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Friday, October 9, 2015

INSIDE: Profiles of local business women: • Geri Simon • Gwen Holdmann • Denali Lovely • Kim Stone • June Rogers • Jennifer Pyecha • Marylee Bates

2015

Women in Business


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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

INDEX Editor’s Note ............................................................................ 3

Profiles: Geri Simon ............................................................................... 4 Gwen Holdmann ................................................................... 13 Denali Lovely........................................................................... 14 Kim Stone ................................................................................. 15 June Rogers ............................................................................. 18 Jennifer Pyecha ...................................................................... 20 Marylee Bates ......................................................................... 23

Also inside: Moms in the executive suite ............................................ 22 Women and corporate boards ........................................ 24 Gender equality and the GDP ........................................... 26 Fields where careers, marriage merge ........................... 27 Women and promotions .................................................... 29 Women in the trucking industry...................................... 30

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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About this publication

The annual event is an important acknowledgement of the impact that women-owned businesses have in national and local economies. For example, a recent report by the NWCB showed that 9,932,434 businesses were owned by women in 2012 in the United States and that these businesses generated $1.6 trillion in revenue. Women have made advances across the business spectrum, not just in business ownership. More women, as a percentage of the occupation, have become economists, architects, industri-

al engineers, lawyers, chemists, financial managers, and accountants, for example, in the past quarter century, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. It’s becoming more common to see a woman in a top-tier position. Perhaps someday the term “non-traditional” job will cease to exist when talking about women in the workforce. Women still face obstacles in the workplace, however; harassment, gender bias and wage discrimination do exist. October is a time for celebrating the success of women in business, whether it’s a small business, a medium-sized operation, a large corporation or even a nonprofit organization, where management and finance skills are just as important as in the for-profit world. We’re celebrating a few of the Fairbanks area’s women in this special publication. We hope you enjoy reading about their journeys and hearing their advice. Rod Boyce Managing Editor

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

GERI SIMON

Set goals, stay focused and be adventurous Nancy Tarnai

FOR THE NEWS-MINER

W

hen Geri Simon, Doyon, Limited’s senior vice president of administration, talks to young people, she encourages them to set goals, stay focused and be adventurous.

“It helps you figure what you really want and to enjoy life,” she said. Simon should know. By following the advice that she likes to dispense, she has made her mark in Alaska. Born in Tanana, Simon grew up in Allakaket, Fort Yukon and Fairbanks. She was one of 13

children in her blended family. She earned a bachelor of arts in justice at the University of Washington and a juris doctorate from Seattle University School of Law. Prior to joining Doyon in 2012, Simon was vice president of Alaska lands and operations and general counsel for the Tyonek Native Corp. She previously worked for Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp., Tanana Chiefs Conference, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska Federation of Natives and the First Alaskans Institute. Due to the influence of her grandmother, the late Effie Williams of Allakaket, Simon grew up with a strong desire to give. “I wanted to contribute to my peoGeri Simon, administrative vice president at Doyon, Limited SIMON » 7

ERIC ENGMAN/NEWS-MINER

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

SIMON Continued from 4 ple,� she said. She recalls those days at her grandmother’s side with affection. As they checked rabbit snares, Simon would ask probing questions and always remembered the advice from the family matriarch that people from the village need to be involved in decision making. “That stuck with me,� Simon said. Taking that desire to give back, Simon decided after college to go into police work, but she encountered a discouraging attitude and veered into law school, for which she is immensely grateful today. Overseeing human resources, facilities, marketing and communications, administration, shareholder records and relations and community outreach at Doyon, Simon loves that her job is different every day. “Most of what I do is people-oriented,� she said. She said she strives to give employees clear directions and

Overseeing human resources, facilities, marketing and communications, administration, shareholder records and relations and community outreach at Doyon, Simon loves that her job is different every day.

to keep communications open to be sure everyone completes their projects and that workloads are going well. “I want to know if there are any barriers and figure out a way to get past them,� Simon said. Doyon, based in Fairbanks and the state’s largest landowner (12.5 million acres), has 19,300 shareholders, so Simon’s job is no walk in the park. One of her greatest challenges is trying to

increase shareholder participation in the voting process. “We brainstorm a lot,� she said. “We are active in social media to gain the following of the younger generation.� Events, such as a back-to-school gathering Doyon hosted in August that drew 400 attendees, are a way to get young families involved. The ability to remain calm is a necessary attribute in Simon’s position. It’s also

important to be able to prioritize, listen, stay active in the community and provide support to staff, she said. Her goals are to continue to represent Doyon and its shareholders to the best of her ability. “We value giving back to the community and being good stewards and want to continue that,â€? she said. One of the best parts of her job is helping the corporation decide what nonprofits to donate to and what youth activities and scholarships to support. Simon is active in the Rotary Club of Fairbanks, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce board of directors and K’oyitl’ots’ina, Ltd. She volunteers with St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and Bread Line Stone Soup CafĂŠ. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling and reading, but her main non-work focus is her 16-year-old son Keel. “On the weekends my house is full of boys,â€? she said. Spending time with her parents is also key.

