Hemlines, hairstyles, & husbands

Last week, Jennifer Allyn, managing director in the Office of Diversity for PricewaterhouseCoopers, came to Tulane to discuss women and ambition. Ms. Allyn discussed how to women ambition can often be perceived as a negative trait, and how companies should address women’s needs in the workplace differently. The audience was full of women and men from all walks of life who were able to share their experiences and theories with Ms. Allyn. We also watched a video where women executives and scholars talked about how women are often evaluated by their hemlines, hairstyles, and husbands instead of what they are actually capable of doing. I thought that the presentation gave great insight into some of the challenges that women face in the workplace. I consider myself ambitious, and wonder if leaving the bubble that is b-school and facing the corporate world next year will make me any less ambitious. Ms. Allyn defined ambition as the desire for mastery, a definition that changes the way you think of an ambitious person. If ambition is desiring mastery then I plan on continuing that pursuit long after b-school. Tulane has given me the confidence that I can go out into an ultra competitive world and not only succeed, but thrive. The fact that there are only 24 other women in my class is pretty representative of what we’ll be facing in the corporate world. But, through working and interacting with men that will also be leaders in their respective fields, I learned that not only does being a woman give you a different perspective on life, but it’s one that should be valued and voiced in any business setting.