Women’s Groups Growing Within BYU Management Society

Women may still be a minority in the business world, but they are a growing presence in the Brigham Young University Management Society, the premier organization for business professionals dedicated to ethical leadership. Chapters around the nation are forming women's groups to hold special events and activities just for them.

"Having a women's organization allows us to address issues that are specific to us because sometimes we see things from a different perspective," says Maria Pribyl, president of Silicon Valley Women.

From stay-at-home moms looking to start a home-based business to jet-setting executives, women at all career stages are benefiting from their involvement in Management Society groups. Members have had the opportunity to expand their skills, network and serve.

"We surveyed the women in our chapter to find their interests and needs," says Jennifer Armitstead, vice president of special events and head of the women's organization in the Salt Lake City Chapter.

Armitstead says the Salt Lake City group was born when women expressed their desire to get together and talk about challenges they face. In fall 2010 the group held its first event: a collaboration with a local news station to bring 4,000 books to an at-risk elementary school in downtown Salt Lake City. Management Society women ate lunch with children in the cafeteria before reading their favorite children's books to classes of eager students.

Events at other chapters have focused on spirituality and professional development. The Dallas Chapter held a panel fireside entitled "Women of Faith in Business," and the Portland, Oregon, Chapter holds regular brown bag lunches on topics tailored to women. The Silicon Valley Chapter's group has held a professional fashion show, a speed networking event and a multi-part communications skills workshop.

"This group empowers women and gives them the skills they need to better themselves, not only in a career but also in life," Pribyl says.

Armitstead believes the women's group improves the connections made through the Management Society. "As those relationships get deeper, I'll be more comfortable calling on those people when I need help. That's what networking is all about."

With more than 100 chapters in nearly 25 countries, the BYU Management Society is a unique, global organization dedicated to growing moral and ethical leadership throughout the world. Founded in 1977 by former Marriott School dean Merrill J. Bateman, the organization brings its members together to interact, attend seminars, network and fund scholarships.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Michelle Treasure