Womenomics in Japan: a discussion on women in leadership

Guest post by Mika Shimazu, Foster undergraduate and Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) student

Mika ShimazuOn August 6, I attended a lunch discussion at Perkins Coie on the topic of Womenomics in Japan. This event, launched by the U.S. Japan Council, is part of the new networking series funded by the Embassy of Japan to foster conversations relating to women’s leadership in Japan. As a member of the CISB Japanese Track and a female considering jobs in Japan, I found this topic to be an optimal opportunity to familiarize myself with the current situation.

The main question for discussion was “what is the current situation of women in the business world in Japan, and how can we encourage more women to remain in the workplace?”

Since elected in December 2012, Prime Minister Abe has worked to stimulate the Japanese economy through his economic policy, Abenomics. As a developed country with an aging population and decreasing birth rate, Japan will soon face a shortage of workers. Womenomics is part of Abenomic’s third arrow, structural reform.

Through group discussions we acknowledged that Japan has a skilled, educated population of women in the workplace. However, these women often quit their jobs after having children and many who remain often do not bear children. Although the government is making reforms in policies and increasing facilities to support mothers, we agreed that there was a tremendous cultural barrier to this issue. In Japan, it is the norm for women to be housewives, taking care of the family and chores, while the men work and provide for the family. In addition, there is a norm to “raise your own children,” and hiring babysitters and nannies is often looked down upon. Moreover, in this aging population, women may be in the middle of taking care of their children as well as looking after their elderly family members.

Observing the current situation, we concluded that the cultural barrier will be the significant struggle for Japan. Some suggested to start making cultural changes in smaller and more innovative companies, such as start-ups, IT companies, and non-profits. Others proposed allowing the couples to decide how to distribute their paid leaves between the mother and the father. Although the solution is still unclear, we were able to promote awareness and encourage conversations about the future of women in the Japanese business world.

Chen recognized for career contribution to Chinese management research

Xiaoping photo 2Xiao-Ping Chen, a professor of management and the Philip M. Condit Endowed Chair in Business Administration at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, has received the 2016 Distinguished Scholarly Contribution Award from the International Association for Chinese Management Research (IACMR).

The IACMR is the premier scholarly association dedicated to the creation and dissemination of management knowledge with a focus on China.

“Professor Chen has devoted much of her career to the study of Chinese management and has made significant contributions to the field in theory, methodology and in explaining the workings of Chinese organizations,” says the IACMR in a statement. “She also has made contributions to the progress in Chinese management research and enhanced the visibility of the Chinese management research in the global research community, advanced the field, and blazed a path for future researchers.”

International trailblazer

The Chinese-born Chen is a founding member, long-term associate and past president of the IACMR.

As editor of the influential Chinese/English bilingual magazine Management Insights, she has interviewed the most prominent CEOs and founders of top Chinese companies, among them Jack Ma of Alibaba, Wang Shi of Vanke, Ma Weihua of China Merchant Bank, and Liang Xinjun of Fosun Group.

In addition to more than 50 scholarly publications in English, Chen is the author of eight Chinese books: Managing Across Cultures; Empirical Methods in Organization and Management Research; Solving Social Dilemmas: Psychological Mechanisms of Cooperation Induction; The Art of Balancing Work and Life; In Pursuit of Happiness; Simplifying Renqin; Still Seeing Mountains; and Follow Your Heart.

Cross-cultural excellence

Since joining the Foster faculty in 1999, Chen has been recognized with numerous awards for teaching, research and leadership, including the Andrew Smith Faculty Development Award, the Outstanding University of Washington Woman Award, the Dean’s International Research Award, the Charles E. Summer Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Outstanding PhD Mentor Award.

Chen is editor-in-chief of the premier journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Earlier this year she was named a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Her research explores cross-cultural management, entrepreneurial passion, leadership and creativity, and Chinese guanxi, the personalized networks of influence that are so central to the culture and commerce of her home nation.

Recent publications include findings that:

Chen is one of only nine scholars to be honored with the Distinguished Scholarly Contribution Award in the past 10 years. She will receive the award at the 2016 IACMR conference in her hometown of Hangzhou, China.

Foster School ranks #14 of 100 Best U.S. Colleges for Business Majors

University of Washington’s Foster School of Business ranks best in the Northwest and 14th nationally in NerdWallet’s ranking of the 100 Best U.S. Colleges for Business Majors. Graduates from the Foster School’s undergraduate program had an average annual salary of $97,500 ten years after graduation and carried relatively low student debt thanks to reasonable tuition rates.

