James: Business faces key moment

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On Wednesday Goizueta Business School announced its Full-Time MBA numbers for the class of 2016. Notably, the class included more women — a 6 percent increase from the previous enrollment.

This is but one trend in the larger focus on women in leadership. New Dean Erika James has researched race and gender diversity in leadership and believes the time may be right for major advancements in recognition and number.

It starts in business schools.

“As we have more and more female deans of top business schools, we need to coalesce and come together,” James told Caroline Fairchild of Fortune“We need to be bold in finding ways to create greater access and make business in general a more attractive place for women.”

The deans at UCLA, Kellogg, Indiana and Minnesota business schools are also female. According to Fairchild, just 22 percent of business school deans in the country are women.

Fairchild publishes a daily report — The Broadsheet — that focuses on women in business, particularly leaders. James said in order for female representation to be less newsworthy, it must become less unusual.

“We really have got to be strategic in how we develop talent and nurture talent,” James told Fortune. “Otherwise, you are just seeing the anomalies. Those anomalies will leave and you’ll have a dry pipeline again… Once we are graduating enough women with a high level of confidence and competence, then I think it becomes commonplace,”

 

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