Erika Hayes James
  • #GoizuetaENGAGE conference focuses on gender equality, advancement in workplace

    More than 250 women and men came together to hear from key stakeholders, network with fellow business leaders, and learn from faculty and alumni panels about women’s equality during Goizueta Business School’s second annual #GoizuetaENGAGE conference.

    Although abbreviated due to Atlanta’s winter weather event, the day did not disappoint as both men and women engaged to learn more about women’s equality and advancement in the business environment.

    Erika James, John H. Harland Dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, opened the conference stating there is no better time than right now to discuss women’s equality in the workplace.

    “When we gathered a year ago, we had one goal: to start a conversation on gender equality in industry and business education,” James said. “There’s no better time to continue that conversation than now. At Goizueta Business School, we have a focus on diversity programming and continually look to educate women on opportunities stemming from their business degrees.”

    The #GoizuetaENGAGE conference works directly with the school’s ongoing goals of taking ownership and action of gender equality, including

    • Bringing together business and educational leaders to increase dialogue.
    • Engaging companies with resources to secure a diverse workforce.
    • Empowering women with knowledge and confidence to advance their careers.
    • Creating environments that allow female students to thrive.
    • Offering new and thoughtful programming for female alumni.

    “One of our biggest strengths, however, is convening key stakeholders, experts and thought leaders for conversation,” James said. “How else can we normalize what it means to be a woman at work? I hope that today sparks conversation in your classes, board rooms and homes to find a way to tackle gender inequality together.”

    Focusing on gender inequality directly was keynote presenter, Andrew Davis 08WEMBA, global chief diversity & inclusion officer at The Coca-Cola Company.

    Davis walked attendees through the Coca-Cola journey with a focus on how the company approaches gender and diversity in its workforce.

    In the U.S., 40 percent of Coca-Cola’s bottlers are minority owned, according to Davis.

    “The nature of our business is what makes us diverse,” he said. “What I always love to say is that we better be diverse if we’re going to be playing in these markets.”

    While the diversity-inclusion strategy at Coca-Cola is not a one-man or one-woman job, Davis said it’s important to have someone in a point leadership position.

    “It’s not just a strategy job,” Davis said. “It’s a roll-up-your-sleeves, get-it-done job. It’s making sure these elements come to life, but it’s also partnering with all these stakeholders.”

    Women represent roughly 47 percent in the workplace, according to statistics from Davis. However, women control 70 percent of the buying power in their communities and homes, equating to 40 trillion dollars globally by 2018.

    “When you think about that, it’s a no-brainer,” he said. “If you don’t get that as a business leader, then something is wrong.”

    To cap off his presentation, Davis left attendees, specifically women, with a challenge moving forward.

    “I want you to raise your hand when you want that promotion and don’t wait to be 80 percent ready,” Davis said. “I want you to go back to the negotiation table and get the pay that you deserve. Try to blow some of this research away and focus on how you can change the game individually.”

    Other presenters included:

    Faculty Panels:
    Is Your Employee Homo Economicus or Abi Normal?: How to Encourage High Performing Employees
    Karen Sedatole, professor, accounting

    Standing Tall: The Role of Assertiveness at the Office
    Melissa Williams, associate professor, organization and management

    *Creative Collaboration: The Art of Teamwork
    Jill Perry-Smith, associate professor, organization and management

    *The Not-So Perfect Gift: Consumer Behavior in Gift-Giving
    Morgan Ward assistant professor, marketing

    Alumni Panels:
    Discovering Your Fit: How to Evaluate Your Career Options
    Kathleen Kuhnert Vieira 09FTMBA (moderator), JoAnn Lynen 02FTMBA, Katie Silverston 16EvMBA and Karen Wishart 03EMBA

    Finding Your Why: Identifying Your Career Passion
    Shelley Howell Megede 11EvMBA (moderator), Courtney Timmons 18EvMBA and Jazmyn Williams 16FTMBA

    *Owning Your Why: The Importance of Being Your Authentic Self
    Dolly Meese 05FTMBA (moderator), Jodi Evans 16EvMBA, Glenys Fernandez 13FTMBA and Tara Sconzo 14EvMBA

    *Making Your Mark: How Problem-Solving Differentiates You On the Job
    Lynne Segall 99FTMBA (moderator), Stephanie Espy 08FTMBA, Heidi Laki 16FTMBA and Amy Zehfuss-Loegel 99FTMBA

    Executive Education Workshop:
    Executive Presence
    Allison Gilmore, founder, DuMore Improv

    Luncheon Keynote Speaker and Panel:
    Directing Your Career Journey with Purpose
    Joann Lublin, author of Earning It; Abbey Kocan 09FTMBA, executive director, Kupona Foundation; Catie Morette 14BBA, consultant, Bain & Co; Rebecca Sandidge (moderator), chief of staff, Goizueta Business School

    *Final Keynote Presentation:
    The Importance of Allies: Why Male Advocacy Is Critical in the Battle for Equality
    Erika James and Scott Pioli, assistant general manager, Atlanta Falcons

    *Unable to present due to inclement weather

  • SunTrust’s chief risk officer, Dean James talk managing risk and leadership development

    Recently, SunTrust’s Jerome Lienhard sat down with Dean Erika James for a fireside chat on the topic of risk. Lienhard is the chief risk officer at SunTrust Banks and is responsible for the company’s risk discipline.