Ranked by affordability, prestige, salary, and average debt, the Best U.S. Colleges were rated based on data from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Payscale, SAT scores, and the Institute for College Access and Success.

Best U.S. colleges for business majors

Rank School Public
Average aid package Average student debt Median salary after 10 years or more Score
1 University of California, Berkeley Public 1350 $12,874 $15,764 $17,468 $138,300 83.235
2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Public 1313 $7,693 $12,622 $17,602 $93,000 71.517
3 Brigham Young University Private 1277 $4,710 $6,457 $15,769 $96,700 71.459
4 University of Virginia Public 1362 $12,216 $15,508 $21,815 $106,400 70.596
5 University of California, Irvine Public 1122 $13,122 $16,066 $20,728 $121,000 70.068
6 Georgia Institute of Technology Public 1352 $10,098 $8,510 $25,027 $116,100 69.299
7 City University of New York Bernard M. Baruch College Public 1225 $5,910 $6,607 $5,979 $88,300 68.859
8 University of California, Santa Barbara Public 1212 $13,671 $15,852 $20,452 $102,000 64.584
9 College of William and Mary Public 1358 $13,570 $13,615 $24,400 $100,900 64.408
10 University of California, Los Angeles Public 1289 $12,692 $16,288 $20,229 $92,200 64.401
11 California State University, Sacramento Public 945 $6,620 $8,939 $4,551 $85,700 63.908
12 California State University, Long Beach Public 1012 $6,052 $8,779 $13,386 $87,400 63.223
13 Washington University in St. Louis Private 1474 $43,705 $25,449 $23,082 $129,100 63.215
14 University of Washington Public 1234 $12,383 $13,441 $21,263 $97,500 62.880
15 California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Public 1070 $6,125 $8,932 $20,636 $91,500 62.838
16 University of Pennsylvania Private 1442 $43,738 $32,489 $19,798 $121,700 62.719
17 California State University, Fullerton Public 1021 $6,195 $8,616 $12,962 $86,400 62.661
18 University of California, Davis Public 1192 $13,877 $15,201 $19,970 $98,800 62.509
19 San Jose State University Public 1030 $6,852 $8,622 $18,424 $95,800 62.374
20 University of Texas at Austin Public 1262 $9,790 $8,627 $25,300 $101,300 62.158

Sources: NerdWallet, Payscale, Chronicle of Higher Education, Institute for College Access and Success. For full rankings and methodology, visit http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/refinance-student-loans/best-colleges-for-business-major-2015

For more information about Foster’s undergraduate program, visit http://foster.uw.edu/academics/degree-programs/undergraduate-programs/ 

Share your story with the Consulting & Business Development Center!

This year the Consulting and Business Development Center is celebrating its 20th Anniversary!

save the date online

After two decades of serving the business community in the State of Washington, the Center has given generations of University of Washington Students the opportunity to work with hundreds of businesses, created thousands of jobs and helped generate millions of dollars in revenues. The Center has done all of this by connecting people and allowing them to have a hand in changing one another’s lives.

Now, as we celebrate 20 years of bringing learning that matters to students and creating jobs where they are needed the most, we want to hear your story!

This year leading up to our annual awards banquet we’d like to celebrate and share your stories and the difference you have made in the community through our social media (blog, website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter).  Some of your stories will be featured at the celebration through the printed program, in video production, and even shared onstage!

Share your story with us today! 

Keep an eye on our website for registration information coming soon or email Megan Sevigny at sevigm@uw.edu for more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities!

Pahnke and Beard win UW Distinguished Teaching Award

Leta Beard and Emily Cox Pahnke

Emily Cox Pahnke and Leta Beard, faculty members of the Foster School of Business, have received this year’s University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award.

Only seven educators across the UW system are so honored each year, and it’s the first time the Foster School has had two awardees in the same year.

Emily Cox Pahnke is an assistant professor of management who joined the Foster School in 2010 after earning BS and MBA degrees from Brigham Young University, and an MA in sociology and a PhD in management science and engineering from Stanford University.

The daughter of a globe-trekking ethnobotanist, she grew up around the world before landing in Seattle after her doctoral studies at Stanford—where she received the Industry Study Association’s Best Dissertation Award and was a finalist for the Technology and Innovation Management division of the Academy of Management’s Best Dissertation Award.

