Deborah Streeter is the Bruce F. Failing, Sr. Professor of Personal Enterprise and Small Business Management at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Entrepreneurship and small business management are the focus of Dr. Streeter’s teaching, research, and outreach activities. Her research interests include: university-wide models for teaching entrepreneurship, use of digital media in teaching, and gender issues in business and entrepreneurship. Dr. Streeter has received acclaim as an educator, based on her promotion of experiential learning, active learning, and innovative uses of technology inside and outside the classroom. In 2007, Dr. Streeter was given the Olympus Innovator Award by the Olympus Corporation. She received the Constance E. and Alice H. Cook Award in 2004, Professor of Merit Award in 2002, and was named influential to a Merrill Scholar in 1999, 2000, and 2003. Dr. Streeter was awarded the 2001 CALS National Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in College and University Teaching, and was named a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow in 2000 (Cornell’s most prestigious teaching award). She also received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000 and the Innovative Teaching Award in 1996. Dr. Streeter holds an MS (1980) and PhD (1984) in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Decoding the Gender Gap in
Board MembershipCornell Course
Men overwhelmingly outnumber women on public boards of directors, but times are changing and more boards than ever are actively seeking qualified women to help steer their companies. For interested women, the challenge is that the typical path to board membership—through the C-Suite—is optimized for the male executives who often land senior leadership roles.
This course, designed specifically for women with leadership experience by Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing, Sr., Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell, and Susan S. Fleming, a senior lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, will demystify the journey to board membership for women and break down the responsibilities and opportunities that women can expect once on a board. In this course, you will prepare yourself for board membership by assessing your personal competencies and potential barriers to joining a board. You will write your own value proposition for what you could bring to a board and then identify potential boards and make a plan to approach them. You will also analyze how, as a woman, you can make a positive impact on a board, all while successfully navigating the double bind.
Key Course Takeaways
- Assess your key competencies compared to those required for board membership, and make a plan to fill any gaps
- Identify boards you may want to join and position yourself as a candidate
- Prepare for board membership by practicing the behaviors of successful board members
Download a BrochureNot ready to enroll but want to learn more? Download the course brochure to review program details.
How It Works
From 2010 to 2018, Dr. Susan S. Fleming was a Senior Lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Currently, she is an executive educator and frequent speaker on women in leadership and entrepreneurship, a corporate director, an active angel investor and a mom. Fleming began her career on Wall Street, where over a period of twelve years she held various positions in the investment community, including that of analyst at Morgan Stanley & Co.; vice president of Insurance Partners, L.P., a $540 million private equity fund; and partner at Capital Z Financial Services Partners, a $1.85B private equity fund.
After retiring from Wall Street in 2003, Fleming began work as an educator, teaching executives, investment professionals, MBAs, and undergraduates in the areas of corporate finance, insurance, valuation, and gender bias. She also enrolled at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management to pursue a PhD in management, where her research focused on better understanding the factors contributing to a dearth of women in leadership positions in U.S. society.
In addition to her work as an educator, researcher, and business consultant, Fleming helped to found a startup company in Ithaca, NY; has served on the board of directors of five publicly traded insurance and reinsurance companies, two private companies, and three non-profit organizations; and currently serves on the board of RLI Corp., a publicly traded specialty insurer serving diverse, niche property, casualty and surety markets, and Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., a publicly traded asset management firm. Fleming has been published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Psychology of Women Quarterly, the Journal of Higher Education, and Cornell Hospitality Reports and holds a BA from the University of Virginia, and an MS and PhD in management from Cornell University.
Who Should Enroll
- Women leaders in mid- to senior-level positions (10+ years of work experience)
- Women who hold or are interested in seeking board positions
- Women entrepreneurs and founders
- Male leaders seeking to better understand gender dynamics in their organizations