“They are strong, strong people,� she said. To achieve work-life balance, Simon makes sure to fit in time to just be with her son. “He is good company; we talk a lot about a lot of things. I want him to have the tools to be a solid citizen.� Simon strives to remain grounded in who she is and where she comes from. “I stay focused on what I really want,� she said. Doyon President and CEO Aaron Schutt had high praise for Simon. “Geri brings broad experience across several different industries and throughout Alaska to her work at Doyon,� he said. “We’re proud of her active involvement in the community and the leadership roles she has taken on in various community organizations.� Former News-Miner reporter Nancy Tarnai is a freelance writer living in Fairbanks. She can be reached at njtarnai@gmail.com.

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Friday, October 9, 2015

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Thank You Fairbanks for Supporting me as a Woman in Business

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS Gwen Holdmann, director of Alaska Center for Energy & Power PHOTO COURTESY ALASKA CENTER FOR ENERGY & POWER

GWEN HOLDMANN

Science first, then business Robin Wood RWOOD@NEWSMINER.COM

G

wen Holdmann thinks the only limitations facing women in the workplace are self-imposed. She said good ideas and passion are the keys to “make amazing things happen.”

Holdmann, 42, is the director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, an applied-energy research program affiliated with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her success in the business realm was preceded by success in the world of science, when in 1994 she earned degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from Bradley University in Illinois. It wasn’t until

2008, when she wrote a proposal for what is now ACEP, that Holdmann entered the business world. Now she oversees 20 staff and 30 affiliated faculty. She offers two pieces of advice for young professionals: “Be an articulate and confident presenter, and be a good writer to multiple audiences.” Holdmann has obviously practiced what she preaches, speaking quickly but succinctly through a smile. She said it’s especially important young women work on confidence, make sure they are heard and avoid being “quiet and mousy.” Holdmann points to sports as a great arena for confidence building — she played Division I tennis in college and has completed both the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. HOLDMANN » 21


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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

DENALI LOVELY

Veterinarian balances clinic, career, family Nancy Tarnai FOR THE NEWS-MINER

M

any veterinarians had a childhood conviction or even obsession about becoming an animal doctor, but not Denali Lovely.

Growing up in Fairbanks, Lovely was determined to become a wildlife biologist, and she did, once she had earned a degree at the University of Montana. After a while she realized

that the career involves a lot of field work and not much contact with animals, so she started volunteering at a veterinary clinic, enjoyed it immensely and went to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Returning to Fairbanks, she worked at Aurora Animal Clinic until she and her husband, Patrick Lovely, decided to buy North Pole Veterinary Clinic in 2006. The practice had one veterinarian and two staff members. Today there are four veterinarians and 18 staffers.

Lovely likes the ever-changing nature of her job. “It’s never the same; it’s always different,” she said. “I’m the pets’ dentist and dermatologist. It keeps my mind active and I’m always learning.” Her favorite tasks are ultrasounds, internal medicine and soft-tissue surgery. Owning her own clinic is challenging but gives Lovely the independence she desires. “I have the freedom to practice medicine the way I want to, but I also shoulder a lot of responsibility.” At veterinary school,

Dr. Denali Lovely, owner of North Pole Veterinary Hospital. PHOTO COURTESY OF ZEIMBA PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

there were no classes in managing a practice or anything business-oriented. “I’ve had to learn on the

job,” she said. She takes continuing education classes to stay abreast of how to run a business. The Lovelys decided

from the beginning to invest in their staff to attract quality people who LOVELY » 19

Hi! My name is Susan Carey-Thomann, and I have been in the automotive industry since 2001. Today, women have so much more influence when it comes to buying the family car. According to Heels & Wheels website, women have almost 80 percent of the purchase decision power! Even more interesting, women also make 62 percent of the new car purchases and have over $5 trillion in purchasing power! They also make 65 to 80 percent of the service and maintenance decisions. Wow! I am so excited to be in this industry where families are often making their second largest purchase, and I get to help. I really enjoy going to work every day because I appreciate my company’s business philosophy. It is refreshing in an industry that is often looked upon with skepticism. I have been able to learn the Finance portion of purchasing a vehicle and also lead the crew in the service department! We Alaskans are tough! Men and women alike. We all want a good deal and are willing to pay a fair price it. I strive to make your buying process simple and stress-free! Susan Carey-Thomann for I just wanted to let all my customers know how happy I have been to work with them and hope to be right here if and when they are either in the market again or have service needs I can help with. If I haven’t had the opportunity to meet you, please stop in say Hi and have a cup of coffee with me. Hopefully when you are in the market you will think of me.

Susan Carey-Thomann, Sales & Finance and Service

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

15

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

KIM STONE

Hard work pays dividends Jaryd Cline JCLINE@NEWSMINER.COM

F

or someone who never went to college, Kim Stone has put in countless hours of work to end up where she is now and is the epitome of the old adage that hard work pays off.

Stone wears many hats and has many responsibilities within the small front market of the ever-popular Fairbanks Ice Dogs Junior A Hockey organization. One of just two people who handle all the tasks in the team’s office at 139 32nd Ave., she

also is in charge of game night operations, designing and printing tickets and is the team’s billet coordinator, helping players, sometimes as young as 16 from around the world, to find a welcoming place to stay during the season. Growing up on the East Coast, Stone admitted she didn’t know anything about hockey until she moved to Alaska with her husband, Neil, in 1994. After taking in a few Alaska Gold Kings and University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey games, she fell in love with the sport. When the Gold Kings left town in 1997, it left a void in one of the top hockey cities nationwide until, a few

years later, current Ice Dogs General Manager Rob Proffitt started the team. However, it wasn’t until more than a decade later she began officially working with the Ice Dogs. “We were not season ticket holders (for the Ice Dogs) but we were (at the Big Dipper) for every single game and we sat right on the glass,” Stone recalled. Stone’s son became involved in peewee hockey, and she often helped with various fundraisers at Ice Dogs games. Her work ethic and devotion to the program caught Proffitt’s eye, and in 2007 he offered her a job as the office manager. She declined, having just

Kim Stone plays many roles within the Ice Dogs organization. ERIC ENGMAN/NEWSMINER

accepted a job with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources as a supply officer. She still volunteered within the organization, but, the opportunity came knocking again in 2009, and this time she accepted.

Right away she made an impact on the front office. In 2010, after a few years of ordering and purchasing tickets from an outside entity, she and Proffitt collectively decided to purchase their own ticket printer

to save a little money. The machine was such a success that they decided to buy another printing machine. Just five years after the purchases, Stone said she’s paid for the machines six times

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

WOMEN IN BUSINESS June Rogers, executive director of Fairbanks Arts Association.

JUNE ROGERS

Strong business approach keeps arts association going forward

J

une Rogers has a word of advice for anyone in the business world: document everything.

For 20 years now, Rogers has been at the helm of the Fairbanks Arts Association as the nonprofit organization’s executive director. She was a volunteer with the organization starting in 1981 before taking over as director in 1996. In that time span, she’s seen the

fy, and the two would sit and talk, swapping stories. It was Palfy who instilled the “document everything” mantra into Rogers when it came to business dealings, Rogers said. Palfy would have handfuls of scraps of paper with her, each containing written agreements from whatever dealings Palfy was engaging in that day, Rogers recalled. “That’s the underscoring of everything I do,” she said. Before taking the lead at the Fairbanks Arts Association, Rogers worked for

COURTESY

a bit with the Alaska Repertory Theatre and also worked as a contractor in the mechanical world. In her business classes at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she would often find herself as the only woman. She’s the oldest of five children, and as a child often found herself in leadership roles at home with her siblings. She has parlayed all those life lessons and skills into her role at the arts association, something that’s not only her profession but also her passion. “If you don’t have a

FAIRBANKS ARTS ASSOCIATION

strong passion for making things better, I don’t see how you can be successful,” she said. The biggest challenge in running the Fairbanks Arts

Association is it is such a large umbrella organization, she said, meaning it is involved with every facet ROGERS » 19

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organization grow into one of the largest advocates for the arts in Interior Alaska and across the state. She credits strong business skills in making the organization what it is today. “How are you going to be successful if you don’t have this fiscal tool in your toolbox,” Rogers said of the need to have a strong business background in running a nonprofit organization. Rogers was born and raised in Fairbanks. In her teens, she would often visit with a neighbor, Fern Pal-

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ROGERS

LOVELY

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of the arts — hosting public school programs, exhibiting and coordinating displays, working with the tourism industry, working with artists, as well as addressing local government bodies and chambers of commerce as well as the Alaska Legislature on arts issues. “I’m really proud of the work we’ve accomplished,” Rogers said. “We’re a frontrunner for arts advocacy for the whole state.” It’s the business side of running the agency, though, that Rogers sees as one of most important aspects of the organization, and really, any organization, be it nonprofit or for-profit. “We’ve always had a core purpose — to support the arts in Fairbanks,” she said. “That is still here. Now, the arts are so diverse in Fairbanks. I love this place. It’s incredible what happens in this space.”

would stay with them. Some of the original employees from 2006 are still working there. “I try to be flexible with people,” Lovely said. Managing people takes a lot of her effort. “There are a lot of different personalities,” she said. “As a woman I want everyone to be happy, and you can’t make everyone happy.” She tries to be clear and consistent with values and to set a good example. “I couldn’t have done this without my husband,” she said. In addition to handling the accounting and payroll, he is home for the couple’s two young daughters. “This is not a 9-to-5 job; it’s 12-hour days sometimes.” She also credited her hospital manager, Sarah Nelius, with keeping her sane. “It is invaluable to have a practice manager; she alleviates the

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Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or on Twitter: @FDNMfeatures.

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North Pole Veterinary Hospital

Hurst Road

This is not a 9-to-5 job; it’s 12-hour days sometimes ... If I had it to do over again I would do the same thing.” Dr. Denali Lovely

day-to-day staffing and scheduling.” What Lovely gains from her job outweighs any hardships. “If I had it to do over again I would do the same thing,” she said. One way Lovely endeavors to balance family and career is by setting a four-day work week for the veterinarians at her clinic. “That day off during the week helps,” she said. She said it’s important to be a good role model for her daughters, but neither one has an interest in veterinary medicine. “They think it’s gross,” she said. Her advice to other women interested in her career is simple: “Do what is right for you. If your dream is to be independent and practice quality med-

icine, then practice ownership is a great thing. Sure there are days I wish I wasn’t the owner, but in general it’s a positive experience.” It takes strong communication skills and patience to be good at her job, Lovely said. “People have different financial abilities and you have to be flexible and provide the best options.” Her goals are to continue growing her business while providing high quality patient care and veterinary services and, after another decade, to think about retiring. Lovely is past president of the Alaska Veterinary Medical Association and treasurer of the Interior Veterinary Medical Association. During free time, Lovely

and her family enjoy summers at their Quartz Lake cabin, running, skiing and hiking. The girls are on soccer teams and the family has two dogs, a guinea pig and a rabbit. Longtime customer Bobbi Janiro of the Goldstream Valley is willing to take her pets to North Pole because of Lovely. “She cares so much about not only your pets but you,” Janiro said. Explaining that her dogs are complicated, she said Lovely does research and testing to get the right treatment. “You just feel taken care of.” Former News-Miner reporter Nancy Tarnai is a freelance writer living in Fairbanks. She can be reached at njtarnai@gmail.com.

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

JENNIFER PYECHA

Jennifer Pyecha, senior environmental engineer for Kinross Fort Knox

Never a dull moment in mining ABOHMAN@NEWSMINER.COM

O

ne of Jennifer Pyecha’s responsibilities at the Fort Knox Gold Mine is to make sure there are no environmental disasters.

That is the stressful part of her job. The fun part is reclaiming the land or making it look like the surrounding topography after mining activities have stopped. Pyecha works as a senior environmental engineer for Kinross Gold Corp. The 44-year-old from South Dakota was recruited into the mining industry four years ago after working as a field engineer at Fairbanks Interna-

tional Airport. She supervises three environmental technicians and various contractors hired to perform certain duties, including dirt work. In April, Kinross received an honorable mention from the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, a governmental organization in Virginia, for Pyecha’s reclamation work at the True North Gold Mine site located 26 miles northeast of Fairbanks. About 25,000 feet of trails were installed at the site and seedlings were planted of a variety of species of trees, going beyond state requirements. “The company exhibited an extraordinary effort to go above the standard required by the

state for revegetating the site,” said a news release by the mining commission. Pyecha, who has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage, describes the work as challenging and exciting. About 10 percent of the mine’s workforce are women. “The No. 1 priority is that whatever you have disturbed, it needs to be brought to a stable condition,” she said. “It will never look at exactly the same, but you can definitely contour your disturbance to match the surrounding topography. You want it to really blend.” One of Pyecha’s secrets to her success is to ask a lot of questions of the people working for

PHOTO COURTESY KINROSS FORT KNOX

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Amanda Bohman


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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

PYECHA

HOLDMANN

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her. “I really rely on other people’s expertise to help,” she said. “That approach has always worked very well for me.” Pyecha is also responsible for making sure three dams at Fort Knox are structurally sufficient. That requires regular visual inspections and relying on instruments that detect pressure changes within a dam. Pyecha said she collects “a lot of data” and reports to the state on behalf of the mine. She didn’t know it at the time of her recruitment, but she followed her grandfather’s footsteps into the mining industry. Theodore Ludwig Bertsch worked as a drifter, using a handheld jackhammer to drill holes for explosives, at the Home Stake Mine in Deadwood, South Dakota. Pyecha is also married to a gold miner. “I could see myself staying in the mining industry,” Pyecha said. “It’s fast moving. There is never a dull moment.”

Being prepared, well informed and articulate has been instrumental in helping her not feel singled out for being a woman — though she has often had to prove herself when stepping up to the plate. Having the ability to “let stuff go” is another recommendation. Letting go of grad

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 4597587. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.

