Business schools across the country have struggled to attract female students. Here at the David Eccles School of Business we align with national trend as just over 34% of women fill our classes.
For the past decade, much research has been done on this subject and how to further bridge the gender gap. It seems that, to a large extent, it was a self-fulfilling cycle and according to some female graduates, business has always been viewed as a man’s world.
Recently, I had a chance to speak with Jill Taylor, businesswoman and President of KeyBank in Utah. In her role as President of KeyBank, Taylor knows what it’s like to be the only woman in the boardroom. As a member the Utah Bankers Association, Taylor remains one of the few women among the association. Yet, she doesn’t see that as a detriment knowing that she brings a unique perspective and has a track record to prove her success.
My most pressing question, knowing how difficult it is for women to succeed in business, was how does a communication major become the president of a bank? Taylor, like many of us, says she had a vision of what she wanted to do with her life. She spent time at local television stations after graduation until she and her husband decided to start a family. When she made the choice to come back to the workforce, she wanted to explore positions that would allow her more reliable hours to balance time with her family. It was her previous work as a part-time bank teller that led her into the world of finance.
She went back to work and took an entry-level position at a local bank, but she soon found herself applying for an administrative position. Taylor says, “Banking is not just about the numbers, but about people and how you connect with them whether educating on policy and regulation changes, or motivating them to take action.” Taylor’s willingness to fully engage in every position has been one of the driving factors in her ability to