An expert in entrepreneurship and innovation, Pahnke has taught Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Grand Challenges for Entrepreneurs to Foster undergraduate students, Entrepreneurial Strategy to MBAs, and Innovation and Organizations to doctoral students.

Pahnke is known for bringing the real world into the classroom with challenging case studies and connected industry speakers. To equip her students to navigate the ambiguity germane to entrepreneurial activities, she also connects them to expert mentors and launches them into the marketplace to learn firsthand the difference between a good idea and a good business idea.

“To do that you have to throw students in,” she says. “Give them really open-ended problems that kind of freak them out.”

The value of this goes way beyond the classroom. “I cannot overstate one thing about what Professor Pahnke provides to her class: inspiration,” says Marcus Van Der Peet (BA 2015). “Not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur, but everyone can enter the work place with a passion for innovation. Professor Pahnke gives her students the confidence to act upon their creative inclinations, she teaches that even when a project is not successful, it is only a failure if you do not learn from it, she gives them the desire to pursue those things that they are passionate about, and she motivates everyone she meets to think like an entrepreneur.”

Leta Beard (BA 1978, MBA 1980) is a senior lecturer in marketing and international business. Though raised in a family of educators, she opted to follow a different path… initially. “I went into business because it was the farthest thing from teaching,” she says, laughing

After earning BA and MBA degrees from the Foster School, Beard worked for 12 years at AT&T before being called back to the family “business” and joining the Foster faculty full-time in 1996.

Today, she teaches core marketing and international business courses to undergraduates, and also helms courses through Foster’s Executive Education and Consulting and Business Development Center, and through UW Professional & Continuing Education.

Students laud her innovative, inclusive approach to learning. Her mix of methods leans heavily on the experiential—class debates, “in the news” discussions, even an elaborate world trade fair.

But what sets Beard apart is her tireless dedication to students—inside and outside of the classroom. She is faculty advisor to Undergraduate Women in Business and the UW chapter of the American Marketing Association. She leads study tours, coaches and mentors case competition teams and counsels students on international study, resume writing, interviewing and anything else they need help with.

“Leta is most deserving of this award because of her passionate involvement in academics and student development,” says Caitlin Snaring (BA 2015). “She is an outstanding mentor and inspiration to everyone she meets.”

These qualities have resulted in a long list of accolades. In recent years, Beard has received the UW American Marketing Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), the Ron Crockett Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2015), the UW IFC/Panhellenic Faculty of the Year Award (2010, 2011, 2014), Faculty Partner of the Year from Foster Career Services (2014), Faculty Advisor of the Year from the UW American Marketing Association (2014), Marketing and International Business Faculty of the Year (2006, 2010, 2013), the Wells Fargo Faculty Award for Undergraduate Teaching (2007, 2010), and the UW Distinguished Contribution to Lifelong Learning Award (2009).

“Teaching is my passion. It’s my love,” Beard says. “When you can help people succeed and find their passion, it’s worth all the effort.”

Pahnke and Beard represent the 11th and 12th Foster School faculty members to receive the UW Distinguished Award since its inception in 1970. Here is the complete list:

1971 – Robert “Rocky” Higgins, Professor of Finance
1974 – David Hart, Professor in Business Administration
1976 – Alan Hess, Professor of Finance and Business Economics
1983 – Gerhard Mueller, Professor of Accounting
1984 – Sharon Gailbraith, Professor of Marketing & International Business
1986 – Nicholas Binedell, Lecturer in Business Administration
1998 – Frank Rothaermel, Lecturer in Business Administration
1999 – June Morita, Senior Lecturer in Management Science
2006 – William Wells, Senior Lecturer in Accounting
2011 – Christina Ting Fong, Principal Lecturer in Management
2015 – Emily Cox Pahnke, Assistant Professor of Management
2015 – Leta Beard, Senior Lecturer in Marketing and International Business

Meet the student-led startups in the 2015 Jones + Foster Accelerator

Taking a startup from idea to reality is a daunting process. The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship’s Jones + Foster Accelerator, now in its fifth year, helps student-led startups navigate that process with six-months of mentoring from Seattle entrepreneurs and investors, a framework for defining measurable milestones, guidance in achieving those milestones, and the opportunity to earn up to $25,000 in follow-on funding.

Twenty-nine companies have completed the Jones + Foster Accelerator program since it began in 2010. Twenty-five of them are still in business today, raising millions in funding, becoming household names, forming partnerships with celebrity foundations, and winning prestigious awards.