STONE Continued from 15 over. The addition of the machines and the money saved from them prompted the move to a larger office. They moved from a 700 square foot facility to the 2,000 square-foot office on 32nd Avenue. Still, Stone must design and print up to 150,000 tickets each season, no small task. She

school is how Holdmann came to her current position. She was studying space physics and working at the Geophysical Institute at UAF but living in a dry cabin with no electricity when she realized she wanted to work with energy. Holdmann’s fascination led her to oversee the development of Alaska’s first geothermal power plant at Chena Hot Springs Resort and led to accolades including an R&D

100 award, Project of the Year from Power Engineering Magazine and the Alaska Top 40 Under 40. Now Holdmann tries “as much as possible” to be a mentor and not a researcher, except for the fact she frequently wakes up at 3 or 4 a.m. to work on reports. She said it’s important for women to be supportive and mentor each other and that it’s especially important to make sure women teach girls about

science, because “I do believe women do think differently.” Holdmann suspects women are “big picture” thinkers, while men think more linearly. Her advice for girls interested in the sciences is good advice for anyone, anywhere: “Just be willing to work a little harder, it’s not easy for anybody.”

custom designs each ticket, trying to make them special for everyone involved. As for being the only woman in the Ice Dogs front office, Stone thinks it’s “cool” and enjoys being able to be somewhat of a mother figure to some of the hockey players who come in to play from outside the state and sometimes outside the U.S. “The coaches, being male, they think of things different than females do,” she said.

“When the players come in ... and don’t feel comfortable talking to the coaches about (their billet families), I always tell those boys at any given time that they can come talk to me.” Stone has come a long way since moving to Alaska. Despite not having a college education, she’s never had a problem finding work thanks to her work ethic. “When I go to a job I don’t just sit there,” Stone said. “I’m

not there to collect a paycheck. I work for my money. I work hard for my money.” She also has some advice for those in a similar situation. “If you’re going out there and looking for a job and you don’t have a college education, there’s something out there for everybody,” she said. “I don’t feel that everybody has to have a college education to get through life.”

Contact staff writer Robin Wood at 459-7510. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcity.

Contact staff writer Jaryd Cline at 459-7530.

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Mothers more likely to want top executive jobs Jena McGregor

Lareina Yee, McKinsey consulting firm porate ladder or just starting out, were less likely than their male peers to desire the highest corporate leadership jobs. Just 60 percent of senior female managers said they wanted a top executive job, compared with 72 percent of men. Among entry-level employees, the gap was narrower (albeit the interest was also lower), with just 39 percent of women and 47 percent of men saying they want the top slot. The gap can’t all be explained by women’s family obligations or motherhood. While women with children tended to cite balancing work and family when explain-

ing why they didn’t want to join the C suite, nearly the same percentage of men (62 percent, vs. 65 percent of women) said it was their top reason as well. Meanwhile, women without children more often cited the stress and pressure that come with holding such powerful jobs than they did the work-family challenges that could result from them. “This is not a women’s issue,” said Rachel Thomas, president of LeanIn, which partnered with McKinsey on the research. “It’s a workforce issue.” Perhaps most interesting was the finding that mothers were actually 15 percent more likely

907-488-7082 F18494071

The new report, released Wednesday, collected data from 118 companies and surveyed nearly 30,000 employees about their ambitions and their perceptions about career opportunities. It found that women at all levels, whether near the top of the cor-

used it. More than 90 percent of both women and men said they thought taking long family leaves would hurt their careers. While it’s interesting to compare ambition levels across different subsets of workers, it’s worth keeping sight of the overall finding that aspirations for top leadership roles among all workers-but particularly women-are still relatively low. A separate academic paper published last week showed a similar reticence among women for the most high-level jobs. Researchers at Harvard Business School found, among nine different studies, that women listed fewer goals related to achieving power at work, saw more tough tradeoffs with high-level jobs, andthough they were confident they could attain top positions-saw them as less desirable.

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heryl Sandberg may be telling women to lean in. But according to new research from Sandberg’s own organization and the consulting firm McKinsey, plenty of women-and men-don’t really want to, at least when it comes to the very top executive jobs.

It dispels the idea that being a parent diminishes your ambition levels.”

than women without children to say they wanted the top job. “It dispels the idea that being a parent diminishes your ambition levels,” said Lareina Yee, a partner in McKinsey’s San Francisco office. As previous studies have found, the new report also showed that black, Hispanic and Asian women were, on average, 43 percent more interested in becoming a top executive than white women were and 16 percent more interested than white men were. The study also reveals some uncomfortable truths for corporate leaders who think benefits such as handing out generous maternity leaves will get more women to the top. While some 65 percent of companies in the survey offered extended maternity leave, just 4 percent of their female employees had

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THE WASHINGTON POST


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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

MARYLEE BATES

An unorthodox route fills a need in Fairbanks Jeff Richardson JRICHARDSON @NEWSMINER.COM

