Business seminar to show how to succeed in a skirt
Women at Concordia University Chicago are invited to a seminar on "How to Climb the Ladder of Success in a Skirt" May 12 at the university in River Forest. | Photo courtesy of Concordia University Chicago
Success in a Skirt details
What: “How to Climb the Ladder of Success in a Skirt”
When: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12
Where: Krentz Hall, Room 120, on the Concordia University Chicago campus, 7400 Augusta St., in River Forest.
Fee: $15 registration fee (free for Concordia students and IFWBC members)
Reservations: 312-696-2034 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated: May 8, 2012 9:52AM
For all women’s strides to be equal partners in business, the balance still tips toward suits, not skirts.
A leading educator of business professionals, George Vukotich, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Business at Concordia University Chicago, still sees the need to offer women students an extra boost.
Vukotich is fostering a series of career development and networking opportunities at Concordia for women, the latest of which will be a half-day seminar on Saturday, May 12, “How to Climb the Ladder of Success in a Skirt.”
“You still see the ‘Good Old Boys’ network. Maybe one day we’ll also have a ‘Good Old Girls’ network but it’s not there yet. Sometimes women just give up because they feel don’t fit in,” he said.
Vukotich, who joined Concordia’s faculty in 2011, is well-versed in shaping organizational culture and developing leaders for the current business climate. With a doctorate in training and organizational development from Loyola University and an MBA in finance from DePaul University, he has worked in industries including manufacturing, finance and health care.
“I’ve worked in corporate America. If you look at the marketplace you see some of the inequalities in terms of pay,” he said, also noting that he’s seen discrimination first-hand when accompanying his wife, a dentist, to professional conferences.
“We will meet someone, like a salesman, who will look me right in the eye and address me as the professional,” he said. “I’ll say, ‘Sounds great but I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the dentist who’s standing next to me.’”
Vukotich helped launch Concordia’s series of women’s career development events when he encouraged a member of his faculty to challenge grant writing students to choose a topic and develop a real grant proposal. The students chose women in leadership and, in less than a year, successfully won a $5,000 grant from the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, Vukotich said.
Instead of investing their funds in one event, as originally envisioned, the students decided to support a number of different efforts. When Vukotich participated in a career development event sponsored by the Illinois Federation of Women’s Business Clubs/Downtown Chicago, interest arose in a joint IFWBC-Concordia College of Business program.
On May 12, in addition to educational workshops, networking will be an important aspect of participants’ experience.
“You need to get a good educational foundation but you can get that at any number of places,” Vukotich said. “What really matters is opportunities to get students involved with professionals and business organizations.”
Concordia is exploring the possibility of a Latina-centered career development event down the road, as well as applying for additional grants to cover more such specialized programs.
“Given the Oak Park-River Forest area,” said Vukotich, a River Forest resident, “women in leadership is an important issue with a lot of visibility. It’s great to see the community and professional women get together with the students. It’s building that community. That’s what’s really important.”