HEC Paris Social and Sustainable Business Conference 2010

9 05 2010

The 2010 HEC Net Impact Social and Sustainable Business Conference will be held on the campus of HEC Paris in Jouy-en-Josas on May 28-29. The conference will include two days of keynote speeches and engaging panels with expert speakers and practitioners from around the globe. Informations : http://hec-ssbc.org/


HEC on the beach!

4 05 2010

The road before the journey

4 05 2010

Time has been flying past me.. It was six months ago that I had got an admit from HEC and I am all set to land in campus with the visa formalities next month. I have been interacting with many folks from my batch and some of them are done with the visa as well. And for me, the stuff that is taking up all my time is my struggle in the French classes! There as well, we have an amazing teacher who makes learning French real fun and I have caught up with the stuff!

Every flight begins from the ground level. The road before our HEC journey is the runway that is helping us gain take off speed. 🙂

Film presenting HEC Paris

4 03 2010


HEC: Women-management-leadership

28 01 2010

As early as 2008, HEC had announced its partnership with Goldman Sachs in its 10000 women intiative. For those who do not know, quoting the HEC official website:

“The 10,000 Women program supports partnerships with universities and development organizations to provide a generation of women in under-served areas around the world with a business and management education. This initiative is grounded in the belief that expanding the entrepreneurial talent and managerial pool in these economies especially among women is one of the most important, yet too often neglected, means of increasing economic opportunity.”

Now, there are a lot of things that can be discussed on this topic. I am going to touch upon a few and let my friends put their thoughts on this.

If you look at women in formal management, they have been there since quite some time – for HEC, the first women candidates were admitted in 1973 when 27 women were in the school (Source). HEC jeunes filles (HECJF) alumni include, for example, Édith Cresson, the first and to date the only woman to have held the office of Prime Minister of France.

In many societies, women have the control of household finance, and day-to-day management. However, it had not got reflected outside the home. Coming into formal management meant a big leap not just for the women, but also a big shift in the thinking of men around them who accepted them into mainstream leadership. (Else, you had to be a ‘Queen’ in order to lead people!). The world wars had initiated the leadership of women in the healthcare and hospitality sector. Although always dominated by men (are they scared!?) women inched ahead in leading.

As of today, women make 46% of the global workforce. The number is close to, though less, than 50%. In the US, the number of working women is more than working men but – only 16% are in managerial and only 4% are in top-leadership positions. (Numbers taken from Internet Search results – may have got updated since last change.)

Why it is important for women to be in a management school is more than just the diversity part of the reasons. They bring in a new look into the campus, a new insight into the cases being studied and a new culture of acceptance and acceleration in management. At times, the word ‘new’ as used in the previous statement can be synonymous with ‘different’, and it varies from person to person whether it is a positive change or a negative change. But the fact is that the change is better than having no women in the b-school or worse – showing that we support women candidates but taking in very few in the actual class (yes, some schools and companies do this kind of managerial hypocrisy).

Apart from window-dressing kind of reasons mentioned above, there has been an acceptance of actual ‘value addition‘ to the curriculum, school and management in the real world out of the campus.

There have been quite a number of economies that have been re-energized by entrepreneurial activity – and most of the very successful ones (in the midst of zero probability of survival) have been led by groups of women!

Have a look at this book (click on the pic on the right). Focusing on entrepreneurship, it does make sense on the way women have brought positive change:

The 10000 women programme was initiated in March 2008 by Goldman Sachs, which is donating US$100 million (or $1,000 each to 10,000 women) over five years. The money will help improve the entrepreneurial skills of working women in 16 countries by giving them access to a world-class business and management education.

The programmes are intended to help open doors for women whose financial and practical circumstances would normally prevent them from receiving a traditional business education.

Indra Nooyi (Click on the pic), says: If there is a glass ceiling, remember it is made of glass and it can be easily broken. All you have to do is try.

How do we objectively present the value addition of women in management, and particularly – leadership? I would like the readers to comment on this.

Have a look at these links:

How remarkable women lead- The breakthrough model for Work and Life
HEC has been a driving force behind the feminisation of management, with women constituting more than one-third of every cohort since the 1980s. One sign of the School’s special focus on this area was its 2001 creation of HEC WOMEN’S Commission. Click here.

Whatever be the views that you gather from numerous studies and the links above, I personally feel that there should be more involvement of women in management and leadership roles.
There are positive effects as well as negative effects, but ask me about ‘educating women in formal management’ – that’s a huge YES!
Would love to hear your comments!

Internetworking Shows A New Year, A New Ranking – Financial Times Global #18

25 01 2010

Now that we are out of the Stone Age, information reaches us in lightning speed. I analogize this speedy transfer of cyber data to the process of Apparating. For those of you who don’t know what that is, well you need to go to your nearest Harry Potter book. (It’s like teleporting.)

Growing up in the Silicon Valley, I saw and felt the rise of Apple, Intel, and Google, among a few. I also witnessed the demise of Lycos, Excite, and other internet startups that clearly didn’t make an impression on me. Then along came LinkedIn. And Facebook. These two little startups in Mountain View and Palo Alto, respectively, have turned “networking” into real bonds. Covalent ones. A simple compilation of professionals and their past and present colleagues, LinkedIn fares well because it has only one aim: to connect working people. All the other benefits that come from making that connection (like a new job) are added bonuses. Facebook is slightly different. Its mission is global domination (cue eerie music.) No really, Facebook’s purpose is identical, except in fewer words: to connect people. Both are currently fulfilling their end-goals as effective, user-friendly, social-networking platforms. If I may coin a new term, they are great for “internetworking”.

So this morning I went through my perfunctory routine of checking all my emails, my LinkedIn account, and my Facebook. We Silicon Valley-ites are addicted to the internet. Anyway, while scrolling through the discussion of my September intake, I noticed that one of my future classmates had posted a link to the new Global MBA rankings of 2010 according to the Financial Times. This new year, my new school has a new ranking of #18 in the world. Not bad. I think that’s rather exciting news. Then, minutes after reading the rankings list, I went on to Facebook to see if the discussion continued in our forum there. The first thing I noticed in my News Feed was a post by a long-lost friend in Hong Kong. “Currently #9 in Global FT. Guess I’m making a good investment” it said. Incredible. In this Technology Age, the internet is truly fast-tracking our receipt of all information.

It’s my firm belief that technology is here to help us. Yes, this was my stance in my response to a previous GMAT essay prompt. If we don’t abuse its boundaries and use it with cautioned respect, technology will make us a more efficient and pleasant people. Cavemen were always grunting and unhappy because they didn’t have computers and internet. It wasn’t about the food. Although HEC has moved up from its ranking in 2009, I think it can keep moving. In recent years, the MBA program launched an innovative initiative with Apple to provide iPods to students so that lecture podcasts could be saved and listened to at a later time. This is an example of harnessing the power of technology to do good. With the school positioned as a leading business teaching institution in Europe, cultivating and maintaining a strong alliance with the technology sector may be just the thing to propel it even higher.

As students, we should contribute to the improvement of our program with our minds, our words, and our ability to grasp new technology concepts faster. You know you can use that iPhone better than your dad. I sure can :). This collaborative blog is one step forward in the right direction. Now let’s use it to move mountains.

Looking forward to checking my Facebook tomorrow.

For internetworking.


*A secret tidbit about me: I am one of Facebook’s original members (when invitation emails were first sent to a handful of colleges.)

A bird’s-eye view of HEC Paris

22 01 2010

Folks, a video by HEC: