For all the strides women have made in politics, business, and other occupations, they continue to face significant barriers to full equality: Women still struggle to raise funding to support their businesses. They still aren't receiving equal pay and are massively underrepresented in senior leadership positions in corporate America. And they're still fighting to have a voice in organizational and policy decisions.

The glass ceiling has started to crack, but there is still a lot of chipping away that needs to be done.

That was the overarching message delivered by speakers at the 2019 Women Who Empower symposium at Northeastern's Boston campus, a day that kicked off Women's History Month.

“Get on that field and play,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of global industry platforms for IBM's blockchain division and the event's keynote speaker, sharing a lesson derived from an impressive career as a researcher, psychologist, business and technology consultant, and leader. “And often, you get to change the field.”

Policymakers, entrepreneurs, business professionals, academics, attorneys, and community leaders tackled more than a dozen issues, including the challenges facing female entrepreneurs, gender equality in the workplace, and the economic costs of sexual harassment.

Several of the event panels were led by D'Amore-McKim School of Business faculty members and friends, including:

  • “Advancing Women in Leadership Roles: Promoting Gender Equality at Work” was moderated by the Patrick F. & Helen C. Walsh Research Professor of Management and Organizational Development Jamie Ladge;
  • “Gaining Access to Finance: Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face” was moderated by the Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Kimberly Eddleston and featured alumnae Nancy Brown, MBA'86, Partner at Oak HC/FT Partners, and Marjorie Radlo-Zandi, MBA'83, Managing Director, VICAM, a Waters Business, among others;
  • “How Policy Impacts Women's Careers: Responding to the #MeToo Movement” was moderated by School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy Alicia Sasser Modestino.

In addition, D'Amore-McKim Dunton Family Dean Raj Echambadi (2017-2021) made opening remarks, and Rani Wise, DMSB'11, led a personal branding workshop during the interactive workshop sessions.

“As a society we are missing innate design and innovation by women for women, who represent 50 percent of the population – this is truly a global problem,” says Betsy Ludwig, Executive Director of Women's Entrepreneurship at Northeastern. “Through events like our symposium, Northeastern and D'Amore-McKim are inspiring our community by raising the collective consciousness through thought leadership and connecting each other to build meaningful life-long networks.”

Read more on News at Northeastern.

Kim Eddleston led the “Gaining Access to Finance: Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face” panel discussion (above), and Jamie Ladge led the “Advancing Women in Leadership Roles: Promoting Gender Equality at Work” panel (top).