A generous gift from a Concordia trailblazer is supporting efforts to advance equity, diversity and inclusion at the John Molson School of Business.
Her gift will fund one annual scholarship for a Canadian woman undergraduate enrolled in Business Technology Management for a period of 10 years.
“I wanted to give back largely because of my own experiences as a student,” says de Brentani, who took retirement in 2017. “I got quite a bit of support as an undergraduate and especially when undertaking my PhD.”
The gift from the former Department of Marketing professor, award-winning researcher and faculty administrator comes on the heels of several initiatives at the John Molson School aimed at increasing female representation both at the university and in top positions in the workplace.
These initiatives include: the Barry F. Lorenzetti Centre for Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership, a gift from the Aune Foundation to support women in finance, a gift from Quadbridge to provide scholarships to encourge women to succeed in the technology sector and, notably, a second consecutive Parity Certification from Women in Governance.
“I’m thrilled that a pioneer like Ulrike de Brentani, who for years was the sole woman faculty member at our business school, has given back in this meaningful way,” says Dean Anne-Marie Croteau.
“Ulrike was an inspiring professor and during her career at Concordia and held positions as associate dean, Research, and academic administrator of the PhD and MSc programs in business. She mentored female colleagues, fought for pay equity and spearheaded research policy developments for the faculty.
“It’s fitting that her legacy now includes this scholarship fund that will encourage more women to contribute to such a dynamic field.”
Business technology management graduates typically take up careers as project managers and information systems analysts at firms like Ericsson, IBM and Air Canada. But, as a 2019 report by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has indicated, women are clearly underrepresented in this very important sector. Given this context, a targeted gift made the most sense, explains de Brentani.
“I wanted to donate to an area that is relevant to the Canadian economy and where women can make a valuable contribution in top-level jobs.”