GoizuetaENGAGE Women's Conference in Downtown Atlanta, GA on October 28, 2016.

More than 250 invited guests, including alumni and prospective business students, attended the inaugural
#GoizuetaENGAGE women’s conference held in late October at the Southern Exchange in Atlanta. The conference is the brainchild of Dean Erika James (pictured), who has a passion for seeing women excel in business.

“More women apply for college than men. Further, women make up half the applications to graduate programs in law and medicine. Yet, in business education, MBA programs regularly enroll classes that are less than 35 percent female,” James observes. “We have worked to solve gender imbalance for decades. Unfortunately, most attempts amount to platitudes and marginal gains.”

James believes this is an important crossroads and, with focus, the tide can shift toward more equality for women in the business environment. To this end, the one-day conference featured accomplished women professionals who shared their stories with participants.

Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), the first woman to lead the MAC, opened the event. Concurrent panel sessions followed, covering such topics as negotiation, leading within a team, networking, and owning your personal brand. Other presentations included Goizueta faculty members who shared pertinent research. They were: Emily Bianchi, assistant professor of organization and management, who discussed the psychology of well-being; Erika Hall, assistant professor of organization and management, who spoke on practices for women in business negotiations; and Sandy Jap, professor of marketing, who explained why more business partnerships fail rather than succeed and what attendees could do to turn the tide.

The lunch keynote featured Dean James in a candid conversation with two alumnae: Tracy Barash 93MBA, vice president of global franchise management for Cartoon Network, and Rebecca Ginzburg 94BBA, COO, CFO, and chief compliance officer of Junto Capital Management LP, an investment management firm based in New York. More than a dozen companies sponsored the event, including gold level sponsors Delta Air Lines, FedEx, LinkedIn, and PwC.