Sloan Women In Management

Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) works to increase opportunities for all women at MIT Sloan through networking events, speaker series, professional development workshops, mentorship programs, and community-building events. In addition to its year-long programming, SWIM hosts an annual conference where students can dialogue with today's leading women. The organization’s primary goals are to:

  • Create an inviting and supportive community for all Sloan women and individuals who identify as women;
  • Advance the careers of current MIT Sloan women through relevant programming and connections with MIT and MIT Sloan alumni;
  • Work with faculty, administrators, and the greater business community to increase opportunities for women in business; and
  • Attract top-talent female students to MIT Sloan.
Feb 29, 2012

SWIM AdMIT Breakfast

During AdMIT weekend, SWIM hosted a breakfast to welcome the admitted students, and hopefully future SWIM members! The breakfast provided a great opportunity for the newly admitted students to meet their future classmates and connect with current first- and second-year SWIM members.

Attendees were greeted with opening remarks from the SWIM Vice Presidents of Admissions and learned more about the organization from our Co-Presidents. We were fortunate to have Deputy Dean Yates and Jackie Wilbur, the Executive Director of Master’s Degree Programs at MIT Sloan, address the group and share their thoughts on SWIM and the Sloan community. The admitted women also got a glimpse into what SWIM is all about through a slideshow of great photos from the C-Function, SWIM Community Breakfasts, and the recent SWIM Conference.

We would like to thank all of the SWIM volunteers for sharing their enthusiasm and energy (even at an early hour on a Friday morning!), and are thrilled that we were able to begin such great conversations with the admitted students. We are excited to have had the chance to personally meet and welcome the members of the class of 2014 and look forward to them being active members of the SWIM community!

By Lauren Ankeles and Lindsay Wilber
MBA Candidates, MIT Sloan School of Management

Feb 27, 2012

Reflection on SWIM Conference

The MIT Sloan Women in Management Conference was a complete success; I wanted to congratulate you again because it was really interesting and so appealing for all of us, I wish more male members would have attended though; it is an experience worth to share with everyone. Continue reading

Feb 21, 2012

Why Don’t More Women Go Big With Their Businesses

With few female entrepreneurs to look to, MIT Sloan hosted a panel on how women can go big with their own businesses. The panel included Joanna Rees (Founder of VSP Capital),Katrina Markoff (Founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat), Alexandra Wilkis Wilson (Founder ofGilt Groupe), and was moderated by Fredricka Whitfield (Anchor, CNN).


Joanna thinks that fear and giving up after set-backs gets in women’s way. Some women quit after their first major failure instead of taking it as a learning lesson and pushing forward. Joanna got rejected by hundreds of investors in the process of starting VSP Capital. Her tips for negotiation meetings was to “ask for the order” and make sure you know where you stand before you leave. Alexandra emphasized listening to all the negative feedback you get while pitching. You may learn that there is a hole in your business plan or way you could explain something better. The road to success is not smooth. Continue reading

Feb 16, 2012

Who is Keeping Women From the Boardroom?

MIT Sloan’s Women in Management Conference held a panel around the fact that only 16% of Fortune 500 board seats are filled by women. Speakers included Lisa Carnoy (Global Co-head of Capital Markets for Bank of America and mother of four kids), Jean Hammond (Golden Seeds Co-Founder & Venture Capitalist), and Jennifer Siebel Newsom (Director of Miss Representation and mother of two kids). The Spotlight was moderated by FOX Business News Anchor Liz Claman.

How do we get more women to serve on boards?

If you own stock, Jean suggests voting your proxy and refusing to re-elect all male boards. (The California State Teachers’ Retirement System recently expressed their concern with Facebook for choosing an all male board.) The panel was asked if we should set quotas like the Netherlands has? Lisa says that we should encourage company leaders to publicly set their own goals for board diversity. She also recommends that we change how we look for board members. Many board members are chosen through personal networks or search committees. Continue reading

Feb 15, 2012

Marissa Mayer on Creativity on Constraints

Marissa Mayer (VP of Google Local/Maps/Localization) spoke at the MIT Sloan’s Women in Management Conference last Friday. Known for being the first female engineer hired by Google in 1999, she spoke about how challenges at Google has shaped the advice she gives to others.

Passion is a Gender Neutralizing Force

Marissa says at Google she wasn’t treated like a women. She is just a Geek at Google and “Google is a great place to be a Geek.” What passion can bring together your team in a way that overshadows their differences? Continue reading

Feb 14, 2012


This past Friday was the Sloan Women in Management Conference (SWIM) and it was a true success. Before I jump into inspiration, I will tell you that I knew we were off to a good start when I saw “Bakers Best Catering” stickers on everything because it meant the food would be delicious. I will share some highlights and inspiration I felt here. I could truly write a whole blog about each of the individual women that spoke, but for the sake of space, I highlighted a few. I encourage you to read the below and respond to some questions I have posed as well as to check out the hyperlinks to learn more… Continue reading

Feb 12, 2012

How You Become a Female Fortune 500 CEO

Laura Sen, President and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club spoke at the MIT Sloan’s Women in Management Conference, about her tips for reaching the top of the corporate ladder as one of only twelve female Fortune 500 CEOs in 2011.

Performance is Proof

The result of your work must have a tangible measurable benefit that you can point to and take credit for. In her experience, when you succeed and put up the numbers your gender will be overshadowed by your results. This will also make you a more obvious candidate for promotion. Continue reading

Feb 9, 2012

Innovating Through Adversity: The 2012 MIT Sloan Women in Management Conference

We make up 3% of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Our start-ups secure only 9% of venture capital funding. And we still earn, on average, 76 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same job. Overwhelmingly, women are not rising to the top.

The theme of the 2012 MIT Sloan Women in Management Conference is “innovating through adversity.” In addition to celebrating the successes of women, the conference will pose hard-hitting questions about the systemic gender inequalities that still exist in business today. Whose problem is this to fix? Are these inequalities are own fault? Continue reading

Feb 8, 2012

Reflection on Miss Representation Screening

Tonight I and 250 MIT Sloan students and members of the local community watched a screening of Miss Representation at MIT Sloan. The showing had great representation from across MIT Sloan (women and men), as well as professionals and the broader MIT community.

The film explores how the misrepresentation of women in media hinders women from obtaining roles of power and influence in our society. What a great way to kick off the SWIM conference and the spring semester! Continue reading

Feb 6, 2012

Spotlight on Karen Welt Steeves, Bain & Company

 Karen Welt Steeves is the manager of Bain’s Global Women’s Leadership Council. She leads the Women at Bain program, implementing initiatives and providing thought-leadership to enhance the career progression and success of women across Bain’s global offices.  Karen’s efforts involve the coordination of large cross-functional teams and impact recruiting, training, and employee engagement programs.  She plays an active role in developing flexible opportunities, sponsorships, and communication channels.

Prior to Bain, Karen was a Senior Program Director at the Fidelity Foundation, where she managed a multi-million dollar grant portfolio in the arts & culture, education and health sectors.  At the Foundation, Karen developed sustainability plans and provided strategic guidance to major national and regional non-profit organizations.  Karen also served as a Director with the Fidelity Consulting Group where she advised business unit leaders on marketing strategies, international business expansion and forming academic research partnerships.  Karen started her career with Bain as an Associate Consultant in the Boston and Sydney, Australia offices.

Karen holds an AB cum laude in political economy from Princeton University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, where she was an F.C. Austin Scholar.

Karen lives in Boston’s South End and enjoys cooking, yoga, and spending time with her husband and son.

Continue reading