Opportunities, Obstacles Examined in Carey’s ‘Women in Work’ Conference


Event brings together industry figures AND academic researchers

Women’s opportunities for professional leadership, as well the obstacles they face while seeking such roles, served as the theme of a three-day conference hosted by the Carey Business School at its Harbor East campus.

The October 12-14 event, “Broadening Perspectives on Women in Work: An Interdisciplinary Conference,” brought together leading industry figures and academic researchers in management science, business, technology, economics, psychology, and sociology to discuss both the progress that women have made in attaining leadership and the barriers they still encounter. 

More than a year in preparation, the event was organized by Vice Dean for Faculty and Research Valerie Suslow and Carey assistant professors Colleen Stuart, Erik Helzer, and Sharon Kim. Helzer credited Karen Peetz ― the retired president of BNY Mellon, a Johns Hopkins trustee, and a 1981 alumna of the Carey Business School ― for being the catalyst of the conference.

“She cares deeply about the advancement of women in business and approached school leadership to sponsor a women’s leadership initiative at Carey,” said Helzer (at right, with Colleen Stuart, during a research presentation). He added that a supporting gift from Peetz helped make the conference a reality.

Beth Comstock, vice chair for business innovations at GE, and Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president for industry platforms at IBM, made keynote remarks during the weekend at separate gatherings attended by Carey administrators, alumni, students, staff, and other guests.


In addition, Peetz moderated a Friday luncheon panel discussion with Jyoti Chopra, chief diversity officer at BNY Mellon; Redonda Miller, the president of Johns Hopkins Hospital and a 2004 Carey alumna; and Karen Appleton Page, the senior director of partnerships, channel, and industries at Apple and a 1997 alumna of Carey. About 100 people attended the luncheon.

During the final two days of the conference, some 50 scholars from across the United States and Canada gathered to hear more than 15 of their colleagues present research on various issues linked to the weekend’s theme. These included gender gaps in wages and leadership roles, harassment of women in politics, the use of flexible work policies, working women’s attitudes toward risk-taking, and gender differences in academic medical careers.

Stuart said the weekend’s events provided “a helpful reminder of the strides that have been made toward women’s advancement in the workplace. At the same time, they also highlight that these problems are deeply entrenched and difficult to solve. Much more work will be necessary if we hope to continue making progress.”

Posted on October 18, 2017 In Master of Business Administration, Master of Science, Executive Education, Alumni Story, News Item, Alumni, Current Students, Faculty, International Students, New Students, Partners, Prospective Students, Staff