May 19, 2020

Can Canada learn from Australia's free MBA programs for women?

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3 min
Can Canada learn from Australia's free MBA programs for women?

Recently reported by the Globe and Mail, it would appear that some business schools in Australia are offering no-cost or low-cost MBAs to various women who are eligible. This is the country’s attempt to get more women involved in business programs and, eventually, executive level positions.

Due to Australia’s motives, the question of whether or not Canadian business schools should follow suit has been asked. One person in particular, Christina Paylan, an MBA student at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business in Montreal and former president of the school’s Women in Business Club has said, “I think so,” regarding the matter.

RELATED TOPIC: The value of an MBA

“It would be more appealing and get more women interested in doing their MBA because the return on the investment is often not the same for women,” she further explained.

But should Canada really travel down this rabbit hole? This new idea doesn’t quite seem fair to the men who have paid for their MBAs or even the females who have already paid and earned their degrees. Furthermore, if business is still a “man’s world,” then what are these men going to think when they discover women are getting their education for free.

In short, will this new model really help to promote equality in the business world?

It’s common knowledge—for the most part—that female executives are usually paid a lower salary than male ones, despite having the same degree and education.

Specifically, Bloomberg Businessweek surveyed around 10,000 business students and discovered that women graduating business school this year would receive an average of $14,548 less than men. This fact clearly impacts whether or not women choose to enter an MBA program—why should they acquire more debt for less money than they’re worth?

RELATED TOPIC: The MBA dilemma—Business schools in Canada are suffering

While this is 100 per cent unfair—salary should be based on education, skill and merit instead of gender—how can giving away education to one sex over the other help reduce stereotypes or gender issues?

Sure, women may be more inclined to enter MBA programs if these programs are available for free or at a lower cost, but when they enter the work force they will still most likely be earning less than men with the same level of education and skill set—meaning the real problem isn’t getting solved.

RELATED TOPIC: Top 10 Canadian businesses schools

Furthermore, these women are probably only setting themselves up to receive further setbacks for taking a free education—an option not available to men.

Yes, there’s a problem with the system; men shouldn’t make more money than women just for being men. However, giving women more scholarship opportunities and free education will only cause a greater divide amongst men and women.

There has to be a solution here, but Australia’s doesn’t seem quite right. Therefore, Canada should think twice before taking the same approach and giving away education to just women.  

For the latest news regarding business in Australia, make sure you visit our sister brand Business Review Australia.

RECENT TOPIC: How Canadian companies can avoid being ripped off

[Source: The Globe and Mail]

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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