This year for International Women’s Day, we invite everyone to reflect on the issues of gender inclusion and diversity with #EmbraceEquity. The goal is to foster a conversation that comes up with ways we can build a world that is free of gender discrimination and prejudice. Equity goes beyond equality because it is not only about recognizing that all genders are equal but in building spaces in which every individual feels valued, respected and empowered.
We spoke to five women who work and study at Bocconi to hear what they believe every person can do to reach this crucial goal.
Sarah Steeves, MBA candidate 2023
How can women in business school use the theme #EmbraceEquity on International Women's Day to change for the better and promote gender equality?
Women and men in business school can embrace equity and change the business world for the better, by intentionally creating an environment of inclusion and embracing diversity. We are lucky enough to be a part of an MBA program where we get to work with an incredibly diverse set of peers with many different backgrounds and experiences. It’s important that we learn how to bring out the best in each individual that we work with, so we can be a part of building a more equitable business world after graduation.
Supriya Panigrahy, MBA candidate 2023
What does EmbraceEquity mean to women who have set out to have an impact in the business world by enrolling in an MBA?
Embrace equity to me means a world where you can be transparent end express yourself. Being ambitious and willing to try succeeding and progress along with others. Being part of various diversity and inclusion initiative projects and walking along side people from different backgrounds and experiences I realize that when one is provided with the required resources you can develop impactful solutions. Thus, I want to help developed this further and create career paths for Women advancement programs and promote transfers across geographic locations. The MBA provides me with a platform to connect and network with senior leaders through panel discussions and series strengthening my self-confidence and helping me exchange ideas with light minded people with a new perspective.
Paola Profeta, Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Sustainability and Full Professor of Public Economics at Bocconi University
What do you think leaders can do to embrace gender equity?
To embrace gender quality, leaders should first recognize that this is a strategic goal.
Gender quality is beneficial for firms, organizations, the society and the overall economy. It produces output, it enhances growth, performance, development. It improves the quality of decision makers, and it enriches the agenda. The consequences are beneficial for all.
Lucia Benedetti, Managing Director at SDA Bocconi
What are the best practices to promote equity in the business? How can we share that with our community?
Equity involves empathizing with others and being able to understand their perspective. Today's world is characterized by complexity, and we try our best to transform these challenges into opportunities by consistently viewing situations from others' point of view. By actively listening and striving to comprehend diverse perspectives, we empower people to be the best version of themselves. To promote equity in the workplace, it is essential to establish a culture that prioritizes fairness, inclusivity, and diversity. We foster a culture that promotes inclusivity by creating a safe space for employees to share their experiences and feelings.
Raffaella Saporito, SDA Associate Professor of Practice of Government, Health and Non Profit
What role do education and training play in closing the gender gap in the workforce, and how can business schools help to facilitate this process?
We are aware that masters as MBAs and all other executive programs of a school of management like SDA Bocconi are a powerful career accelerator and a faster access to top roles. For this reason, we know we can play a role to close the gender gap in executive positions.
These are 3 concrete actions we are committed to: