re Latina you make 48 cents on the dollar,” Bysiewicz said.
Connecticut has put in effort to ensure women’s rights in the state. With policies such as paid maternity leave, women can become mothers without the stress of losing their salary or career. This also applies to needed medical leave.
“We have some great policies in place like the best paid family leave and medical leave in the country,” Bysiewicz said.
The speakers before Bysiewicz celebrated her accomplishments as a woman leader in the state. She served in the state house of representatives and as the secretary of state before becoming Lieutenant Governor.
“She is one of only 4 women to serve in this capacity since 1776,” Director of the Women in Leadership Academy Alice Wieland said.
Even though women don’t hold a proportionate amount of leadership positions, they do often do these positions well. According to Bysiewicz, businesses owned by women tend to be more successful and last longer.
“Women are great at collaboration and are used to multitasking,” Bysiewicz said.
The Women in Leadership Academy is a resource for any woman looking to get a start in their field. This program is funded by Lindy Lee Gold and will continue its work even as Women’s History Month ends.
“We are able to provide networking opportunities and different events to help women to be prepared to enter the business world,” Marotta said.