M

arylee Bates and Fairbanks Youth Advocates have been on an amazing run during the past three years, following the journey from a concept to a new local teen shelter. Perhaps even more remarkable is that Bates, the executive director of

the nonprofit organization that serves homeless youth, admits she spent much of that time not quite sure what she was doing. “I knew nothing,” she said with a laugh. “I have a social services heart, but not a social services background.” It’s been an unorthodox journey for Bates, who spent 13 years as a teacher before shifting her focus to a new role. She felt called to act after reading an article about the high dropout rate at Fairbanks-area

schools, then understanding that many of those at-risk teens don’t have a stable home environment. A counselor friend told her the numbers were grim — as many as 800 local children could be classified as homeless, sleeping on couches or the streets. “It kind of put me on a quest,” Bates said. “Part of the realization was we have kids who don’t have a place to stay.” Bates helped form FYA, and remained atop the organization as its services rapidly materialized

Pamela Throop

Marylee Bates stands outside The Door, a shelter for homeless teens on 10th Avenue. ERIN CORNELIUSSEN/NEWS-MINER several years ago. When discussions got serious about the need for a local teen shelter, First Presbyterian Church of Fairbanks offered its space in December 2012. Since then, FYA

has been able to purchase property, hire staff and build a new facility, The Door, on 10th Avenue. Homeless teens can now find a local place for food, clothing and a bed in a

safe, warm atmosphere. Bates has certainly done her part to get there. Since finding herself in the role of executive director, she’s BATES » 24

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS Continued from 23 learned how to write grants, craft a budget and manage staff members and volunteers. Her husband Dave helps provide support through the business he operates next door, Clearwater Counseling. FYA isn’t a faith-based organization, but Bates said the whirlwind has affirmed her own belief. Throughout the process, opportunities, grant funding and community support materialized at just the time they were needed. “It was just really standing on the Red Sea and watching the waters part,” she said. “That’s really what it felt like.” The Bateses came to Alaska from Oregon to teach in Southwest Alaska, then moved to Fairbanks three years later. Marylee is convinced that the story of FYA couldn’t happen in any other state, citing Alaska’s close-knit atmosphere. A sign at The Door has an appropriate slogan: “Sometimes on the way to the dream, you get lost and find a better one.” “You don’t get here on your own — there was a tremendous amount of support,” she said. “It definitely feels very magical.” Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMbusiness.

This might just be why progress on board diversity is so slow By Jena McGregor THE WASHINGTON POST

WASHINGTON — Many reasons have been given for why only 19 percent of corporate board directors are women — a number that has barely budged over the last decade. There aren’t enough directors retiring to make room for new ones. There aren’t enough outside pressures to prompt real change. Boards can’t find enough women to take new seats. But a new survey offers a potentially simpler explanation. Male directors, who occupy the vast majority of board seats, apparently don’t think it’s very important. PricewaterhouseCoopers released its annual directors report this week, which surveyed nearly 800 corporate board members. It reveals a sharp

and unsettling divide between the way the male and female directors who were queried view the issue of diversity. The numbers are striking. Just 35 percent of the male directors said diversity on the board is “very important,” compared with 63 percent of the women. Eighty percent of the women surveyed said they “very much” agree that diversity leads to more effective boards, compared with just 40 percent of the men. The male directors were also less likely than women to view racial diversity as very important, and less likely to believe there were enough qualified diverse candidates for board seats. Meanwhile, 74 percent of female

directors said they strongly agree board diversity leads to better company performance, compared with just 31 percent of the male directors. That’s despite a growing body of research that shows a link between the two. More diverse boards have been tied to higher average growth, better priced mergers and acquisitions, and higher returns on equity, sales and invested capital. Until more male directors view the issue as a critical imperative, diversity will fall behind the many other pressing matters that compete for boards’ time. It’s hard for change to happen when so many of the people actually in a position to do something about it don’t view it as very important.

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BATES


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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Report: Gender equality would boost global GDP by $28 trillion Laura Colby BLOOMBERG NEWS

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EW YORK — Denying women full participation in the global economy is costly. McKinsey & Co. has now calculated by just how much.

Full gender equality would add 26 percent, or $28 trillion, to global gross domestic product in 2025, according to a new report by the consulting firm’s research and economics arm. While capturing that potential may not be realistic in the short term, boosting women’s equality at the same rate as the fastest-improving nation in a region — bringing Bangladesh to the level of Singapore, for instance — would increase annual GDP by $12 trillion in 2025, the study said.

Women are such a crucial part of society and they are an undertapped resource.” Anu Madgavakar, McKinsey Global Institute senior fellow

“Women are such a crucial part of society and they are an undertapped resource,” said Anu Madgavkar, a McKinsey Global Institute senior fellow and a lead author of the report. A $28 trillion increase in GDP roughly matches the U.S. and Chinese economies combined. The report’s release coincides with the 20th anniversary of the UN’s declaration of a Platform of Action for women’s empowerment, which aims to ensure women achieve parity in economic, social, cultural and political decision making. Some companies are adopting policies that others could follow in advancing equality, McKinsey said. Among them, Wal- Mart

I have owned Movin’free for 24 years, with my trusted hubby at my side-Dave. We have owned K Bar D for 10 years, and I have been a Mary Kay consultant over eight years, four of which I have been a Sales Director.

