Editorial: Connecticut takes steps forward for women in business

(Michelle Lee/Flickr, Creative Common)

Connecticut has recently been considered one of the best places for women to pursue careers in business. This is due to a recent Citrix Sharefile study, which ranks Hartford as the seventh best city for women to start a business in. The ranking has been attributed to several factors unique to Connecticut.

According to University of Connecticut professor and head of the School of Business Dr. Lucy Gilson, Connecticut is successful in this respect because it has many positive role models of women business executives, and there is plenty of support academically for women wishing to major in business, such as UConn’s involvement in the National Society of Women MBA’s. Because of all of this support, the ratio of male to female undergraduates in the school of business is about 50/50.

Connecticut has become a positive example of how women can become involved in business, which is crucial both for the economic success of the state and for the equality of women in business careers. Gilson has noted that the presence of women on corporate boards is often accompanied by improvements in profitability and accountability.

Additionally, UConn’s progress in the field of business can help train women to be more prepared for business careers and encourage them that they, too, can pursue executive positions at large corporations. This could help reduce the gender gap between women and men on corporate executive boards and related upper-level positions. Even though the male and female interest in business is about 50/50, the distribution of high-paying positions still does not represent this, even in Connecticut.

For this effort to be successful, UConn must work with other colleges in the state. The University of Hartford already has a Women’s Business center to help women pursue their business aspirations. But it is not simply enough for women to have support in their undergraduate studies. These schools must work together to encourage women to pursue high-ranking positions, because due to their educational background, they are just as qualified as their male counterparts.