Vancouver business leaders and UBC MBA candidates from the Robert H. Lee Graduate School came together at the school’s annual Leaders Reception on March 31, 2015.

Hosted by the Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre at Sauder, the reception is an opportunity for MBA candidates to get to know prospective employers as they seek out summer internships.

This year’s keynote speaker was Jennifer Berdahl, Montalbano Professor of Leadership Studies: Gender and Diversity at Sauder.

For more than 20 years Berdahl has studied gender and diversity in organizations in order to identify and tackle persistent problems in the workplace. Her research was included in Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Berdahl balances rigorous empirical research with outreach work to share her expertise outside the university.

“I’ve spent the first two decades of my research career identifying significant problems that exist in the workplace,” she said in her speech. “Now it’s time to figure out how to fix them and help create change by having a dialogue directly with people in organizations.”

Berdahl shared her insights with a packed room of MBA candidates, business guests, alumni and faculty. From “fix the women” to “value the feminine” to “equal opportunities” and finally to “fix the workplace,” Jennifer discussed the evolution of thinking around gender inequality in organizations.

She acknowledged that change often happens from the top down with legislative changes, but she encourages both male and female business leaders to lead by example. "Sanctioning change locally will help advance change on a broader scale," she said.

About the MBA candidates

UBC MBA students have a high level of both cultural and professional diversity. They come from more than 30 different countries around the world. They have an average of 5 years of work experience, much of that done internationally.

Summer internships are a key part of the MBA full-time program. After eight months of intense learning, MBA candidates have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to an 8-16 week summer internship and are available from May to August.

Learn more about the MBA Internship Program

Employers, find out how to recruit an MBA intern.

Prospective students, learn more about experiential learning opportunities and events at Sauder.