Stores Inc. has a program to use women-led companies and entrepreneurs in its supply chain, and Hennes & Mauritz has set up education programs in Bangladesh, where many of its clothes are sewn. For new mothers, Vodafone Group PLC introduced a global minimum of 16 weeks of paid leave and a return-to-work period of reduced hours at full pay, even in countries where the government doesn’t require it. Such private sector plans to advance the status of women only succeed with clear direction from senior executives, Madgavkar said. “You really do need to set targets flowing down from the top,” she said. “Companies that don’t have targets are not that effective. Busi-

nesses can do a lot more to drive diversity.” The report considered 95 countries representing about 93 percent of the population. The economies were filtered into 15 indicators of gender parity, from labor force participation to legal protections and health criteria. Overall, McKinsey found that women generate just 37 percent of world GDP even though they make up half the population. There were huge regional variations, with India the laggard. India’s women generate just 17 percent of the nation’s GDP, compared with 18 percent in the Middle East and North Africa and 40 percent or more in North America and China, according to the report. “When it comes to both economic equality and societal inequality, India has gaps on both scores,” Madgavkar said. One area where women and

men aren’t so far apart is in access to the Internet. About 52 percent of those lacking a connection were women, the report said. Connecting to the Internet gives women access to financial services such as banking as well as digital education, Madgavkar said. Still, more than 4 billion of the world’s 7.3 billion people — male and female — lack that access. And despite the many regional variations, there were several areas in which every nation fell short, including leaders such as the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Sharing of unpaid work such as family care, political and legal representation, and women in leadership all scored low in gender parity across the board. “These are globally pervasive problems that won’t just go away as nations become developed,” she said.

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Friday, October 9, 2015

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

More couples found in some fields Ana Swanson THE WASHINGTON POST

Y

ou’ve probably heard of the big dating sites like OKCupid, Match.com and Tindr. But unless you are a love-hungry lawyer, teacher or farmer you may not be aware of smaller dating websites that aim to fix up people of a similar profession. There’s LawyerFlirts.com, JustTeachersDating.com, FarmersOnly.com (tagline: “City folks just don’t get it”), and many more. These Web sites may be on to something. According to Census data, people in some jobs are

more likely than people in others to marry someone in the same field. Dan Kopf at Priceonomics crunched U.S. Census data on 40 million couples to find the professionals that are most likely to marry their own. (This research looks only at marriages between people of the opposite sex, though the Census will begin including data on same-sex couples soon.) Kopf found that lawyers, farmers and those working in education were most likely to marry people with similar professions. Miners, construction workers and people in finance were among the least likely. An accompanying chart shows how some broad job categories compare in this regard. People who work in the fields toward the top of the list are more likely to marry someone else in the same field, while those toward

construction, mining and military occupations, fields that are male-dominated, may have trouble finding many women in the industry to marry. The same goes for female-dominated fields like personal care and appearance and healthcare support. However, people who work in a profession that is dominated by the other sex — female construction workers and male hairstylists, for example — are very likely to marry within their own industry. In fact, nearly 40 percent of women who work in construction are likely to be married to a man who works in construction, says Kopf. The Census also breaks down data by 500 specific jobs within the occupational categories. Farmers and agricultural workers figure prominently in all these lists. Maybe FarmersOnly. com is really onto something.

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the bottom of the chart were less likely. Farming, fishing and forestry tops the list, with a quarter of married people in these fields married to another farmer, fisher or forester. As Kopf explains, this is likely because these are industries centered in rural communities, where there is a less diverse mix of occupations. Lawyers, educators and healthcare practitioners are also likely to marry among their own ranks. The reason for this trend has a lot to do with the gender ratios in various professions. Overall, the professions that top the list tend to have a more balanced representation of men and women — like sales, which is about half and half. Those toward the bottom of the list, in contrast, are some of the occupations that are most skewed by sex. Men working in

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The women of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner salute the hardworking women of Interior Alaska Keep up the good work!

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Friday, October 9, 2015

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS

One reason women aren’t getting the promotion: They don’t want it Rebecca Greenfield BLOOMBERG NEWS

W

omen are underrepresented in leadership positions for plenty of reasons: They’re stereotyped as being less competent than men, they aren’t as aggressive, and there’s a perception that they can’t lead and raise a family at the same time.

Now, research from Harvard Business School adds yet another reason to the list: Women aren’t in leadership positions because they just don’t want the jobs as much as men do. The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), incorporates nine studies conducted on various high-achieving groups.

