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Women and the Executive MBA- Patricia Marciada

Women and the Executive MBA- Patricia Marciada  main image

Sharing her views on women in the MBA world here is Patricia Marcaida, Director of the International Unit, Executive Education Department, ESADE.

Patricia Marcaida is the Director of the International Unit within ESADE’s Executive Education Department and spearheads the department’s continued efforts towards international growth and expansion. Patricia leads the department’s multi-million euro Leadership Development Programs with multinational clients spanning several continents. She is also in charge of ESADE’s Global Executive MBA program in partnership with Georgetown University and ESADE Executive Education’s General Management Programs.

Having completed an Executive MBA yourself, what advice would you give to women wishing to do an EMBA?

The advice I would give is first of all not to be discouraged in their plans to look into the Executive MBA. From personal experience, it's been really worth it, but they also have to be very clear on exactly where they are right now in their career and their personal life and where they want to be, not so much in the long run, but even in the short run.

If they are very clear that they want to move ahead or get promoted or if they want something more than what they have right now, that is what will hopefully guide them and help them to look into the right programs, depending on their needs. So be very clear on where they are and where they want to be.

Many women who are in a position to pursue an Executive MBA probably also have a family and obviously have a career. How would you encourage women to get buy-in both from their family and their company?

It goes back again to my comment earlier about being focused and clear in what you want because then when you start to search for the programs that you feel would meet your needs, you should be very clear on not only the content but the time commitment that it will require of you. That is what you could then pass on to your family and your employer in terms of how this will not negatively affect the time you spend with them and your work time.

Once you know exactly what time commitments a program will command of you, that could then help better prepare you and also your family and employer in planning your time off and your time invested into the program.

What would you say to those women who are hesitant to apply because of all the juggling they will have to face?

I want to be very clear that it is going to be very tough. It's not easy and that the buy-in, obviously of the employer, but more so of the family, is really key. Women tend to demand more of ourselves. We're the hardest on ourselves. Women need to be very clear that at least the family support is there to help take off some of the responsibilities while we're actually studying. Find the right program for you, try to find the best fit, if you will, in terms of what your family demands are and your work demands and how the program is set up and scheduled to make sure that itactually helps you and doesn't really go against your plans.

How are you concretely trying to increase the number of women in your Executive MBA program?

That's a very good question because there are a lot of factors that need to be given consideration when they're looking to invest in an EMBA program. We certainly start with the program design, and this applies to both men and women. It certainly is modular. It should minimize the time away from work and away from home, as much as possible. Yet, to make sure that they don't lose out on content, it needs to give them enough possibility to work and to go more in-depth between the modules.

We try to encourage women by partnering them with women who have been through an Executive MBA program so that they can get first-hand experience and input into how it really was juggling all of these three (family, work and study) and also to give them specific advice or just to encourage them and give them moral support to go ahead and pursue an Executive MBA program.A lot of women in our experience are also hesitant to pursue an Executive MBA program (or any MBA program for that matter) because of the quantitative classes. They feel a little intimidated by the quantitative courses and in our courses we've built in sort of a prep series that will help them to get into statistics and basic accounting before the program actually even starts. This helps them to get familiar or refresh before the program kicks in to help take away that concern.

In terms of financing, we do offer a limited scholarship to very talented women. That does help and go towards their tuition costs.

How do you see the demand for women with Executive MBAs evolving in the coming years?

I think it is actually going to increase because, as we see right now, just from my personal experience with friends and companies I'm in contact with in western Europe, there is recognition that they need more qualified women. Companies are also becoming more and more sensitive to the talents that women tend to bring onto the Executive level.

Written by QS Blogger

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