The 10 companies accepted into the 2015 Jones + Foster Accelerator cohort run the gamut, from clean technology to healthcare innovation to peer-to-peer commerce. The one thing they all have in common is a great idea, and the drive to turn that idea into a successful venture. Over the next six months, these startups will polish their pitches, raise early-stage funding, manufacture their products, build marketing strategies. Each milestone they hit will bring them a few steps closer to their startup goals. We can’t wait to see what these student entrepreneurs can achieve!

2015 Jones + Foster Accelerator Teams

2015 J+F Accelerator Team Logos





Benchmark Environmental
Benchmark Environmental is developing an affordable, easy to install, and low maintenance stormwater treatment system. The Benchmark ECR will enable more companies and municipalities to effectively treat every pollutant present in stormwater runoff.

Budding Diagnostic
Budding Diagnostic is the road-side “breathalyzer” for THC and other illicit substances. The company has developed a revolutionary and non-invasive way to quantify drug levels, including THC, from a drop of saliva within a few minutes.

Eldergrow provides a therapeutic connection to nature through gardening products and services that improve the quality of life for a growing community of elders living in residential and nursing care.

Hook is a smart home hub that makes inexpensive remote controlled outlets and bulb sockets “smart” to enable home automation on a budget.

The JikoPower personal power station converts waste heat generated during cooking into usable electricity

miPS is the first consumer stem cell generation and cell banking service. miPS allows consumers to store their adult cells to prevent cellular aging, generate stem cell lines for research, and use banked cells for future stem cell therapies.

Ownly is an online marketplace that facilitates peer-to-peer beauty services on college campuses. Ownly offers college women a more affordable and convenient alternative to professional beauty services by connecting them with classmates and student makeup artists right on their college campus, so they can get their nails, eyebrows, hair, and makeup done at a fraction of the salon price and at the location of their choice.

Scholarship Junkies 
“Students helping students achieve scholarship success.” Scholarship Junkies provides students with an insider’s guide to the scholarship process from the perspective of students who’ve been there.

TriboTEX is a clean-tech startup originated from Washington State University. The company’s product is a proprietary, eco-friendly nanoparticle with two functionally different sides that effectively reconditions moving parts during normal operation.

vHAB is a virtual rehabilitation platform that aims to help patients regain fine motor skills of the hand and arm by making therapy fun and precisely tracking recovery.

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Foster School and Evans School Students Gain New Perspectives on Strategic Leadership  

GEstrella pic
Gloris Estrella – MPA ’15

The Board Fellows Program is a unique opportunity for Foster School of Business MBA students and Evans School of Public Policy and Governance MPA students to learn together as they explore the unique leadership role that comes from being a member of a board of directors. MBA and MPA students serve for nine months on a nonprofit board while participating in seminars that teach effective leadership and governance principles. Gloris Estrella – MPA ’15, reflects on her experience as a 2014-15 Board Fellow:

As a second year MPA student at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, the Board Fellows Program offered by the Consulting and Business Development Center at the Foster School of Business proved to be invaluable to my development and career. The chance to sit on a nonprofit board seemed unreachable to me as a young professional, but the Board Fellows Program brought the opportunity within my grasp. I thoroughly enjoyed learning from and participating with the board I was selected to be part of, and was able to put classroom materials into play in a local organization whose mission I felt strongly about.  It was also a fantastic opportunity to work with Foster School graduate students to make cross-sector connections in order to engage in addressing social issues in the Seattle area. 

One of my favorite memories of the program was the day we had two guest speakers: one from the public and the other from the private sector.  Their personal insight about their experiences on boards allowed me to better understand how to make a stronger impact on the board I was participating in.  It encouraged me to step up and voice my opinions and offer more of my skills on the board.  As a result, I was able to join the strategic plan subcommittee and provide a lasting impact on the future of the organization.  Because of my active and positive participation, the Board Chair and Executive Director asked me to join the board as voting member following my allotted time as a Board Fellow.  That opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without the Consulting and Business Development Center and the Board Fellows Program.

Foster MBAs tapped for high-demand jobs in consumer products, technology

The Foster School is one of the nation’s top two producers of MBA graduates working in consumer products according to U.S. News & World Report data analyzed by Poets and Quants.

Eighteen percent of Foster graduates secured consumer products positions in 2014, higher than any other school except the Kelley School. And more than 40 percent of Foster graduates landed jobs in the fast-growing technology industry, where Foster and Berkeley were the top two schools for placement. More than 20 percent of Foster MBA graduates also secured positions in the high-demand consulting sector.