Combined, the research indicates that women value power less than men, and the studies try to explain the phenomenon. In one of the studies, conducted on 650 recent MBA graduates, researchers had participants rank their current position in their industry, their ideal position, and the highest position they could realistically attain. Women had no doubt they could “realistically attain” the same level of success as men, but they listed lower ideal positions. Another one of the studies helps explain that finding, by suggesting women have more negative associations with power than men do. “Women expect more stress, burden, conflicts, and difficult trade-offs to accompany high-level positions,” said Alison Wood Brooks, a co-author of the paper and an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard. POWER » 31

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Women truckers outdrive men, smash stereotypes Thomas Black BLOOMBERG NEWS

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ALLAS — Female truckers are sliding into longhaul cabs as companies seek to end a U.S. driver shortage, and they’re proving to be better behind the wheel than men. That’s no surprise to Stephanie Klang, 57, who used to drive in a team with her former husband. She stays on the road alone for up to five weeks and lives out of her truck with her cats as companions. “We’re more patient.” Whether measuring accidents, inspections or compliance issues, women drivers are outperforming males, accord-

ing to Werner Enterprises Inc. Chief Operating Officer Derek Leathers. He expects women to make up about 10 percent of the freight hauler’s 9,000 drivers by year’s end. That’s almost twice the national average. “It’s important to kind of rebuff the myths,” Leathers said in an interview at an industry conference in Dallas. “They are winning in multiple categories across the fleet.” Trucking companies see women as a large untapped labor pool that may ease a driver shortfall that’s expected to grow to 400,000 by 2017. Job-recruitment campaigns are being planned, including at Werner, targeting women by highlighting the industry’s increased salaries and updated fleets with new creature comforts such as larger sleeper cabs.

“We want to cast the net as wide as we can cast it,” Leathers said, “It’s an opportunity for the industry.” More women have taken the wheel, according to the American Trucking Associations. They accounted for 5.8 percent of the 3.4 million U.S. truck drivers last year, compared with 4.6 percent in 2010. National safety figures don’t get broken down by gender, the group said. Most of the female truckers at Covenant Transportation Group Inc. work in two-person driving teams, including some mother-daughter pairings, said Chief Executive Officer David Parker. “They do a great job,” he said, and are proving to be more cautious and attentive behind the wheel. He said about 16 percent of the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company’s 2,400

drivers are women. More women are willing to go solo on the road, said Swift Transportation Co. COO Richard Stocking. He estimated that 6 percent to 7 percent of his 19,000 drivers are female, and about half of those drive alone. Cleaner terminals, schedules that guarantee home time, automatic transmissions and safer truck stops have all been crucial to attracting and retaining female drivers, said Werner’s Leathers. The company is planning a campaign with print ads and radio spots to encourage more women to apply. “Most of us are looking for any viable source of new talent,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve done a good job marketing to women.” Life on the road has gotten easier for women, said Klang,

who drives a Kenworth big rig for Con-way Inc. When she started driving in 1980, there was no power steering, sleeper cabs were cramped, truck stops were dirty and crime-ridden and, worst of all, the showers were all located in the men’s bathroom. “I’d have to get up at 2 a.m. and they’d close the men’s room for me,” said Klang, who lives in Joplin, Missouri. “Now, the showers are all private and clean.” Her advice to women contemplating a behind-the-wheel career: “You will have down time in the truck,” she said. “Make the truck your home.” Freight companies, shippers and truck manufacturers also are paying more attention to women and their needs, said TRUCKERS » 31

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

Continued from 30 Char Pingel, membership director for the industry group Women in Trucking, which was founded in 2007. Changes can range from allowing pets in the cab to designing seats

that are more adaptable to women to “no-touch” cargo that doesn’t require heavy lifting. “Women don’t know they can do the job,” Pingel said. “It used to be burly truckers who endured without all the modern conveniences.” People should

POWER Continued from 29 One explanation for why power stresses women out: They have less time in which to attain a greater number of goals. In another of the nine studies, researchers asked about 800 working adults to rank their goals, defined as “things that occupy your thoughts on a routine basis, things that you deeply care about, or things that motivate your behavior and decisions.” The women surveyed not only listed more goals, but a smaller proportion of those goals were related to achieving power. “Right now, it is likely that women have

expect to see more women behind the wheel of big rigs on the highway, and that’s a good thing, Werner’s Leathers said. “Those drivers right now are driving safer,” he said, without providing specific details. “The stats are there. They do a nice job.”

more goals in life because pursuing career and family goals simultaneously is a relatively new concept for women,” added Brooks. In other words, women feel more inclined to have it all than men, who listed fewer personal goals, and that means making compromises somewhere. “I hope these findings will lead people and managers to ask [workers their preferences],” said Francesca Gino, another co- author of the paper. “Some women may deeply care about power, some may not. Some may see too many negatives. For the latter category, talking may lead to identifying opportunities that remove some of those negatives.”

Celebrating our women in business, their endeavors, and their success.

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 9, 2015

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Women in Business  

Profiles of Interior Alaska Women in Business for fall 2015

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