Alison Davis-Blake didn't move from Minnesota to Michigan for the warmer climes. She moved here to become part of a small but growing elite: Women deans of university business schools. Stepping into the top slot at U-M's Ross School of Business, she makes history for the second time (the first was when she became the dean of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.
"Women deans are becoming an increasingly common sight on business school campuses, as I wrote about two years ago in an article on the topic. Of the 668 deans at AACSB-member schools in the U.S. in 2009, nearly 17 percent were women. At the time, I interviewed Davis-Blake about some of the unique challenges women deans face. Here's an excerpt from my conversation with her:
"I don't worry about people actually saying to my face: 'I won't deal with you because you are a woman,' that has never indeed happened," Davis-Blake said. "But there is always that moment, when people say, 'Oh, this person is different from the past five people I've dealt with. I wonder what this will be like.'"
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