The Foster School ranks third of the top 25 schools in the U.S. for job placement, with more than 95% of MBAs employed within three months of graduation. Graduates earned an average compensation of $129,828 across all industries and carried very low debt, earning Foster recognition by U.S. News as the Best Bang for the Buck.

International student uses Foster MBA to test career paths

As a kid growing up in Mexico City, Pedro Del Castillo was fascinated by machines.

“I became interested in how things work and how you can make them work better,” he says. “I guess that’s what drew me to mechanical engineering. It was about looking at things and their touch and feel, putting them together, taking them apart, and putting them together again.”

This fascination with the way things work has never left him.

When he grew up, he studied mechanical engineering at Universidad Iberoamericana and went to work for GE Aviation after graduation. Later he moved back to Mexico City, worked for Chrysler and earned a master’s degree from Georgia Tech via distance learning.

Throughout his career, he had gained satisfaction through solving problems. But he began to feel that the problems were too technical, and were taking him deeper and deeper into a specialized niche.

“I started feeling like I was a cog in this huge corporate machinery,” he says. “I really wanted to take a step back, get a wider perspective. With that in mind, I started thinking about going back to school and earning a master’s in business.”

His search led him to the U.S., where many of the world’s top universities are located.

“I wanted a to be in a place that could offer a lot of different options, from very large companies that work in technology to big manufacturing companies like Boeing,” he recalls.

The Foster Full-time MBA Program’s small size, international focus, and diversity of industry contacts drew him to Seattle.

“I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do afterwards, so it was really important for me to have so many options, so many different industries,” he says.

Seattle’s natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities also attracted him, as did Foster’s reputation for environmental stewardship. He joined the school’s nationally-recognized chapter of Net Impact, an organization that supports social and environmental change through business, and took on a role coordinating “greening” activities with other groups across the UW campus.

As he acquired business knowledge in the classroom, he tapped Foster’s extensive network of business contacts to explore his options for a new career path. A project for Puget Sound Energy, helping the utility explore the possibility of selling solar power, let him pursue a longstanding interest in sustainable energy, but also led him to conclude that the industry was too slow-moving for him. An internship with Planetary Power gave him exposure to the startup environment, but he decided he needed more structure at this point in his career.

Eventually, management consulting began to look like a good match for his strengths. Working with MBA Career Management, he actively pursued opportunities in the industry, and ultimately landed a job with Alvarez & Marsal, a global professional services firm.

He’s still fascinated about the way things work, and how he can make them work better. Only now, he’ll be working on businesses rather than machines.

Gerhard Mueller honored by Institute of Management Accountants

muellerThe Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has given its 2015 Distinguished Advocate Award to Gerhard Mueller, an emeritus professor of accounting at the University of Washington Foster School of Business.

Mueller joined the Foster faculty in 1960 and was instrumental to the growth and development of the school’s Department of Accounting. As noted in the IMA award, he is recognized as the “father of international accounting education.”

Mueller is the author, co-author or co-editor of 19 books and more than 100 journal articles and reviews. He won distinguished teaching awards from the American Accounting Association (1982), the University of Washington (1983), the Washington Society of CPAs (1985), Beta Alpha Psi (1987), and the American Institute of CPAs (2000). In 1986, he won the Wildman Medal from the American Accounting Association and Deloitte Foundation for his leading edge research and innovative teaching methods.

At Foster, Mueller served stints as acting dean, senior associate dean, executive director of the school’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), chair of the Department of Accounting, and director of the Master of Professional Accounting Program.

During his Foster career, he was named the Hughes M. Blake Professor of International Business Management and the Julius A. Roller Professor in Accounting. He has been immortalized in the school’s Gerhard G. Mueller Endowed Professorship in Accounting, currently held by Professor Dawn Matsumoto.

After retiring from the Foster School, he served as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) from 1996-2001.

Mueller’s advocacy on behalf of the Institute of Management Accountants began with the 1971 publication of his book A New Introduction to Accounting and continued with his involvement in the Accounting Education Change Commission in 1989 and his support of the IMA’s Consortium for Accounting Education Improvement, which produced the 1995 and 1999 Practice Analysis of Management Accounting.

The Institute of Management Accountants is one of the largest associations focused on advancing the management accounting profession. It has more than 75,000 members in 120 countries and 300 professional and student chapters.

The Distinguished Advocate Award was presented June 23 at the IMA’s 96th Conference and Expo in Los Angeles.

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