Business School’s New Dean is a Step Toward Gender Equality in Business

Business students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will return to a new face in Grainger Hall this fall. Anne P. Massey, an esteemed professor at Indiana University Bloomington, has been selected as the new dean of the Wisconsin School of Business (WSB). Prior to her achievements in academia, she worked at IBM and General Electric. Massey will replace the current dean, François Ortalo-Magné, who has accepted a position as dean of the London School of Business.  

Massey will be the first female dean of the school since before the university’s commerce program, which was established in 1900, transformed into the Wisconsin School of Business— a school of its own within the university— in 1944. Nonetheless, gender inequality perhaps continue to permeate the business world, even beyond WSB. Whereas female students make up 43 percent of the undergraduate enrollment of the WSB, in the full-time MBA program, from many of whom serve as teaching assistant staff for undergraduate classes, the figure drops to 32 percent.  

The announcement was well received by students who believe the business world is still striving for gender equality.

“Being a woman in the business environment has allowed me to learn a lot of things about myself. I think the female perspective is very impactful but often ignored in business, and this will be an exciting first step in getting that voice heard and encouraging women to speak up in their business and leadership roles” Katelyn Linton, a marketing and entrepreneurship student at the Wisconsin School of Business, said.

Both historically and stereotypically, investment banking, commercial real estate, and other high-powered business spheres have been testosterone-fueled sectors. Inequality in pay and in promotion to management positions are issues that women in these industries face frequently. Even inside Grainger Hall, nearly every wing or department is named after a notable male alumnus or donor.

Massey said she hopes to attract more women to UW’s nationally ranked business program. She looks forward to working with and inspiring young women the way her mentors did for her during her time as a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her professional achievements in academia and experience in the corporate world make her an excellent leader of the Wisconsin School of Business for female and male students alike.