The center will focus on academic research and provide resources to impact gender equity in the business world through mentoring, workshops, scholarships and conferences. It will also aim to influence change on problems such as the wage gap, provide opportunities for working women and develop women business leaders at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
“Study after study has demonstrated that women are not equally compensated or represented at any level of business,” Lisa Kaplowitz, a professor of professional practice in finance and the center’s founding director, said. “We are really excited about the prospect of combining the talent of our alumni, faculty and students to remove barriers and empower women to lead in a continuously evolving workforce.”
Marketing professor Kristina Durante will head the center’s research initiatives, examining topics such as how participation in youth sports influences women’s risk-taking and the critical role of male mentors in women’s business success.
“The research will really form the foundational part of the center,” Durante said. “We need the research to build the knowledge that will be the basis of conferences and workshops and will guide best practices in the workplace.”
The center’s efforts will also be guided by a 13-member advisory board composed of alumni and other business professionals.
Adam Feigenbaum, an executive at iCIMS and member of the advisory board, said he and the other board members are excited for the center’s impact to make real change.
“We’re interested and invested in helping the women from Rutgers Business School get better opportunities,” Feigenbaum said. “The idea of fundamentally changing the way employers are thinking about diversity and inclusion in their businesses through research is also very exciting.”
That’s also the goal of Kaplowitz and Durante.
“We are partnering together to use the experience in business to fuel research and professional development in order to create best practices in corporations,” Kaplowitz said. “At the same time, we are bringing all of this, including our alumni’s professional expertise, back to our students to create a broader and deeper pipeline of talent and a continuous feedback loop for all of us.”