Agnes Irwin’s first-ever Business 101 conference on October 25 kicked off with Economics teacher Jennifer Hahn sharing a few key facts: Only 24 out of 2018’s Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs — less than 5%. And what’s more, that number is down 25 percent from last year, when a record-breaking 32 female CEOs were at the helm of the United States’ largest companies. And even then, that number represented a mere 6.4%.
“In today’s business world, women are underrepresented — and we want to change that statistic,” Hahn said.
Created in partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Girls and Villanova School of Business, Agnes Irwin’s Business 101 conference brought four Villanova professors to campus to lead Hahn’s Economics students (and a few Computer Science students) in a morning of breakout sessions to advance concepts the girls learned in class and explore what a future in business and economics might look like. The sessions included:
- Marketing, led by Dr. Julie Pirsch, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning and Assistant Professor of Marketing and Business Law
- Business Management, led by Dr. Narda Quigley, Chair of Management and Operations and Professor of Management
- Finance, led by Dr. Meg Luo, Associate Professor of Finance
- Supply Chain Management, led by Dr. Kathleen Iacocca, Assistant Professor of Management and Operations
In college-style workshops, students learned from real-life examples, analyzed case studies, and worked through scenarios with professors, who also shared their personal experiences with the world of business and advice for those considering a related major in college.
In the second half of the school year, Economics students will create and run their own real-life business: developing a concept, setting up a supply chain, choosing a price point, finding investors, and marketing and selling their products — putting the skills they learned in class and at the Business 101 conference to the test.