Leveling The Field

Monday, December 5, 2011

When Cathy Minehan was applying for financial services jobs in New York as a new college graduate in 1968, she would routinely ask her interviewers about management training. And they would routinely tell her: “We have a management training program, but we don’t accept women.’’

Minehan, who went on to become the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and is now dean of the management school at Simmons College, has seen women’s roles expand greatly in the corporate world since then. But they’re still far from being on a level playing field with men. In Massachusetts, female executive officers make up just 9.6 percent of executive teams at the 100 largest public companies in the state, down from 10.9 percent in 2007, according to the Boston Club, a women’s business organization.

“Forty years ago we thought 40 years from now this would be a problem that would be solved, and it isn’t,’’ says Minehan.

At Simmons since August, she hopes to become part of the solution by attracting more students to the women’s college, and particularly to its MBA program, the only one in the country designed exclusively for women.

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