    Read More

  • We must continue to work hard in higher education, business on issues of gender equality

    It’s been just more than a year since I issued a call to the Atlanta business community to step up efforts in gender equality. I’m very grateful to the Atlanta Business Chronicle for publishing an op-ed and continuing to take time to recognize “women who mean business.”

    Our own efforts at the business school include hosting the annual, #GoizuetaENGAGE Conference – a chance for corporate partners, alumni and current and prospective students to gather for conversation and inspiration.

    We formed the conference to support the WE:ENGAGE Initiative – a focus on improving diversity programs and educating women on opportunities stemming from business education. Our school has taken a stand on this issue, committing to dialogue in support of women in industry and higher education as a whole, including graduate schools across Emory University.

    I’m glad to report progress.

    In the past year, the business school raised the percentage of women in the Full-Time MBA program by 6 percent. We also welcomed students from 22 different countries. Since 2014, 15 female tenure or tenure-track faculty members have been hired, including six of 12 hired in Fall 2017. Four of our six PhD graduates hired by universities in 2016 are women.

    But, speaking candidly, this is not good enough. Higher education and businesses of many industries have work to do.

    Every day we step into situations that require particular attention to the task at hand. We must maintain the commitment to collaboratively create “a new normal” for women in business.

    The numbers are already here.

    According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, in 2015, more than 9.4 million firms in the U.S. are owned by women. Those firms employ nearly 7.9 million people and account for 31 percent of all privately held organizations.

    Yet we still encounter stories in the paper, online, on the radio and at the water cooler that paint disjointed pictures of treatment, opportunity and pay. There are also divisions and allegations in politics that, while presenting an unfortunate opportunity to increase conversation and productive dialogue, too often present setbacks to our cause.

    I’ve spoken with many deans and business leaders, male and female, about the issues. We share ideas on building and strengthening the pipeline of female students and understand business schools are an important source of tomorrow’s great leaders. But, to create lasting change, business and business schools should strive for better alignment. Higher education brings a unique perspective on the future workforce and thought leaders eager to discover solutions.

    I believe there is power in bringing like-minded people together for a common cause. This is where #GoizuetaENGAGE and YOU can make a difference.

    If you are an alumnus, partner to one of Goizueta’s programs or just a member of the business community looking to spark change, I hope you can join us for #GoizuetaENGAGE 2017 Dec. 8. At the Loew’s Hotel in Midtown Atlanta.

    We all want to see more women in the classroom, create welcoming environments at work and empower women with knowledge and confidence for advancing careers.

    Let’s continue the effort. Together.

  • Goizueta, The Delta Air Lines Foundation open doors on new Leadership Hub

    Leaders from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and The Delta Air Lines Foundation opened the Delta Leadership Hub – a state-of-the art classroom and event space on Oct. 10.

    The space redesign came as part of a $3.5 million gift from The Delta Air Lines Foundation that also endowed Goizueta’s leadership program, a premiere three-pronged leadership development program focused on academic, experiential and reflecting learning for Delta Leadership Coaching Fellows. Through this program, second-year MBA students are able to practice and improve their leadership, team-building and feedback skills, vital to the workplace. They are also able to engage with and mentor first-year MBA students as a part of this initiative.

    “The Delta Leadership Hub will be the focal point of our leadership initiatives and numerous other events,” said Erika James, the John H. Harland Dean of Goizueta Business School. “It’s more than a new style, it’s an infusion of technology our faculty, students and any number of guests will enjoy for years to come.”

    Boasting a dramatic entrance with a glass storefront and the Delta Leadership Hub logo, the classroom features the ability for instructors and students to connect their devices wirelessly using Mersive Solstice technology. The foyer area includes entrance halls or, “jetways,” designed with clean lines and multiple display monitors.

    “We are proud to open this premiere space for leadership learning with Goizueta,” said Tad Hutcheson, Senior Vice President of The Delta Air Lines Foundation. “Giving back to the communities where we live, work and serve is core to Delta, starting with our hometown of Atlanta.”

  • Goizueta creates Scholarship of Excellence to support commitment to diversity

    In an effort to strengthen its commitment to increasing diversity across all MBA programs, the Goizueta Business School has created The Scholarship of Excellence.

    The endowed scholarship will provide needed resources to help recruit a diverse MBA class.

    “The competition to recruit diverse and qualified students increases each year,” Dean Erika James said. “The most talented candidates have the opportunity to select from almost any MBA program in the country. Having adequate scholarship resources and demonstrating the school’s full dedication to this population with an endowed scholarship will support our mission to enroll the most talented MBA class.”

    In 2002, the school joined The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management as a way to align Goizueta with the organization that increases opportunities for diverse students to attend business school. Goizueta has awarded more than $14 million to Consortium members.

    “As a school, we are committed to making an education from a top-ranked program a reality for all students, and we want diverse perspectives represented,” said Kore Breault, director of development and an active participant in the scholarship’s creation.

    The initial goal is to raise $500,000 in gifts and commitments by Dec. 31, 2018.

    One of Goizueta’s longtime supporters, Herbert Allen, values inclusion, diversity and academic excellence. Because of this, Allen made a lead gift to support the scholarship.

    “The creation of The Scholarship of Excellence demonstrates Goizueta’s continuing commitment to increase diverse and qualified candidates for our MBA programs,” said Earl Hill, senior lecturer in organization & management and Goizueta’s representative on The Consortium Board of Trustees. “It provides an opportunity for our alums, particularly past recipients of scholarships, to step up and contribute to Goizueta’s dedication to having adequate scholarship resources.”