COVID-19: Extraordinary Women Leading in Extraordinary Times – Business Administration

business meeting in a mask
business meeting in a mask
business meeting in a mask

COVID-19: Extraordinary Women Leading in Extraordinary Times – Business Administration

The faculty and staff of Kettering Global and Kettering University Online (KUO) would like to take a moment to honor all the lives lost and encourage those struggling to get well. We also send our most heartfelt wishes to those continuing to suffer from the multitude of circumstances resulting from the ongoing pandemic.

COVID-19 and its variants have the entire globe in its grip. It is clear that no age, gender, health status, professional title, income, political party, or ethnicity is safe, nor is any particular industry immune. Businesses are adapting their models and strategizing ways to safely stay open, and their collaborative leadership teams are making extremely difficult decisions.

Despite the intensity of trying to live and work in a pandemic, there are many examples of extraordinary leadership from those who would say they “were just doing their job.” There is much reporting on the role that women, in particular, have taken throughout the pandemic. As such, Kettering University Online is shining a spotlight on women who are leading during these unprecedented times.

Extraordinary Women Leading in Extraordinary Times is a blog series focusing on female leaders in industries like healthcare management, lean manufacturing, operations management, engineering management, data science, business administration, and supply chain management. These women exemplify the decision-making, effective communication, agility, critical thinking, and leadership skills demanded by today’s era.

Virtual business meeting

Insights from Leaders

The pandemic has presented us with a real-time experiment in leadership, and the data shows that we are in good hands when women are at the helm of nations and companies alike. Women aspiring to leadership positions in business have a unique opportunity to show their value, and they should seize it ” (Katz 2021, para. 2).

Women in leadership have demonstrated a different leadership style than men during the pandemic, embracing empathy, adaptability, accountability, and diversity (Brandazza, 2021). Following are two examples: one from a large U.K. nonprofit and one from a small business in Delaware, U.S.A.

Jane Caldwell, CEO, Age UK, East London

Age UK is a federation of independent charities supporting the elderly throughout the country. Jane Caldwell, the CEO of Age UK East London is an excellent example of navigating the daunting landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, her team acted quickly and boldly.

They mobilised faster than many health and social care systems, immediately providing humanitarian support to other groups made vulnerable by COVID-19 including rough sleepers, those with no recourse to public funds, and women escaping domestic violence. All staff working on the frontline were given the option to be re-deployed, none were furloughed and everyone was given full pay when isolating’ (DeGuzman, 2020, para 23.).

Caldwell, says “as a leader, I felt it was important to carry the voices of those who have been disproportionately affected by the virus .” (DeGuzman, 2020, para 23.). Caldwell’s talents, skills, and values are continuing to lead her organization through trying times.

The pandemic affected thousands of small businesses across the country. Leaders who were agile, creative, innovative, and resourceful helmed the businesses that survived.

Lynda Daring, Founder/Owner, Daring Celebrations and Ceremonies: Professional Wedding Officiants

One example of adapting a business model in the middle of a crisis is Lynda Daring. Daring, the owner of Daring Celebrations and Ceremonies, Professional Wedding Officiants, serves clients in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Daring saw the immediate repercussions of the pandemic on her thriving wedding business. Couples were canceling en masse.

Then, she had the idea to offer micro-weddings and elopements with no more than ten people. At the height of the pandemic, she even provided a drive-by service. Couples would drive up, have the marriage license signed, pose for a quick photo, and drive off. Daring said her business skyrocketed!

Daring says of this business pivot, “people always say why reinvent the wheel but this was a case where everyone had to reinvent the wheel. I had to figure out how the business could be different within this new environment, how could it be agile and responsive enough to provide this service because couples still needed and wanted to marry. Thankfully, it all worked out” (L. Daring, personal communication, July 18, 2021).

These women are examples of the kind of quick-thinking, savvy business acumen needed to thrive in a pandemic and post-pandemic world. These kinds of qualities are essential and effective for women in leadership roles, especially if they sit atop a foundation of knowledge and best practices from an award-winning MBA program.

leading a meeting

KUO’s Innovative MBA

An MBA can make the difference in gaining the skills and knowledge to understand how to adjust and transform business practices, regardless of the circumstances in the world From managerial accounting to international business, enterprise information system models to managing people and organizations, Kettering University’s award-winning MBA (ranked #1 in Michigan according to MBA Central) is designed to expose you to the most current academic research and innovative approaches to business. The design of the courses allows you to find solutions to your real-world problems with the Learn Today-Use Tomorrow approach to learning.

After graduating with your MBA, you will have an in-depth understanding of:

  • How to use accounting and financial information for making business decisions
  • How to use technology applications to increase business productivity and viability
  • How to communicate with, mentor, and manage employees
  • How to navigate supply chain management issues, assess risk and create contingency plans
  • How the impact of influences on customer behavior and psychology affects marketing strategies

Other important topics such as cross-cultural communication, legality and ethics, corporate social responsibility, and innovation are weaved throughout several courses in the program.

You can also customize your MBA degree with your choice of a 3-course graduate certificate in Modern Business Practices, Global Leadership, Operations Management, Healthcare Management or Supply Chain Management Level 1 or 2.

Benefits of Continued Learning

In addition to learning the theory and application of business concepts, you may also learn a lot about yourself. This program challenges you to examine your strengths and limitations through discussion questions and assignments that challenge your thinking about how you lead or manage, handle conflict, and communicate with others. These are the skills that take you from manager to exceptional leader!

By the end of the program, you will likely have a clearer sense of who you are both personally and professionally, and will have gained skills necessary for succeeding in high performing businesses such as:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Conflict Management
  • Time Management
  • Effective Interpersonal Communication
  • Leadership and Motivation
  • Your personal strengths and challenges in leading

At Kettering, we understand pursuing a master’s degree can be a big decision with many factors to consider. Our knowledgeable and supportive enrollment advisors are here to help guide your decision about our program offerings to achieve your career goals.

By connecting with an admissions advisor, you can expect to:

  • Receive in-depth knowledge on the program and the admissions process
  • Benefit from having a 1-on-1 conversation to ensure the program fits your academic and professional goals
  • Learn more about how you can easily earn two degrees in two years

Visit online.kettering.edu to download a free guide or speak with an admissions advisor today!

 

References:

Brandazza, D. (2021). Leadership in turbulent times: Women CEOs during Covid-19. https://www.spglobal.com/en/research-insights/featured/women-ceos-covid

DeGuzman, C.G., & Aslanidis, J. (2020, July 29). Heroes of the COVID-19 response: The women you know, and some you may not …yet . https://www.centreforpublicimpact.org/insights/heroes-covid-19-response-women-know-may-not-yet

Katz, M. (2021, March 18). The Covid crisis shows why we need more female leadership. Fortune. https://fortune.com/2021/03/17/covid-female-women-leadership-jacinda-ard...

Worldometers. (2021, June 15). Coronavirus cases and deaths. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

MBA Central. (2022). The 15 Best Michigan Online MBA Degree Programs. https://www.mbacentral.org/top/best-michigan-online-mba-degree-programs/.